WoodCentral's Book Reviews
With Wakened Hands

With Wakened Hands
by James Krenov
Introduction by Ellis Walentine

Cambium Press, Bethel, CT, 2000
Hardcover, 136 pp, $39.95
ISBN: 1-892836-07-6
Paperback, 136 pp, $29.95
ISBN: 1-892836-06-8

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    Few woodworking books become classics before they reach bookstore shelves, but With Wakened Hands, the latest (and probably last) offering from woodworking icon James Krenov, is certain to be one of them.
    If you're looking for a lush compendium of creative and inspiring craftsmanship, look no further. This new book is resplendent with gorgeous photographs taken by former Krenov student Seth Janofsky, whose own superb work appears among the hundreds of photos of creative tours de force by Krenov and many of the students who have passed through the portals of his fine woodworking program at the College of the Redwoods in Ft. Bragg, CA over the past 25 years.
    Woven through this stunning gallery of work is Krenov's account of the unique philosophy of craftsmanship he has tirelessly propounded since his first books appeared in the late '70s. His lyrical narration knits wonderfully with the photographs to illuminate the sensibilities and methodology of his furnituremaking process, as both he and his students have come to understand them.
    Krenov hopes With Wakened Hands will help to educate the furniture-buying public about the worth of such meticulously executed furniture, so that future generations of woodworkers will be encouraged to pursue the high-craft tradition that he has done so much to foster. Whether such work can ever become a lucrative profession is anybody's guess, but this book is sure to inspire craftsmen and furniture aficionados alike.

...Ellis Walentine