Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sample Blog Post

Okay, so I used Laura's discussion with me about Japanese tansu cabinets as a starting place. I googled "tansu construction" and found a site that mentioned David Jackson. (Just googling "tansu" will mostly bring up just stores selling tansu-type furniture.) Well, David Jackson was one of the instructors I TA'd for back in 1993-94 when I was in grad school. I wasn't sure it was the same David Jackson, so then I googled his name. It is the same guy--he is a tansu restorer now.
And he has written a book about tansu. A bit more looking showed me that we will have to find the book to really learn much about the joinery and other technical aspects of tansu-making. I looked in the King library to see if we have the book. There are two copies, one stolen, the other possibly not stolen! And since I accidentally searched by keyword rather than title, I also found a video, which we can maybe watch: Kyoto Joinery.

This is a screen-shot I took of the library search. Click on it to see it bigger.
So, then I went back to searching under my original search, "tansu construction." I found lots of stores selling tansu, then an article in Popular Woodworking magazine about how to make a tansu cabinet. Their picture, though, looked like an Americanized version of tansu, less elegant, more like a hybrid of a tansu and some American cabinet. Not interesting.
I think finding the library book and then going from there, would be wise.
Another search I did, while thinking about Martin Puryear, was "Sierra Leone traditional woodworking." Because I've heard so much about Martin Puryear's having learnt a lot of his woodworking skills while in the Peace Corps there. Well, I found nothing except for a strange YouTube video about Sierra Leone craftsmen making furniture with crude tools and no electricity. At any rate, what I want the class to know is, it's probably going to be wise to use your web searching as a means to "find cool stuff", and then you will want to check out books on that cool stuff to get any real information, or to see a proper body of any artist's work.

1 comment:

Squerl said...

Wow! How great that you TA'ed for this incredible craftsman! It would be fun to learn how to do the Japanese style joins. That is, if they are not so hard that only experts can do them. I love the character that having the join show on the surface gives to the pieces. All this wood work is very exciting to me. I love well made art, furniture, homes etc. of wood.