So this weekend, by happy chance did I rediscover a book I’d purchased several years ago, The Artisan of Ipswich–Craftsmanship and Community in Colonial New England by Robert Tarule. Rob is a scholar, teacher, artisan, and in many ways The Godfather of the Interpretive Artisans Department at Plimoth Plantation. We owe so much to Rob, who was–and continues to be–groundbreaking in his study and teaching of history, English traditions, and what it is to be a contemporary artisan practicing traditional methods.
The Artisan of Ipswich is a gem of a book, with a 17th century artisan’s life fleshed out using extrapolated town records and regional English origins. As a longtime traditional carpenter and joiner, Rob brings much of his own expertise and insight to bear. And though the topic would at first appear to be localized and trade-specific, Rob does a fantastic job of getting to the heart of the larger 17th century world-view so foreign to our own. Practitioners of traditional woodworking will appreciate the well-researched detail on everything from wood and timber management in England and New England, to the specifics of construction of a 17th century joined chest. The work and social dynamic of a joiner’s daily life in colonial New England has never been rendered quite like this before. It’s worth a read.
For information on purchasing The Artisan of Ipswich, here’s a link:
And speaking of Father’s Day gifts, Peter Follansbee and Jennie Alexander’s latest book, Make a Joint Stool From a Tree: An Introduction to 17th-century Joinery is also available through our museum’s online catalogue:
You know about Peter Follansbee: The excellence continues…
On our way back from laying out a log to hew, this little fellow crossed our path the other morning.
Random Alex quote #31:
“I mean, we don’t KNOW that it’s not historically accurate to make a hole in a hard boiled egg and blow off the shell.”