By Michael Owen Jones
Why do humans think of aesthetic features in addition to utilitarian ones within the making of daily gadgets? Why do they keep traditions? what's the nature in their artistic procedure? those are the various better questions addressed via Michael Owen Jones in his booklet on craftsmen within the Cumberland Mountains of jap Kentucky. targeting the paintings of 1 guy, woodworker and chairmaker Chester Cornett, Jones not just describes the instruments and strategies hired by means of Cornett but additionally his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep wisdom of his fabrics and a mastery of building equipment. a few of his chairs characterize no longer gadgets of software yet aesthetic advancements of the chair shape. Cornett sought to deal with the issues of his existence, Jones continues; their massiveness supplied a feeling of defense, the virtuosity in their layout and building, a sense of vanity. Jones additionally compares different zone craftsmen and their perspectives approximately their paintings.
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Additional info for Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity
The only similarity between what we had requested and what we got was that the chair crowding a comer of the room had rockers-four of them! This "strange" chair, as Chester called it, which he presented to us as ours, is made of solid oak with black walnut decorative trim at the top. The heads of its walnut pegs are carved in a pattern of ridges and grooves (fig. 38). It has eight legs and four rockers. Because it has twice as many legs and rockers as usual it is a "two-in-one" chair. Five panels forming the back and sides create a strong feeling of enclosure.
The owner of a laundry in Hazard purchasd a rocking chair resembling some of the other kinds of chairs that Chester made about 1961. Of sassafras, this chair is 42 inches high (fig. 35). The rockers are 34 inches long and Pis inches thick. The seat is 17 inches deep; it tapers from a width of 22 inches in front to 17 THE CHAIRMAKING BUSINESS 41 inches in back. The arms are 2114 inches wide, % inch thick, and 18~ inches long. The rounds or stretchers are 4 inches apart. Because it has five slats, Chester called this a medium-back rocker.
Whether Chester added the rockers first and the arms second or vice versa did not really matter. To assemble the arms, he had to shape the top of each front leg into a tenon, using a special bit (fig. 24), measure to establish the length of the armrest, drill a hole on the underneath side of the armrest to fit onto the top of the front post, and drive the piece into the back post with a hickory maul (fig. 25). In later years Chester used pegs prolifically. Most dining chairs and many settin' chairs he made in the mid-1960s have at least forty pegs.
Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity by Michael Owen Jones