September 17, 2009

James Krenov RIP


James Krenov died a week ago yesterday. His Cabinetmaker's Notebook, sort of a Zen and the Art of Cabinet Making, was a book that really hit home with us when we first read it, and still to this day, it provides inspiration and clarity.

Around originality there is no doubt a law of diminishing returns; nowadays there has to be. Though maybe we are drowning not so much in the original as in the imitation, in just things. For many of us originality is a pressure; we are being pushed around by people wanting something new, different. Then there's the other pressure of doing the new without borrowing too much from the old, or at least without getting caught at it. Students are forever running to libraries to get various books - on peasant art, Scandinavian modern, Shaker, Colonial, Indian - one this and one that. They fill their heads with all these images, and then frantically try to come up with something of their own. As though you put these ingredients in a kettle, add water, stir, and cook for two hours. What do you get? Pottage. Pea soup.

There's a nice rundown of his life over at Fine Woodworking (here).

Cabinetmaker's Notebook at

Read More in: Books | Tool News

Share this Article with others: social bookmarking

Related Articles:

Came straight to this page? Visit Tool Snob for all the latest news.

Posted by Doug Mahoney at September 17, 2009 5:11 AM
Recent Comments

Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please enter the letter "z" in the field below:
Please press Post only once. Submission of comments takes up to 20 seconds because of Spam Filtering.

Join the Mailing List Newsletter
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz
Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Recent Reviews
Recent Comments
Steve: I have this light and have used it a lot. read more
Rob: Nail guns with gas cartridges have always seemed to work read more
toolsnob: yes, yes, yes. Thanks, I'd blame it on autocorrect, but read more
SteveR: Nice article. I think you meant "subtlety", however. read more
Grant: Check out our Centerfire Blade that won. I believe it read more
Site Navigation

Visit our other properties at!


This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
All items Copyright © 1999-2015 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy