“Country Woodcraft” — Back and Even Better

I’ve mentioned my debt to Drew Langsner before, but yesterday I was reminded of it again. Lost Art Press announced that “Country Woodcraft: Then and Now” is at the printer and ready for pre-publication ordering.

Drew’s books and tool sales were invaluable to me in the 90s as I explored traditional woodworking. There was a fascinating world within the brown cover of his 1978 book “Country Woodcraft” and Drew and Louise were really living it. From Louse’s baskets to a carved hauling yoke to bowls and spoons, I found wood, and the working of it, honored. As Drew wrote in the introduction, “Through the fusion of myself and the wood, an object is born that is useful and beautiful — a joy to make, to see, and to use.”

Drawing of Drew hewing a bowl based on a photo from the book.

Drew’s knowledge and enthusiasm is celebrated by Bill Coperthwaite in his forward to the book:

Pouncing is a rather uncommon way to refer to a human being — but Drew Langsner pounces. Whenever a new technique of using wood comes within his range, he pounces on it with all his eager nature. Then he tumbles it over in his hands and brain, appearing much like a raccoon with a new-found morsel…Fortunately he writes so well that we can share the fruits of his experience.

Bill Coperthwaite, May 1977

I loved the unusual landscape orientation of the pages, tons of clear illustrations, and lovely black-and-white photos. Drew’s writing is encouraging and engaging. He teaches the fundamentals of making things from trees while guiding the reader through many techniques and projects. There are still many in there that are on my list, like the Swiss milking stool.

Drew has updated and greatly expanded the new version, especially in the sections on spoons and bowls. You can read all about that and many more details, including the table of contents, at Lost Art Press.

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15 Responses to “Country Woodcraft” — Back and Even Better

  1. Jefferson Melby says:

    Ordered immediately! Thanks for alerting us to this. Very much looking forward to this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Shue says:

    My first edition is always within reach!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Drew Knowland says:

    Thank you for letting me know about this, Dave. I wasn’t aware a new, updated version was being published. I’ve already placed my order.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jed Dillard says:

    Thanks for the notice! I followed Drew as well My plan was to take one of his classes after I retired, but he retired first.

    We went to their place when we were in Asheville. Grateful it was daylight and the sun was shining. Didn’t need it to be any harder to find !

    On Sat, Sep 26, 2020, 10:31 AM David Fisher, Carving Explorations wrote:

    > Dave Fisher posted: ” I’ve mentioned my debt to Drew Langsner before, but > yesterday I was reminded of it again. Lost Art Press announced that > “Country Woodcraft: Then and Now” is at the printer and ready for > pre-publication ordering. Drew’s books and tool sales were i” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barry Gordon says:

    Thanks, Dave, for alerting us. I now (will) have all three editions. Years ago I found an article by, or about, Drew’s art critic father in an old copy of Craft Horizons and sent it to Drew. We might have traded for something. Another time we were traveling close to Drew and Louise in North Carolina and had an invitation to visit but didn’t-a loss to us for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Barry Gordon says:

    The first edition was published by Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Emmaus was my wife Barb’s hometown and I got to visit the Rodale Press facility at least once. They were developing applications for pedal power and were kind enough to set up one of their units with a chuck that would accept my 5/8″ diameter carving burr. I had the fantasy of replacing my electrically-powered die grinder with one of the pedal machines. After just a few minutes of experimenting it was clear that my fantasy was exactly that!
    COUNTRY WOODCRAFT was one of the core books I recommended to students in my workshop classes. The small image of a group of spoons on page 240 provided inspiration for a long time, long ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Well, it was worth a try, Barry. I’ll bet the difference in RPMs was pretty dramatic. But had you stuck with it, imagine what legs you’d have!
      And regarding page 240, it is indeed stunning how much can be gleaned from one little photo.


  7. Dave Clark says:

    Thanks Dave, I just ordered it. An order now gets you a free PDF of the book as well, so I’ve had a chance to peruse that briefly. I hope everyone is aware that some of your nice work appears in the book too. It’s a great update to a classic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Thank you, Dave. Drew has been a constant encouragement in my explorations in bowl carving and designs. He especially was interested in my experiments with the “rooftop” orientations of splitting the log into 1/3 and 1/4 sections and carving into the peak. Without his push, I wouldn’t have made some of the pleasant discoveries that I did. It was a real honor to talk with Drew about some things and then to be included in the book. Hard to believe, really. That said, I haven’t seen the new version of the book in PDF or otherwise. My plan is to wait to look until the hard copy arrives, if I can hold out!


      • Dave Clark says:

        It’s not hard for me to believe, and a collaboration from which we all benefit. Good luck holding out for the hard copy. I’ll enjoy it again at more leisure when it shows up.


  8. hiscarpentry says:

    Ordered mine! I’ve been looking forward to this for sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Steven Smith says:

    Drew Langsner and His wife Louise have been such an important beacon of light in the craft world its hard to know where to begin. Got my start on carving with them…my whole family stayed there Mother in law, father in law , My mom, son, wife all loved the warm and friendly atmosphere at the Workshop. The Book (i own) which my son picked from the shelf of a used bookstore at age 10 recognized Drew on the cover is a Treasure. What a find ! What a Book ! So glad they will reprint it. David Fisher Thanks for putting this out.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Scott Kinsey says:

    My time at Country Workshops defines the word “vacation” and anyone who has ever participated knows I never worked harder! The reissue of Drew’s book is wonderful news, something in short supply during these harsh times. Now… if only a few slices of Louise’s pizza could be included!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Green Woodworking – Where it Began – Lost Art Press | WoodWorkers

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