Issue 9 T.O.C. – “A Path to Serenity: Sheltering At the Bench with the Korean Masters” – David Lane


This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Nine. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Nine is open now through August 28th.

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Artist unknown. Wardrobe chest, 20th century. Persimmon, pear and paulownia with nickel fittings and oil finish. 66 3⁄4 x 37 x 16 1⁄2 Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Gift of the Edward Reynolds Wright Collection, 1987.22.16a-c

 

A Path to Serenity: Sheltering At the Bench with the Korean Masters” – David Lane

 

We are living in unique times, with the specter of global pandemic changing the way that many of us view life and casting new light on the everyday things that are often taken for granted. But trying times are nothing new within the march of human history. As woodworkers, we’ve often found solace at the bench. 

Artist unknown. Wedding Box (Ham). Late 19th Century. Pine, white brass fittings, natural lacquer finish. 17 1⁄2 x 28 x 14 in. Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Gift of the Edward Reynolds Wright Collection. 89.7.5

Author and woodworker David Lane explores these topics thoughtfully from within a deep understanding of traditional Korean furniture making. Drawing from his extensive research in this tradition and his work in museum settings, Lane seeks to reproduce a centuries-old Korean Wedding Chest while contemplating the philosophy that compelled the original maker.

 From considering the close relationship and reverence that was nurtured for the trees themselves, and the deep-seated desire of “never trying to dominate nature but striving to integrate with it,” to the mindset of “the unknown craftsman” – the tradition of leaving works unsigned and unattributed since personal recognition was anathema to the concept of an object “created by nature with borrowed human hands,” this article will inspire reflection and inspiration for your time working at the bench in today’s troubled world.

 

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