Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity

Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity

by Michael Owen Jones
     
 

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Michael Owen Jones's study of chairmaking in southeastern Kentucky focuses on Chester Cornett, a rural woodworker whose craft became a release from the problems and anxieties in his life; the massiveness of the chairs provided a sense of security and stability, and the virtuosity of their design and construction engendered feelings of self-esteem. Considering other

Overview

Michael Owen Jones's study of chairmaking in southeastern Kentucky focuses on Chester Cornett, a rural woodworker whose craft became a release from the problems and anxieties in his life; the massiveness of the chairs provided a sense of security and stability, and the virtuosity of their design and construction engendered feelings of self-esteem. Considering other area craftsmen for comparison, Jones explores why people consider aesthetic qualities as well as utilitarian ones in the making of everyday objects. He also looks at the nature of the creative process and the traditions that influence it.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A charming book in the Foxfire tradition. Jones (history and folklore, UCLA) focuses on the artistic and traditional constraints in the work of one woodworker and chairmaker, Chester Cornett. Paper edition (unseen), $15. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"The story of a complex man who through his chairs tries to transcend his limitations, yet seems to be thwarted. He withdraws more and more into his craft and looks toward it as some kind of salvation. Just may change the way we look at handmade objects." — Atlanta History

"Reminds us why studying folklore makes us feel good." — Journal of American Folklore

"Jones investigates the lost tradition in the context of folklore, exploring the craft of chairmaking through the bittersweet stories of those who keep the traditions alive." — McCormick (SC) Messenger

"An outstanding work. It describes chairmaking in southeatern Kentucky as a craft in fine detail, and it fulfills its promise to answer some more fundamental questions about chairmakers themselves, their families, their friends." — Southern Folklore

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813116723
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
01/28/1989
Pages:
289
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

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