Drew Langsner is an adventurer. A few years after earning his M.A. in painting and sculpture, he and his wife, Louise, embarked on an exploration of Asia Minor, the Balkans, and much of central and northern Europe. Don’t picture them eating at sidewalk cafes and lounging at posh hotels. Much of their 1971-1972 journey was by motorcycle through remote areas as they set out to discover, first-hand, alternative modes of living. Drew and Louise compiled their experiences in a book titled Handmade (Harmony Books, 1974), which includes everything from roofing to recipes. Here is an excerpt describing one of the places they stayed along the way, near the Aegean Sea:
We lived up a crumbling stone staircase in a single room, formerly a kitchen, some 8 by 10 feet in dimension. On the ground floor were four rooms used for storage and animal shelters. We had one window, without glass, but fitted with board shutters. The fireplace was such that it would not heat even our small room. (This was the coldest winter in more than 30 years.) Our bed was straw. The roofing was tile, mortared over bamboo-lathing strips — aesthetic, and leaky. An early task was repairing the many drafts. There was no privy.
How’s that for an adventure?! Drew and Louise returned to the United States to begin a homestead in the mountains of North Carolina and started the incredibly influential handcraft school known as Country Workshops, welcoming folks from all over to their homestead for over 40 years. All along the way, Drew continued to travel, write, carve, hew, sail, farm, teach, build, parent, and much more.
Drew’s mind is always open to discovery. His latest adventure involves chairs, but from an entirely new perspective. Drew tells the story of how he began making these sculptures from chair parts here. At the end of this month, there will be a pop-up exhibition of Drew’s sculptures, entitled This is Not a Chair. It will be at the studio of Drew’s friend Jim Dillon at 2895 Washington St., Avondale Estates, Georgia (just east of Atlanta). The days and hours are:
Friday, Sep 30. 5 – 8 PM
Saturday, Oct 1. 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday, Oct 2. 11 AM – 5 PM
If you can’t make it to Georgia, a Zoom or other video view of the exhibition may be available later. For more information, you can email Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also explore more of his art adventures at his website.
Thanks for the info! I found a copy of “Handmade” online for <$10. It promises to be a good read……
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I love the book, Bob. Full of wonderful photographs and unexpected treats. Like you’re on the journey with Drew and Louise.
An informative and interesting post!