Wood Art Today 2 - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

An inspiring survey of the works of 89 wood artists


Wood Art Today 2

Wood Art Today 2 is a follow up to 'Wood Art Today', published in 2003, also by Schiffer Books. This most recent incarnation presents a survey of the work of 89 wood artists- primarily carvers, turners, and sculptors, with a smattering of furniture makers.
The book presents work that was undertaken during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Each contributor is allocated two to five pages of photos and an 'artist's statement', with each contributor presented alphabetically in the book. In most cases, the name of the town and country in which the contributor is located, and their web site or email address, is listed (though not consistently).
I particularly enjoyed reading the contributors statements; it's the closest you can come to understanding what motivates each person and how they view their work. And the variety of work (over 300 photos) is most inspiring. I'm constantly amazed at how ingenious woodworkers in every medium are. I ended up visiting the web sites of quite a few of the contributors to see other examples of their work.
The index to the book contains a short list of galleries (perhaps those that participated in the selection of contributors to the book), a list of wood art shows, furniture societies, and schools and universities with woodworking programs.
Unfortunately, the editor doesn't give any indication of how the contributors were selected, or whether they represent established or emerging artists. I would have liked to know a bit about the selection process. The book certainly isn't 'international' in scope, as the majority of contributors are from the United States. I was also surprised that the editor didn't provide any context for the work in the book - no reflection, for example, on what changes have taken place in the craft since the last survey of wood art was undertaken in 2003. In effect, the editor has left anything that needs to be said to the contributors.
If I have any issues with this book it's with the varying quality of photos. Only a few appear to be taken by professional photographers; most seem to be taken by the contributors themselves. I wondered if they were given any guidance by the editor; it would seem not. Many of the photos are much too dark; in general many of the pieces made of darker woods are shown against dark backgrounds, which makes me all the more difficult to see clearly, particularly when the photos are small. More full page photos would have been appreciated; especially in a 'coffee table' style book like this one.
Still, if you love woodworking in any of its many forms, this is certainly a book that belongs on your bookshelf.

John Jordan 'Rosewood Vessel'
Mark Del Guidice 'Never the Same Again'


  • Introduction
  • The Artists and Their Works
  • Resources
  • Index
PUBLISHER:Schiffer Books
AVAILABLE FROM:Your local bookseller or online
FORMAT:Hardcover, 256 pages
AUTHOR:Jeffrey B. Snyder       

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