It’s hard to think of anyone more closely associated with the practice of making Welsh chairs than John Brown. In this book, author Christopher Williams, a fellow chairmaker who worked closely with him for several years until Brown’s death in 2008, presents a revealing study of Brown’s life and craft. In particular, he probes Brown’s extraordinary way of thinking about the painstaking work, both physical and mental, required in making things by hand.
Illustrated by Brown’s daughter, Molly, the book also reprints 19 articles Brown wrote for Good Woodworking magazine, and includes essays by some of those who knew him best, including Brown’s toolmaker son, Matty, and Nick Gibbs, his editor at Good Woodworking.
Although not intended as a how-to book, the book also offers plenty of specific insights into the tools and techniques Brown used, often revealing details not covered in Brown’s own authoritative text, Welsh Stick Chairs. Filled with both touching personal anecdotes and down-to-earth workshop wisdom, this is an inspiring tribute to one of the 20th century’s most accomplished chairmakers.
Hardcover, 8 1/2" × 11", 185 pages, 2020.