Hello, I’m the new editor for Popular Woodworking Books. It’s a New Year and I have a new job and you have a new person to reach out to with questions about the books we create. So, howdy.
You might want to know a little about me. I’m a writer and editor. I’m a husband and a dad. I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd. I’m a martial artist. And I’m a guy who likes things that are well made whether it’s a chest of drawers or a craft beer (here’s a link to a cool book I recently edited in my former role as editor for HOW and PRINT Books). That’s what interested me about woodworking: the passion that woodworkers have for creating something good—the discerning eye and the craftsmanship that goes into it.
To me woodworking is an example of a “way.” Regardless of medium, the calling to be an artisan is something to be respected. The medium offers a path for study, interpretation and self-expression. The thoughtful consideration, attention to detail and artistic nature that such a craft demands translates to other areas of life as well. You can always tell when someone cares about what they do.
As for me, I’m a writer first and foremost in this journey. My goal is to help the experts that Popular Woodworking seeks out as authors or contributors communicate their techniques and methodologies in ways that make sense – pure and simple. I’m not here to show off, boast or use unnecessary words. For the most part, I like things simple and unadorned. I’m here to help woodworkers who have something to say do so in the best way and that’s pretty much it. The spotlight should be on them.
I’m not a woodworking expert – as I said, my craft is and has always been writing. As a hobbyist, I have a couple of saws and a router in my basement. I’ve done weekend warrior projects here and there – mostly consisting of home improvement projects, toys for my kids, and the occasional refurbishing of some piece of found or inherited furniture. As for precision and detail work, well, lets just say I’ve been known to do my rough cuts with my bare hands (I’m a martial artist, remember?). I consider myself a student. I’m learning from the expert craftsmen who are authoring these books and designing these workpieces as much as (or more than) you.
I’m already in the process of working on a wide range of woodworking books as I write this. A.J. Hamler’s “Build It With Dad” (April 2015) is really speaking my language right now – as a father of two, I’m excited by the thought of creating the kinds of safe, fun and kid-accessible woodworking projects that A.J. offers. Alan Lacer’s “Woodturning Projects & Techniques” (May 2015) is an in depth look at the absolute artistry that is woodturning and I can’t help wishing I simply “owned” some of the beautiful projects the author showcases – how much more treasured would they be if you turned them yourself? Michael Crow’s “Making Mid-Century Modern Furniture” (June 2015) is a fascinating look at period furniture that combines a nice history of mid-century modern furniture styles, an understanding of artistic and architectural influences, a couple of step-by-step projects, as well as measured drawings for more than 25 pieces from designers such as Finn Juhl, George Nakashima and Hans Wegner. And there’s so much more I’ll get to dig into as we continue to look ahead and add more to the pipeline.
And it’s in this spirit of discovery that I introduce myself – no matter your experience level, there’s always more to learn and explore. I’m excited to work with some fantastic woodworkers and learn more about this craft. How about you?