The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty

The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty

The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty

Author(s): Soetsu Yanagi

Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd.

ISBN: 0870119486

ISBN-13: 978-0870119484

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty

Paperback 230 pages
Revised edition
February 1990

This book challenges the conventional ideas of art and beauty. What is the value of things made by an anonymous craftsman working in a set tradition for a lifetime? What is the value of handwork? Why should even the roughly lacquered rice bowl of a Japanese farmer be thought beautiful? The late Soetsu Yanagi was the first to fully explore the traditional Japanese appreciation for “objects born, not made.”

Mr. Yanagi sees folk art as a manifestation of the essential world from which art, philosophy, and religion arise and in which the barriers between them disappear. The implications of the author’s ideas are both far-reaching and practical.

Soetsu Yanagi is often mentioned in books on Japanese art, but this is the first translation in any Western language of a selection of his major writings. The late Bernard Leach, renowned British potter and friend of Mr. Yanagi for fifty years, has clearly transmitted the insights of one of Japan’s most important thinkers. The seventy-six plates illustrate objects that underscore the universality of his concepts. The author’s profound view of the creative process and his plea for a new artistic freedom within tradition are especially timely now when the importance of craft and the handmade object is being rediscovered.

Thatching – A Handbook

Author(s): Nicholas Hall


Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

A good descriptive ‘how to’ with excellent drawings, covers problems solving, tools needed and more. A good thatch roof can last 50 or more years, but the art of making them is becoming a “lost” art.

See how thatching is actually done to help you decide on this method of roofing. Many illustrations, 47 pages, b & w.

The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens

Cover, The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens

Author(s): Daniel Wing & Alan Scott

ISBN: 1890132055
Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens

This book has over 65 pages of complete building and construction detail. The balance of the book is about masonry stove bread baking, with recipes, stories, and more. The Stove building section has many drawings, descriptions, instructions on materials, tools, techniques, problems, fixes and more, on masonry ovens.

Photos show indoor and out door ovens, old style and new, and a masonry oven with or without a bread baking area, can be designed and built using this book. 253 pages, 12 color and 60 b&w photos, illustrations, bread recipes, commercial baking information. #4001…$35.00

This is a new book with the MOST information on how to actually build a masonry stove/oven.

Way of Working – The Spiritual Dimension of Craft

Way of Working - The Spiritual Dimension of CraftAuthor(s): D.M. Dooling

Publisher: Parabola Books

ISBN: 0930407016

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

A Way of Working – The Spiritual Dimension of Craft

2nd edition

In this enriching collection of eleven interrelated essays, A Way of Working explores the ancient relationship of art, order, and craft. Craft is considered as a “sort of ark” for the transmission of real knowledge about being, and about our deep creative aspirations. The book includes contributions from D. M. Dooling, Joseph Cary, Paul Jordan-Smith, Michael Donner, Harry Remde, Jean Kinkead Martine, Jean Sulzberger, Chanit Roston, and P. L. Travers. This group of authors write not as individuals but as members of a community — a guild effort. As one chapter heading put it: the alchemy of craft.

The Art of Japanese Joinery

The Art of Japanese JoineryAuthor(s): Kiyosi Seike

Publisher: Weatherhill

ISBN: 0834815168

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

Reprint Edition Paperback

This lively introduction to Japanese joinery not only delves lovingly into the unique history and development of Japanese carpentry, but also reveals many secrets of Japanese joinery. Presenting 48 joints, selected from among the several hundred known and used today, this visually exciting book will please anyone who has ever been moved by the sheer beauty of wood.

With the clear isometric projections complementing the 64 pages of stunning photographs, even the weekend carpenter can duplicate these bequests from the traditional Japanese carpenter, which can be applied to projects as large as the buildings for which most of them were originally devised or to projects as small as a sewing box.

The Lesson of Japanese Architecture

The Lesson of Japanese ArchitectureAuthor(s): Jiro Harada

Publisher: Dover Pubns

ISBN: 0486247783

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

Published in 1954 (1st ed. 1936), the book contains articles introducing Japanese Architecture, along with black-and-white photographs of Japanese buildings and establishments, of which many were sadly destroyed during the Second World War. It’s concise and non-technical; anyone with an interest in Japanese architecture is strongly recommended to read this book. Although it was published more than half a century ago, one could not help but be struck by the fact that the Japanese architectural principles are still as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. (Of course, the history of Japanese architecture traces back to many centuries…)

Standard Handbook of Fastening and Joining

Cover, Standard Handbook of Fastening and Joining Author(s): Robert O. Parmley (Editor)

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Book Company

ISBN: 0070485895

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

Hardcover – 992 pages
3rd edition
January 1997

Booknews, Inc., 09/01/89
The second edition of this useful resource contains approximately 50 percent new or revised material. Included are six new sections dealing with: expansion joints, concrete fastening, injected metal assembly, sheet metal assembly, retaining compounds, and rope splicing and tying. Pertinent information on new advances and developments has been incorporated throughout the book wherever relevant.

Tools of the Trade: The Art and Craft of Carpentry

Cover, Tools of the Trade: The Art and Craft of CarpentryAuthor(s): Jeff Taylor, Rich Iwasaki

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 0811812731

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

Hardcover, 176 pages
Publication date: November 1996

How-To Editor’s Recommended Book, 02/01/97:
Let me be very clear about this: GET THIS BOOK. You may have an interest in hand tools and carpentry, or you may not. But this is a lovingly written book by a gifted storyteller and wit, and a damn entertaining read! It is about interacting with tools, but it is also the author’s memoir of delightful characters he has known: teachers, mentors, and personal heroes. Much more than a how-to book, it is about a love for humanity, good humor, and creativity. It reads like a novel–and a good one!

In the bestselling tradition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, these refreshing essays from master carpenter Jeff Taylor illuminate the spiritual aspects of working with hand tools. This is an elegant and engaging book for anyone who enjoys building, fixing, and working with hand tools. 25 full-color photos.

The author, Jeff Taylor , 07/07/96:
If you’ve ever picked up an old plane and felt that it knew more than you did, you know the author’s question: Did that inanimate object just speak to me? Twenty years as a working carpenter have convinced him that he barely scratched the surface of the mysteries of tools. They seem to have a life of their own, little secrets they can pass along if you listen hard. There are 26 essays in this book, each highlighting a different tool, illustrated by the photographs of Rich Iwasaki.

Customer Comments

from Clarks Summit, PA , 11/23/97, rating=10:
Wonderful essays! Tools are almost a metaphor for the users. Who would have thought that anyone could write more than a scant paragraph about a hammer? Jeff Taylor not only wrote an entire chapter, but made it so intriguing that I read every word (often out loud to whoever was in the room), and turned eagerly to the next chapter and tool. I gave it to my husband when I reluctantly finished; he ordered three more for gifts. Yes, it’s a book about tools, but it is also a book about teachers, not only of the craft of carpentry, but of the more difficult art of coping with the foibles of human nature. Taylor’s prose leaps from resounding metaphor to the language of the street in an engagingly warm and humorous fashion as he introduces his readers to each tool and all the mysteries and wonders they hold. Mundane objects like Yankee drills and framing squares take on personality when seen through the author’s eyes (and through the incredible glamor of the book’s photography). Glamour? Hand tools? Yes! Only halfway through the book, I conceived a powerful craving for a rosewood level — and I am not a carpenter. Not only are we made privy to the secrets of each tool, but also to the secrets of the myriad characters who instructed him in his craft. And these teachers are definitely characters, masterfully sketched.Crusty, perhaps, sometimes even shifty. But they knew their trade, and after a lifetime of working with their hands, they knew fifty tricks with a hammer and other things the home dabbler has never dreamt of. They knew their tools. So does Jeff Taylor — now. Even if you’ve never held a hammer in your life, you’ll appreciate this book. It’s a great read, and a must for the woodworkers among your acquaintance for Christmas. Buy several, because you’ll keep loaning yours out, and it won’t come back.

A reader, 01/05/97, rating=10:
Funny, thoughtful essays that happen to be about carpentry. I’m a woman and I don’t build ANYTHING, but I bought this for my boyfriend and ended up reading it all the way through. Jeff Taylor is a marvelous person and it’s great fun to spend time with him as he discusses the joy of building things. It’s sort of Zen and the Art of Carpentry.

Fine Homebuilding on Exterior Finishing : Siding, Roofs, Decks and Porches

Publisher: Taunton Press

ISBN: 1561580538

Order From:
(links will open in a new window)

Fine Homebuilding on Exterior Finishing : Siding, Roofs, Decks and Porches

Color photos, diagrams.
128 pages

Twenty-five articles from Fine Homebuilding magazine cover nearly every exterior project or problem, from siding, painting and flashing to gutter replacement, deck building and stair construction.