© 2011 syd

Furniture With Soul – David Savage (Book Review)

I’ve finished reading an incredible book from David Savage called ‘Furniture with Soul’. In this book, David Savage, a renowned furniture designer from England (my teacher for one year) travel around the United States and England and take a look inside the workshops that the most exciting works are being created. With over 30 years of experience of designing and making, David has come to have an eye and taste for exceptional quality. It is this elusive ‘quality’ that he goes in search for.  

This isn’t a “how-to book” nor is it simply a “hey, look what he can do” book. No, this book isn’t just a compilation of short biographies with a few photos. It is much more valuable than that. David Savage explores inside the artist to try to understand where their creativity stems from. What inspires them? What events made them who they are? What mistakes have they learned from? The list of all-star furniture maker/designers in this book is quite exclusive. From Thomas Hucker to Judy Kensley McKie, Garry Knox Bennett to John Makepeace, these are the best of the best. Every piece in this book is eye candy, providing us with awe and jealousy all at the same time.

I love how the people in this book is a broad range of furniture makers. Most of the artists in this book create artistic and sculptural pieces, and they are all capable of creating exceptionally fine pieces of furniture, but that’s about all the similarities they share. Peter Danko, for instance, is exceptional in the way he is able to design pieces for production work. John Cederquist creates a functional painting that plays with perception. Judy Kensley McKie creates incredible furniture shaped like animals.

All in all, there isn’t a book quite like this anywhere. David Savage has done a fantastic job in bringing together these artists from around the world and sharing with us just how exciting furniture making can be. If you are a designer, a craftsman, or a furniture enthusiast, I highly recommend this book.

 

***my favorite line from the book is a quote from John Makepeace***

“I discovered that this ‘minimal’ design was more expensive to make than its appearance suggested. It looked like an industrial product even though it was largely handmade, confirming my suspicion that I had either to find more economical methods of production where price was critical, or create objects totally free from that association.”

Many people are either too afraid or not creative enough for the second choice. They tend to think more along the lines of cutting costs. How can we make it cheaper is the question?. But instead, it should be how can we create a product of great value?

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm | #

    Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

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