A REVOLUTION IN WOOD: THE BRESLER COLLECTION AN EXHIBIT CATALOG, edited by Nicholas Bell, of 66 turned and carved wood objects donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery by artists Fleur and Charles Bresler.
It features illustrations and photos of completed pieces by David Ellsworth, Ron Fleming, Michael Holzapfel, William Hunter, Mark and Melvin Lindquist, Hugh McCay, Edward Moulthrop and Rude Osolnik that reveal the advent of new techniques such as multi-axis turning and the incorporation of secondary materials. The book also examines the history of contemporary wood art through a series of personal essays written by Bell, Renwick's curator. These passages contain insight on the rapid growth of the medium since the 1970s and express how the studio craft movement has shaped the current field. The 193-page hardcover sells for $45. Contact: Smithsonian Books. Tel: 202-633-2495. www.smithsonianbooks.com
WOODWORKER'S GUIDE TO HAND PLANES, by Scott Wynn, is a meaty text on how to choose, maintain and use all major styles of hand planes, including Western and Japanese varieties. The author's woodworking and tool expertise is clearly evident and with more than 200 photos and 300 beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, readers will easily comprehend his instruction. Also included are plans and instructions for a bench, shooting boards and a full set of Western and Japanese-style planes. Wynn is an instructor at the Woodworker Academy in Alameda, Calif., where he has taught for nearly 15 years. The 318-page softcover sells for $35. Contact: Fox Chapel Publishing. Tel: 800-457-9112. www.foxchapelpublishing.com
MAKING WOODEN CHESS SETS, by Jim Kape, offers instruction on the scroll saw for making chess pieces, boards and storage boxes. The book includes 15 patterns, some inspired by the cities of Paris, San Francisco and Venice. From classical to modern, these chess sets will be cherished for years to come for their heirloom quality and high level of craftsmanship. An introductory chapter familiarizes readers with using a scroll saw and explains how to make compound cuts. The following chapters discuss how to begin making the classic chess set, complete with full step-by-step instructions and photos. There's also a chapter on the history of chess and a section that provides the rules of the game. The author's use of exotic woods and interesting designs are sure to inspire woodworkers, chess players and scroll-saw enthusiasts alike. The 128-page softcover sells for $19.95. Contact: Fox Chapel Publishing. Tel: 800-457-9112. www.foxchapelpublishing.com
This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue.