From Plato to Carnegie

A brief history of industrial specialization “All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.” (Plato, late 5th century B.C.) This will establish Plato as the […]

Up the creek

Only wood does the job I found myself, a bit surprisingly, walking down the street in the morning with a canoe paddle in my hand. Fortunately, it was a well-made paddle, with a good balance so that I could easily and lightly carry it, blade to the back and grip pointing forward. It teetered there […]

Few ‘favourite things’ except for … Walnut

I am sometimes asked what my favourite wood is, because it’s known that I know something about wood, and that I’ve worked with it. It always strikes me as a kind of silly question, like what my favourite colour is, or favourite food is, or favourite music is. I don’t like to answer that kind […]

Natural form

The evolving nature of design It is often said that form follows function, but it rarely does — at least not that simply. Form follows many other things: convenience, efficiency, geometry, propriety, habit, whimsy and, predominantly among many others, it follows fashion. The forms we give to those things we make must be agreeable to […]