The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making

The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making

by David Esterly

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

“A beautiful, intricate meditation on creativity and discovery, on fire and rebirth.” —Elizabeth Gilbert

Awestruck at the sight of a Grinling Gibbons carving in a London church, David Esterly chose to dedicate his life to woodcarving—its physical rhythms, intricate beauty, and intellectual demands. Forty years later, he is the foremost practitioner of Gibbons’s forgotten technique, which revolutionized ornamental sculpture in the late 1600s with its spectacular cascades of flowers, fruits, and foliage.

After a disastrous fire at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, Esterly was asked to replace the Gibbons masterpiece destroyed by the flames. It turned out to be the most challenging year in Esterly’s life, forcing him to question his abilities and delve deeply into what it means to make a thing well. Written with a philosopher’s intellect and a poet’s grace, The Lost Carving explores the connection between creativity and physical work and illuminates the passionate pursuit of a vocation that unites head and hand and heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143124412
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 571,574
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Esterly is the author of Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving and curated the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition on Gibbons in 1998. He has been a professional limewood carver since the 1970s and has been profiled in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Financial Times. He has written for many magazines, including The Times Literary Supplement and House & Garden. He lives in upstate New York.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A big moment for the obscure world of wood carving.”—The Wall Street Journal

The Lost Carving is a book about the rewards of hard work and learning to appreciate one’s limits. It’s also an exploration of the ways in which great art can enrich our lives in the most tangible ways. This is a serious, beautiful book.”—The Boston Globe

“Profoundly satisfying. Gorgeous. The Lost Carving is a book about making, not just thinking.”—Star Tribune

“Profound and wondrous. Pulled off with such fluidity. Rich in thought and lovely in style. Esterly is that uncommon thing, a visual artist who can coax as much beauty from words as he can from his primary medium. Breathtaking.”—Salon.com

"A meditation on such universal issues as artisanship, creativity, and experimentation."—Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine

“[Esterly] is in love with the physicality of his art, the flowing together of hand and brain, of chisel and creativity.”—The Economist
 
“As intricate as his carvings, Esterly has shaped a story that captures the effort and uncertainty that lies behind the creation of art and beauty.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“[T]he lushness of Esterly’s language, his passion for creation, his reverence for the physical act of work…. [He] approaches life much the way he approaches his beloved wood: with reverence, passion, and respect, but also with a sense of delight.”—Philly.com
 
The Lost Carving is beautifully written and hauntingly evocative, a graceful meditation on art and craft…and the ties that bind us to the past.”—Maclean’s (Canada)

 

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