Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 8/30/98

A Book Review: by John F. Knott III

Title: The Rustic Furniture Companion -
Traditions, Techniques and Inspirations

Author: Daniel Mack

Published by: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN: 0937274976

Daniel Mack loves wood. Not the pristine dimensioned stuff from the lumber yard or mill, but wood in it's natural state. The forests, hedges, thickets, slash cuttings, and any shorline where driftwood returns to terra firma, are homes for his inspirations. Daniel also loves the forgotten and cast-off, the discarded pallet or shipping crate. These are all the media for his mind's pallette, and in his book, The Rustic Furniture Companion, he shares with us the beauty that is rustic wood, turned into furniture or art.

The book first takes us back to the humble beginnings, of what is now an art form, to a time when rustic furniture was the only amenities in a primitive environment. Daniel helps us see what is hidden in nature, and how it can provide us with tools and comforts for our lives. The journey through rustic history is beautifully illustrated with color and black andwhite photographs, as well as many lithograph reproductions, and detailed drawings of rustic furniture projects.

In this book we see many fine examples of rustic works by the author and his modern day comtemporaries, and the artisians of the past such as Gustav Stickley, J.J.Thomas, Charles Sumner, and others. The examples will take the reader back to a time when life was simpler and relaxation was not such a hard won commodity, allotted only moments in a cramped schedule.

The Rustic Furniture Companion gives insight to the hows and whys of rustic furniture and it's construction, with many projects complete with lists of  tools, materials, and techniques to be used. The examples and instructions are well thought out and easily understood by seasoned woodworker and novice alike. For anyone looking for that inner peace and feeling of satisfaction which comes from creating something seen in the mind's eye, The Rustic Furniture Companion might just be the answer.

I enjoyed this book, and I'm fairly certain anyone who appreciates the beauty and art that is in natural forms will also......now I've got to go back out to my woods.....I think that old lightening struck cedar tree has a bedside table in it, maybe a front porch settee, too !

 John Knott III

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge. Thank You!

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