Thursday, November 5, 2015

What Wood is That? A Book Review

Today's blog post was contributed by our very own Mollie Ann, from RoughMagicCreations. Mollie is our resident book reviewer and  member of the Jetteam. Mollie is quite busy with all of her shops on Etsy. She and her husband Joe operate these unique and creative shops. RoughMagicals and RoughMagicHolidays and MirandaMercantile. And if that's not enough, Joe has two shops of his own on Etsy, ProsperosBookshelf and FeedbackTheatrebooks. A busy couple are these two!!


Here is Mollie's latest review on a great book.
On the premise that jewelry designers, and other artisans as well, are people who are usually interested in other art forms, for today's review I've chosen WHAT WOOD IS THAT? Subtitled "A Manual of Wood Identification,"  This 160 page book by Herbert L. Edlin is a delight for woodworkers, craftsmen, furniture restorers and DIY carpenters of every variety imaginable.

This is a terrific reference for everyone interested in discovering what kind of wood they are looking at. With its authentic wood chips and the detailed descriptions, I call this a treasure for anyone interested in learning about and/or working with wood.

The first section of this book comprises a multi-page foldout panel with samples of 40 different woods ranging literally "from A to Z" -- Afrormosia to Zebrawood. The second section is an interesting and informative guidebook to wood identification, with 79 black and white photos and illustrative drawings.
Following a brief Introduction, Part I "The Wood from the Trees," presents a concise history of mankind's uses in two chapters: "Man Masters Timber" and "From Forest to Fireside." Part II, of special interest to artisans, concerns "Wood Identification," provides clues to a wood's identity in formation and structure, and explores 14 "Keys for Naming Timbers." 

In some ways, these keys are not so very different from the criteria used in identifying gemstones: general and secondary colors, grain, hardness, weight and country of origin.
Other identifiers include rings, pores, rays, smell, bark and leaf shape.The properties of the 40 varieties of wood included in the actual samples are presented in outline form, along with well written text.

While this book is intended for beginners, the author does not "talk down" to his readers, a refreshing approach often missing in other guides for novice craftsmen and artists.

First published in 1969 in Great Britain, my copy of WHAT WOOD IS THAT? is a handsome brown hardcover manual with an attractive dust jacket. With various dust jacket designs, it is available online from several sellers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 
I also found a copy listed on Etsy:


Unknown said...

LOVE this book review! What a great find - thanks for sharing!!

jemsbyjb said...

Thanks Mollie. I enjoyed reading this. Cool book.

SendingLoveGallery said...

very cool info, thanks Mollie!

Beadsme said...

Very interesting. Thanks Mollie.

LoveStoneArts said...

Love it!! Wish I had it in my little collection of reference guides.