The woodworking bucket list part 2

Keeping with the Popular Woodworking connection on this topic, I have the bucket list selection of yet another editor for the magazine.

Once again I visit the bucket list. This time I’m going to leave you guessing for a bit. The bookcase pictured in this post is the “dream” project of one of the Popular Woodworking Magazine editors. The easiest thing to do would be to tell you who it is but I want to see if anyone is really out there reading this post. Post your guesses and later this week I’ll reveal the editor who dreams of building this bookcase. All I can say is this person has underplayed the complexity of this project. They actually thought I’d think the project was lame. What’s cooler than a bookcase from the Victoria and Albert Museum that was made in 1695 (it is my period after all…look at those ball feet!)?

I’m also going to reveal one of my bucket list pieces in this post. Most people think that cabinetmakers who build period furniture tend to dream of building Philadelphia Highboys or Newport blockfront chests/desks or even a Boston Bombe chest (see Glen Huey’s bucket list piece). While that is true in most cases, and for quite some time that was the case with me, my dream pieces have shifted a little of late. Not because those pieces aren’t a challenge for me still. I mean, if one climbs Everest it doesn’t get considerably easier the second or third time round, does it? Although I’ve built several Philadelphia highboys and a handful of Bombe chests, they would still present enough challenge to keep my interest but I’m looking for new thrills. Yep, I’ve said it. I’m a thrill seeker. Unfortunately, in a half nerdy kind of way I seek my thrills through woodworking instead of something seriously challenging…well, like climbing Everest. Let’s face it, the world at large would basically yawn at the thought of making a piece of furniture as being the zenith of a person’s life. But here I am, 30 plus years after beginning this journey and I’m going to say that one of my ultimate thrills would be to build a piece of furniture or sculpture in the style of Wharton Esherick. If you’re unsure who he is, google him or better yet go visit the museum. At some point in the near future I’ll do an extended post on him because he’s seriously under exposed. The man was out there. He was way ahead of his time and an inspiration to some of the modern woodworking gods. For now, this little picture will have to suffice as an example of some of his work.

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5 thoughts on “The woodworking bucket list part 2

  1. Gotta be Schwarz. I think he actually discussed that piece on his blog? At any rate, yes, I’m out here reading this.

  2. My first instinct when I saw the bookcase was to say Megan since she is obviously obsessed with books. If you see her blog posts or talk to her it is very obvious that she could be lusting after such a bookcase.

    However, after you revealed that it is a piece in the Victoria and Albert museum, I am going to have to go with Chris Schwarz. He recently visited this museum and had a chance to lust after this bookcase in person. Plus, if you examine the pieces that Chris tends to build (other than the workbenches) it is clear that he has a thing for divided light doors. Finally, it is no small secret that Chris is quite the book-whore himself.

    Interesting choice in Wharton Esherick. I have definitely heard the name and seen a few of his pieces, but I can’t say I am as familiar with his work as I am with most of the Queen Anne and Chippendale style pieces. I am looking forward to your future post on him.

    We’re still out here reading your posts Chuck. Keep ’em coming. (Like I can talk with the pathetic upkeep of my own blog).


  3. I agree that Wharton Esherick is underappreciated. I visited the museum the summer of 2009 along with my sister, She was an art major in college, taught for 25 years, and a life long PA resident and had never heard of him. To say the least, she was impressed. My introduction was the hammer handle chairs, but his furniture is so much more complex. And his control of interior space rivals of surpasses that of F. L. Wright. I would love to see you do something monumental (my bucket list would be the enclosed desk), but even his simple things showed great aesthetic pre Krenov or Maloof.. Look forward to a future Esherick post

  4. It’s gotta be the Schwarz with the Victoria and Albert reference. I can see him liking this since he seems to have a penchant for glass doors and mullions. The carving on the waist is intense.

    I’m a big fan of Esherick too, although I don’t know whether I am allowed to say that since I haven’t been to the museum yet. Maybe this weekend.

  5. Chuck,

    I too vote for Schwarz. It would be a carvers challenge, or my nightmare, although I think it is beautiful.

    I would love to build a variation of this into a library cabinet for my library.

    Charlie Mullins

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