Thursday, September 10, 2009
James Krenov, be well
I have just caught word that yesterday James (Jim) Krenov has passed on, or as he would say, joined the cosmos. Jim has been a role model in craft and in life. My thoughts go to his family, his friends, and students around the world.
His works are not well known widely but are held dear to a relative few of us. Though I have only relatively recently found his works myself, I am very glad I did and the time was right. His first book A Cabinetmaker's Notebook is perhaps the most influential woodworking book published and has little to do with woodworking specifics. I finished it quickly eager for the next.
Though Jim is better known for his cabinets, this writing desk is one of my favorite pieces. It seemed quiet yet somehow profound to me. Made of Italian Walnut, I believe, holding his slide was the first time I saw it in color. It was Jim's work and his words that lead me to Inside Passage to study with a long time friend and student of Jim's, Robert Van Norman. We were lucky enough to hear Jim's voice over the phone just about every week sharing his experience and passion, along with some laughs.
Through his work, his writing, and teaching James has striven for integrity, fine workmanship, persistence (perhaps stubbornly), patience, humanity, and perhaps above all living "richly".
It is hard for me to explain but all of Jim's works are there for me in the whisper of my plane. It's there for his students, for Robert and his students, my classmates, my friends. Remember from time to time to slow down, and listen.
Thank you Jim and be well.