Archive for April, 2012


Wendell Castle rocker

We all stand on someone’s shoulders don’t we? We like to say we are creative but I suspect that in the strict sense of the word we merely re-create; we work with latent images and impressions from other times and places and from the psyche. My own woodworking life were mostly influenced by two men whose names hardly ever appear in woodworking magazines any more namely Wendell Castle (USA) and John Makepeace (GB). Baby Boomers (yours truly included) were in constant revolt against any straight lines in design and the two above mentioned gentlemen provided a constant stream of organic shapes in furniture design.

James Krenov

Then came along Jim. In the woodworking world of today, few if any, have not yet felt the influence of James (Jim) Krenov. Even here in a workshop in South Africa his name comes up ever so often. His books were enormously influential and although many of his designs have gentle curves it more or less represents the very thing we as young furniture makers rebelled against. The wheels turn slowly but man, they turn.

Author's own Krenov inspired music stand

Paulo setting out - pure Krenov








Jim caught many of us by surprise when he carved out door pulls with a pocket knife type of tool-thing. It was so rudimentary, so basic, earthy, and when you rolled around the idea for long enough you eventually capitulated and agreed that this was exactly those elements that modern man missed. Contrast this with a CNC machine!  

Here is the beginnings of a Krenov cabinet and as I said in the beginning we don’t create so much as we re-create or create-after.

We’ll keep an eye on this one.