I know I am going to get flack for this, but I cannot help myself.
Last week we received two copies of a cool new book in the mail , “500 Cabinets: A Showcase of Design & Craftsmanship” (Lark). The book is (though I didn’t count the cabinets) a collection of 500 designs from woodworkers all over the world.
Most of the cabinets are contemporary, and almost all of them are fun to look at. All the staff members here have been paging through these books since they arrived. I really like these books because you get to see a wide range of work, and it’s usually beautifully presented.
But there is something about these books (and some contemporary furniture in general) that makes me giggle: Why do some woodworkers insist on giving their pieces of furniture artsy and unscrutable names?
When I opened the book, the first cabinet I saw was on page 147. It’s a cool piece of work. Well-proportioned. I want to know more about how the maker achieved the surface texture. But here’s what he named the cabinet: “Naked Came the Weekend.”
I was drinking some coffee at the time and I started laughing so hard that I didn’t know if the brown water was going to come out my nose or my pants.
Here’s another: “Misery is the River . . . Cabinet.”
Here’s the scene in my head. My wife and I are in the bathroom one morning and she says: “Honey could you reach over the commode and get me toilet paper from the Misery is the River (pregnant pause) Cabinet?”
Or: “Ceci N’est Pas une Boite a Tiroirs” (This is Not a Box With Drawers). Note to self: Add French for another layer of artistic shellac.
“Leap and the Net Will Appear.”
To be fair, most of the cabinets in the book have names that are more along the lines of “Teak Sideboard” or “Chiffonier.”
But the funny arty-named ones keep me turning the pages.
So here’s the contest: You can win a copy of the book “500 Cabinets” simply by submitting your own artistic and pompous title for a piece of furniture. Submit it by leaving a comment below (be sure to include your e-mail so we can contact you , e-mails addresses are never published, by the way).
The deadline is noon EST, Aug. 6, 2010.
– Christopher Schwarz
Our Best Furniture Books
– “Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems of Wood & Light” by David Mathias. We just received our advance copies of this book and all I can say is wow, wow and wow. It’s available for pre-order in our store now. I’ll be blogging more about this book when I return from North Carolina.
– “Building 18th-century American Furniture” by Glen D. Huey. Glen sits two cubicles away from me, and even though I talk to the guy every day, I am still in awe of the work he does. This book is a collection of his best pieces.
– “Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” by Robert W. Lang. Bob also works with me here at the magazine, and I am pleased to announce that we now carry his books in our store. Before I knew Bob, I knew his books. His whole series of Arts & Crafts books is excellent.