Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity by Michael Owen Jones

By Michael Owen Jones

Why do humans contemplate aesthetic characteristics in addition to utilitarian ones within the making of daily gadgets? Why do they keep traditions? what's the nature in their artistic method? those are a few of the greater questions addressed through 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 methods hired via Cornett but in addition his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep wisdom of his fabrics and a mastery of building equipment. a few of his chairs symbolize now not items of application 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 safety, the virtuosity in their layout and building, a sense of vainness. Jones additionally compares different quarter craftsmen and their perspectives approximately their paintings.

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Extra resources for Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity

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And what were the effects of industrialization, migration, and other social processes on chairmaking? Art historians had written extensively about the styles of epochs and great masters. They tended to identify periods of THE CHAIRMAKING BUSINESS 47 development, postulating origins in earlier trends and conditions. Could I do the same with chairs? In sum, I could have studied traditional chairmaking in southeastern Kentucky as a diffusible entity and source of information about historical conditions and processes, as an element of culture and index of sociocultural processes, or as an aesthetic phenomenon.

Later he trimmed the slats at the drawing horse, cooked" them in hot water to make them pliable (fig. 15), put them in a press to dry, and finally dressed them with a drawing knife at the shaving horse once again. After he hewed out pieces for the posts, Chester measured them with his hands and thumbs to mark off the holes for slats 1/ 18 Craftsman of the Cumberlands and rounds. Next he shaved them roughly with a drawing knife. The post in figure 8 is white oak, destined for the back leg of a settin' chair.

Nevertheless, pricing seemed a dominant concern. The brief article in the Louisville Courier-Journal mentions the family's dependence on Chester's $50 monthly check for "an injury suffered in World War II" and dwells on the amount of effort and time to make a big rocking chair, "which takes a month to complete" and for which Chester asked $70. "Visitors to his workshop near Dwarf, in Eastern Kentucky, usually offer much less and frequently leave empty-handed when Cornett refuses to drop his price.

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