By Michael Owen Jones
Why do humans think about aesthetic traits in addition to utilitarian ones within the making of daily gadgets? Why do they keep traditions? what's the nature in their inventive method? those are a few of the higher questions addressed by means of Michael Owen Jones in his ebook on craftsmen within the Cumberland Mountains of jap Kentucky. focusing on the paintings of 1 guy, woodworker and chairmaker Chester Cornett, Jones not just describes the instruments and strategies hired through Cornett but additionally his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep wisdom of his fabrics and a mastery of building tools. a few of his chairs symbolize no longer gadgets of application yet aesthetic advancements of the chair shape. Cornett sought to deal with the issues of his existence, Jones keeps; their massiveness supplied a feeling of protection, the virtuosity in their layout and development, a sense of vanity. Jones additionally compares different region craftsmen and their perspectives approximately their paintings.
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Extra resources for Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity
At the time I met him in August 1965, Chester was not using a turning lathe. All other chairmakers I later met or heard about depended on a lathe to turn the rounds and posts of a chair. The lathe was usually an electric one, either bought new or used or else built from salvaged materials. The first chairs Chester made as a youth had square posts. He whittled the rounds with a knife. Later he turned posts and rounds on a handmade, footpowered lathe similar to one he had operated for his grandfather as a teenager in the 1920s.
The stobs were 3 inches high by 1V4 inches square and were set into the log about 6 inches deep; the two front pegs were about 6 inches apart and about 7 inches from the third stob. The two wedges were triangular in shape, about 8 inches long, 2V4 inches thick, and 1l1z inches in width, tapering to 3;4 inch. At the time I met him in August 1965, Chester was not using a turning lathe. All other chairmakers I later met or heard about depended on a lathe to turn the rounds and posts of a chair. The lathe was usually an electric one, either bought new or used or else built from salvaged materials.
The overall height is 47 inches, with the front posts 37 inches tall and the seat 28 inches from the floor. The owner of the tavern who has this chair has or had other chairs by Chester. One has cross-hatching on the front legs. Another chair, which he had sold, was "one of my most interestin' chairs," said Chester, who mentioned it several times. It has square rather than eight-sided posts, very wide slats, and diamond-shaped pegs. " I was able to obtain for the Indiana University Museum of 40 Craftsman of the Cumberlands 35 Sassafras rocking chair is one of four made by Chester about 1961.