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The Soul Of A Tree: A Master Woodworkers Reflections Paperback – Sep 1 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International; Reprint edition (Sept. 1 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870119036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870119033
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 2.5 x 30 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review


"An impressive book that effectively conveys the textural qualities and sensitivity of this master craftsman's use of wood" -The New York Times


"Today's increasing reverence for nature, truth, simplicity and the independent spirit makes the life, work and philosophy of George Nakashima especially meaningful."-Town & Country


"From [Nakashima's] tables and chairs flows the unadorned beauty of the rhythms of nature."-Smithsonian


"George Nakashima, the foremost master of the craft."-Time


About the Author

Nakashima is a Kodansha International author.

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Eventually, I studied architecture at the University of Washington. Read the first page
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 30 1999
Format: Paperback
George Nakashima was not only a master craftsman in his field, he was a genius. He could pick up any piece of wood and at a glance know what the end product would be to its full potential...and more.He would let the wood tell him. Even his simplest of projects 'sing' beauty and finesse. I bought the book for insperation to my own woodworking skills, and learnt much more than i expected. Included in the book is a short biography telling us of his early life, his travelings and how he ended up the man he became, his family, lifestyle, work and good natured beliefs. It certainly gave me insperation towards beautiful woodwork and i like to think I learnt a few lessons in life as well. If i was to me this man and only shake his hand I would feel honoured.......
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carlo Muttoni on Aug. 27 2001
Format: Paperback
The author omit needless wood and carve great pieces of furniture. It is like zen on wood. You will not regret the money you spent on this title.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous and inspiring book Nov. 26 2005
By Dennis Mitton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Like the books of James Krenov, "The Soul of a Tree" is as much a book about philosophy as it is about wood. And it's a good philosophy: slow down, take your time, play with the wood, and enjoy it. The book is really about the soul of Nakashima. He outlines some of his own personal history and how he developed his ideas about craft. There's not really much on technique here - you can certainly find better books for that - but you won't find many more inspiring.

On a personal note I had a lady call me years ago to fix up `some old furniture' she and her husband had bought years ago (in the `50's I believe.) Seems when they were young college professors they found this young oriental guy down the road who made furniture in his garage. When I looked at the furniture I told her that her young oriental friend had become quite famous and showed her this book. She was flabbergasted. What she wanted me to do was to nail up some chairs that had worked loose over time. I refused, of course, and explained to her that these were valuable pieces that should be cared for properly. I also encouraged her to contact Nakashima's Conoid Studio (if it still existed) to let them catalogue the pieces. Even after years of use by a family with kids living in the sticks the pieces were obviously crafted with meticulous care and held up surprisingly well. It was a real joy to bring them back to daily use.
78 of 91 people found the following review helpful
This man never wasted a single second of his life Oct. 30 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
George Nakashima was not only a master craftsman in his field, he was a genius. He could pick up any piece of wood and at a glance know what the end product would be to its full potential...and more.He would let the wood tell him. Even his simplest of projects 'sing' beauty and finesse. I bought the book for insperation to my own woodworking skills, and learnt much more than i expected. Included in the book is a short biography telling us of his early life, his travelings and how he ended up the man he became, his family, lifestyle, work and good natured beliefs. It certainly gave me insperation towards beautiful woodwork and i like to think I learnt a few lessons in life as well. If i was to me this man and only shake his hand I would feel honoured.......
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A woodworking classic June 10 2008
By Everett G. Hurst - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nakashima, a woodworker in the classic sense. Only wanted the tree to live on longer by working with and creating with it. This book is a great example of the love one can have for both nature and woodwork.
Any woodworker should have this book not on the shelf, but closer, to the workspace at all times.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great overview of his life and work! Feb. 24 2009
By Charles S. Holzheimer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book, written by George Nakashima himself, is great overview of a great career and a wonderful talent. As a woodworker, I was drooling at all of the beautiful pieces GN has produced. I was also very envious of the opportunity he had to work with some of the most beautiful materials ever seen. Just to have access to some of the Black Walnut shown in the book would probably be the pinnacle of most woodworkers' careers.
Nakashima's work was at its height in the late 60's and 70's and the works reflect that. It appears a little dated but wonderful nonetheless.
I thought the first half of the book was especially enlightening. It is a short biography of Nakashima's early years and shows how these experiences directly influenced his works. When I first saw the book I thought that this part might be a little boring but I was pleasantly suprised that it was engaging and light in tone.
My style and Nakashima's style are different, as is to be expected. However, learning from and about the masters in woodworking is part of becoming a better woodworker yourself. This book was a balanced overview of GN's life and work and one I highly recommend for anyone wanting to learn more about one of the masters as well as to prompt ideas and concepts inside of you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Tree Hugger Aug. 8 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! What a phenominal book!!

I think this book (or at least the Introduction) should be required reading for every woodworker, professional or amateur. "There are trees... which in their single lives have spanned the entire history of civilized man. We woodworkers have the audacity to shape timber from these noble trees." When I read this, I knew that George Nakashima had indeed touched (and been touched by) the Soul of a Tree.


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