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Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Present Presentation

I received The Book Of Plates today; one of the new titles from Lost Art Press.  The word 'plate' in the title refers to the original copper engravings used to create the images some two centuries ago.  I believe LAP went retro and included the copper because this thing is HEAVY!

The Book of Plates is a compilation of all the engraved images from Andre Roubo's master work, To Make As Perfectly As Possible.  The plates are reproduced in this tome at full size.  And incredibly high resolution.  I have to take it on faith that the graphics are as close to the 250 year old originals as possible, but the leap of faith is not far at all.

I don't know anything about the nuts and bolts of printing.  When Chris Schwarz starts talking about shiny paper weights, I start to hear the grown-ups from Peanuts-- Wah-wah-wah.  All the publishing technical information boils down to this book is large, heavy, and the paper is awesome.

This is the kind of book that as a kid you had to endure the scowls of librarians if you had the temerity to ask for it.  The Audubon book with all the paintings of birds comes to mind as an example from my childhood.   I know some librarians, and they make the judgmental scowl an art form.  Just kidding.

This is not any kind of 'review' since in essence this is a picture book for two other reference volumes; one of which is not even published yet (by LAP).  This is however, a testament to the worth of this title as a stand alone work.  The book is built to be used often in conjunction with the text, as stated in the forward by Christopher Schwarz.  I have spent a couple hours staring at plates, even making a few notes to myself.  In that two hours I only made it to plate 37.  I also have to say that plate 36 is quite simply elegant art.

Merry Christmas everyone!  I'm enjoying my early present.

P.S.  I'm not one to jump on the lovefest bandwagon that woodworking pros seem to ride.  If something sucks, I'll let you know.  Here is a review I wrote about Chisel, Mallet, Plane, and Saw which is sold, but not published, by Lost Art Press.  I'm told, by one person so far, that it was a very unflattering and negative review.  I didn't feel that way writing it, but the reader should make up their own mind.  This rambling postscript is really me just trying to say that the above is my honest opinion and in no way did I get a break on the hundred dollar (US) price tag.

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