The Forgotten Crafts – A Practical Guide to Traditional Skills

The Forgotten CraftsA Practical Guide to Traditional Skills

By: John Seymour

Dorling Kindersley Ltd. – 1980

In this beautiful book John Seymour celebrates traditional crafts in the best possible way – by showing and describing in fascinating detail just how they were done, and by encouraging us to keep them alive.  Filled with old photographs and lovely drawings, this is a fun book to have on the shelf.  John Seymour lived on a farm and worked hard to recreate life as it was so his writings are based on his experiences.  The subjects covered range widely from woodland crafts to workshop crafts and household crafts.  Something for everyone!

Timber Frame Construction

Timber Frame ConstructionAll About Post and Beam Building

By Jack Sobon and Roger Schroeder

Garden Way Publishing – 1984

Jack and Roger created a book which introduces the practice of timber framing in simple terms so the novice can attempt a small building using the techniques described in this well written and drawing filled volume.  “With all the basics learned, you’re ready for work.  And it’s here that the authors help you as no other book will.  They construct with you a 12 x 16 foot garden tool shed and tell you how to change that size or that purpose.  Not surprising, the authors guide you first in building a stone foundation, then carefully tell how to prepare every timber for this building.”

The Old Way of Seeing

The Old Way of Seeing – How Architecture Lost its Magic (and How to Get it Back)

By Jonathan Hale

A Richard Todd Book – Houghton Mifflin Co.  -  1994

“This fresh and provocative book answers a question that countless people have asked about our man-made world:  how did things get so ugly?  We have all admired the natural grace of old buildings and wondered why today it seems so hard to create their equal.  We live in a time when only a gifted and dedicated team of designers can build something approaching the beauty that 18th century carpenters could do all by themselves.  What went wrong?”  According to Hale, it was around 1830 that builders and architects began to lose their sense of surety.  He explores the social pressures that turned buildings from expressions of the human spirit and nature into structures burdened with symbols.  An excellent thought provoking book that reads well.  Hale does an excellent job of explaining The Golden Section and how it provides perfect proportions used in all art forms – especially architecture.