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

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, Sep 1 1988
CDN$ 126.38 CDN$ 73.74

There is a newer edition of this item:

The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker's Reflections
CDN$ 49.17
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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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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: 29.5 x 2.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #871,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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: 4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wood workers will enjoy & appreciate July 7 2016
By Tony - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Expressed very well , learned of more than was expected. Wood workers will enjoy & appreciate.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 3 2016
By L. Maskovsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully illustrated book by an artist with a beautiful soul!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 17 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
more than met my expectations
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Lived With Wood Jan. 9 2013
By WoodProfessor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A genuine rock star of 20th century American Art Furniture, George Nakashima (1905-1990) is often identified with his large scale, live edge slab tables, often joined and reinforced with his signature butterfly key inserts, but his work and genius extend well beyond that form. In 1933, after earning a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Washington, a Master's degree in Architecture from M.I.T. and subsequently working for several years in New York, Nakashima bought a round-the-world tramp ship ticket and headed east. He variously traveled, lived, and worked in France, North Africa, China, Japan and India (where he made his first furniture pieces) and points in-between. He returned to America in 1940, and set up a furniture workshop in Seattle, Washington. Although born in the U.S., as a Japanese-American Nakashima and his family were interned during the Second World War at Camp Minidoka in Hunt, Idaho. There he mastered Japanese hand tools and joinery while serving as apprentice to a fellow internee who was a traditionally trained master Japanese carpenter. After his release the family settled in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where Nakashima lived and worked until his death. His home, studio and workshop were listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2008. His daughter, Mira Nakashima, continues to produce her father's as well as her own furniture designs in New Hope. [...]
This book serves both as Nakashima's autobiography and a personal exploration of his philosophy and artistic aesthetic. It is also a treasure trove of woodworking knowledge and insight. I have always found it quietly inspirational, on both the human and the artistic levels.
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.