Craftsman of the Cumberlands : Tradition and Creativity
Why do people consider aesthetic qualities as well as utilitarian ones in the making of everyday objects? Why do they maintain traditions? What is the nature of their creative process? These are some of the larger questions addressed by Michael Owen Jones in his book on craftsmen in the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Kentucky. Concentrating on the work of one man, woodworker and chairmaker Chester Cornett, Jones not only describes the tools and techniques employed by Cornett but also his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep knowledge of his materials and a mastery of construction methods. Some of his chairs represent not objects of utility but aesthetic developments of the chair form. Cornett sought to cope with the problems of his life, Jones maintains; their massiveness provided a sense of security, the virtuosity of their design and construction, a feeling of self-esteem. Jones also compares other area craftsmen and their views about their work.
- Paperback | 304 pages
- 152 x 229 x 20.57mm | 417.3g
- 14 Feb 2003
- The University Press of Kentucky
- Lexington, United States
- photos, illus
The story of a complex man who through his chairs tries to transcend his limitations, yet seems to be thwarted. As a result 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
About Michael Owen Jones
Michael Owen Jones is professor of history and folklore and director of the Center for Comparative Folklore and Mythology at the University of California, Los Angeles.