Handcrafting Wood and Metal

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    HANDCRAFTIN WOOD AND METAL

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    HANDCRAFTIN WOOD AND METAL5^ Handbook oftraining in theirpracticaCVMrfamfa Teachers. Studienis.& Go/ismm.BY JOHN HOOPER./oft Securerand{Instructor to die jandon G0wti[ Gnwaf

    . JointAutfwr ofM>dan CaSmtWor^

    & ALFRED J.SHIRLEYuctor andlgctureronMtfaC

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    TT5 7

    PREFACEIN preparing this work the authors have endeavoured to show the possi-bilities of craftwork as an educational subject, and to briefly indicate itscultural aspects.

    One of the prejudices against handcraft or so-called " manual work "has been that it had more value from a physical than an educational orcultural standpoint, with the result that "handcraft" in schools has toofrequently been classed as "carpentry".

    The authors think that lessons based upon the historical phases ofcraftwork, particularly in the development of types of construction infurniture and metalwork, and the growth of tools from prehistoric times,together with the study of simple applied art as displayed in historicwork, will do much to increase the value of handcraft in schools.

    Whilst the work has been prepared primarily for the teacher, theaim has been to render treatment of the subject such as to make thework of value and interest to the craftsman, and a useful guide for thepupil or student. As an aid to class teachers in helping on a technical sidein central schools, they hope it will find a place among the books pertainingto craft and general education.

    It is hoped further that the work will be regarded as a collection ofsuggestions and data, rather than an attempt to produce a series of models.The authors believe that at least one aspect of handcraft has beenalmost entirely neglected in the past, i.e. the artistic side ; and, whilst notclaiming any special merit for the design of the models dealt with, theyhave endeavoured to embody some artistic merit in the designs, and havetabooed the meaningless joints and collection of joints which have only alimited mechanical value.

    In the early stages, accuracy whilst being encouraged should

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    vi PREFACE.not be too strictly insisted upon. It is a phase which should progressproportionately to the skill of the pupil.

    The general impression in the past has been that any attempt at" freehand " curves or decoration in models necessarily means neglect ofthe mechanical side, but this does not follow according to the authorsexperience, and they would deplore the acceptance of this idea.

    The main feature of handcraft work after the early stages is individualeffort on the part of the pupil, which adds to the interest and value ofthe subject as a whole.

    Much has been said upon "correlation" in handcraft. In well-directed handcraft " correlation " is inevitable. Thinking and doing mustperforce be linked together, and when this is done in the class or craft-room it must work toward a better general education.

    In elementary handcraft the tendency has always been to departfrom traditional methods of construction and processes, but in the authors'opinion even the simplest models can be based upon traditional lines,and whether the object of the teacher be vocation or education, dueregard to tradition and right methods is essential.

    JOHN HOOPERA. J. SHIRLEYLONDON,

    June, 1913.

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    NOTEMANY,of the models and lessons treated in the following pages have beendesigned and prepared in connection with the authors' duties at the L.C.C.Shoreditch Technical Institute : and they desire to express their thanksto the Principal, Mr. S. Hicks, for permission to reproduce these examples.To Mr. P. A. Wells they wish to extend their gratitude for much kindlyhelp and criticism, also to Mr. A. Rowan of the Handcraft Teachers' De-partment for assistance in the preparation and revision of MSS. and proofsfor the press. Messrs. Nurse & Co. kindly lent the illustration of a grind-stone on page 201. Mr. Balfour of the Oxford University Museum hasmost courteously given permission to illustrate some of the prehistoric tools.Many of the examples of decorative craftwork reproduced in the book aredue to the excellent facilities afforded by the authorities of the Victoriaand Albert Museum, South Kensington, the source of these examplesbeing noted in the text. In conclusion, the authors desire to place onrecord their appreciation of their publisher's ungrudging help and con-sideration during the progress of the work, which materially smoothedits path to the press.

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    CONTENTSTITLE PAGE, AUTHORS' NOTE, AND PREFACE ..'... i-vtt

    I. HISTORICAL NOTES ON WOOD AND METAL iII. FIRST YEAR MODELS (WOODWORK) 10

    III. SECOND 19IV. THIRD ....... 31V. SPECIAL MODELS (WOOD) FOR EVENING STUDENTS AND OTHERS 45VI. FIRST YEAR MODELS (METALWORK) ....... 57

    VII. SECOND . . '. ..... 72VIII. THIRD 85IX. SPECIAL MODELS (METAL) FOR EVENING STUDENTS ANDOTHERS 95X. HISTORIC CRAFTWORK AND ITS APPLICATION TO CLASSWORK 109XI. MATERIAL USED IN HANDCRAFT WORK 115XII. DRAWING, DESIGN, LETTERING, ETC. . 135XIII. DECORATIVE PROCESSES IN WOOD AND METAL WORK . . 143XIV. TOOLS : THEIR EARLY FORMS AND HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT 162XV. SUPPLEMENTARY PROCESSES AND DATA FOR OBJECT LESSONS 172XVI. BUILDINGS, EQUIPMENT, AND TOOLS FOR TECHNICAL ANDHANDCRAFT CENTRES 187

    XVII. THEORY OF CUTTING ACTIONS OF TOOLS 222INDEX TO TEXT AND ILLUSTRATIONS 231

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    HANDCRAFTCHAPTER I

    HISTORICAL NOTES ON CRAFTWORKNOTE. The illustrations are numbered consecutively through each chapter, and

    the numbering of each chapter is independent of the rest. The pagesof collected illustrations have one figure number, the separate diagramsbeing described as number one onwards on each page. Thus references toillustrations are as follows (e.g.) Ch. xiv, f. 12 (8). Diagrams on thefigure under discussion are simply referred to by their own numbers on theillustrations thus (6).

    I. WOOD." I do not think that any man but one of the highest genius could do anything

    in those days without much study of ancient art, and even he would be muchhindered if he lacked it." WILLIAM MORRIS.

    THE purpose of this chapter is to indicate the extreme antiquity of generalcraftwork, the very beginning of which can fairly be stated to have commencedwhen prehistoric man fashioned his primitive weapons and implements fordefence, attack, and sustenance.A study of prehistoric examples of craftsmanship in the various nationalmuseums will show their manipulative and artistic skill advanced to a consider-able degree. Progress in decoration and manipulation proceeded simultaneously,as is evident from existing examples of their production. The Palaeolithic orEarly Stone Age dates back roughly some 7000 years according to authoritieson this subject, although with them the dates of periods can only be conjectured.Following this Age or period are the Copper, Bronze, and Iron Ages, so namedbecause of the materials chiefly employed during these periods. Although thegeneral growth of constructive and decorative craftwork did not proceed simul-taneously in all countries, authorities agree that stone preceded the use of metalin practically every part of the world, including all parts of Europe, Egypt, China,Japan, and America, the growth of prehistoric work in each of those countrieshaving definite national characteristics, and worthy of close study by students of

    I

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    HANDCRAFT. [CHAP.modern handcraft. Space forbids more than a very rapid survey of this aspectof our subject.The artistic treatment of animal forms during the Early Stone Age is shown inFig. 1, an engraved bone or mammoth ivory from Trou des Forges, Bruniquel,France, of exceptional artistic interest. It belongs to the Palaeolithic Age and is nowin the British Museum. Flint and bone appear to have been the chief mediaemployed, but it should be remembered that the perishable nature of wood hasnaturally acted against the preservation of objects fashioned from this material.

    During the Neolithic or later Stone Age we find more instances of wood-working. Actual examples preserved in collections show that wood was used tosome extent for handles of flint knives and axes, generally as a supplementarymaterial to the common use of flint. The Bronze Age marks the introduction ofa new material and an increased degree of workmanship and artistic skill, due insome measure to the

    use of a more sympa-thetic material, havingless limitations than thepreceding media.An interestingfeature of this age isthe number of bronzecelts, which wereattached or " hafted "to wooden handles orhafts, and secured byEnding with thongs.At the end of thisperiod gold is intro-FIG. i.-Examples of animal forms in prehistoric art. duced as ft material(

    fine examples of this work being exhibited in the gold room of the BritishMuseum. Canoes and the lake dwellings of the Swiss also point to an extendeduse of timber. The Iron Age is especially rich in artistic examples, especiallyof metal decorated with highly coloured enamels.The first historical records on which reliance can be safely placed arethose of Ancient Egypt, and they provide a fertile source of study. Oneof the earliest specimens of Egyptian art in wood is that illustrated inFig. 2, a wood statue of the so-called Shekh el Beled, found in a tombat Sakkara. Prof. Flinders Petrie, in his " Art and Crafts of AncientEgypt," says, "the eyes are excellent in form, but affected by the technicaldetail of inserting the eyeball of stone and crystal in a copper frame,"thus indicating an amount of technical skill combined with artistic apprecia-tion, though the latter is not in accordance with modern ideas. Prof. FlindersPetrie also states that the original figure was covered with a coat of

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    CHAP. I.] HISTORICAL NOTES ON CRAFTWORK.coloured stucco. Of ancient Egyptian 'furniture there are numerous examples inthe British Museum, including workmen's stools, vase stands, a folding stool, anda seat of ebony inlaid with ivory. These display remarkable artistic merit, andshow due appreciation of the important factor in modern handcraft, viz. fitnessfor a given purpose. Technically also these examples are interesting, showingmortise and tenon joints, evidences ofthe use of glue, and turned work, indi-cating no small degree of manipulativeskill in this branch of handcraft. Twoexamples are illustrated in Fig. 3.Ebony, acacia, cedar, and sycamorewoods were all employed, whilst ivoryobtained from the hippopotamus andelephant was utilized for inlaying.Mummy cases, chairs with side arms,caskets, and beds were executed inwood and decorated with inlaying, carv-ing, and painted or stucco decoration.In Greek literature we find consider-able evidences of craftwork. Homer's41 Odyssey " is especially rich in refer-ences, some of which are quoted inlater parts of this book. Craftworkwas regarded as of importance, as isevident from the following quotationfrom Book XXIII of the " Odyssey ".Odysseus describing the bride bed toPenelope : " Next I sheared off all thelight wood of the long leaved olive, andrough hewed the trunk upwards fromthe root, and smoothed it round withthe adze, well and skilfully, and madestraight the line thereto and so fashionedit into the bedpost. And I bored itall with the auger. Beginning at thisheadpost, I wrought at the bedsteaduntil I had finished it, and made it fairwith inlaid work of gold, and of silverand of ivory." The Bible also < affordsus numerous evidences of woodworking, the description of the building of KingSolomon's temple being noteworthy, as is also the description of his throne.The ark, according to James Napier in his "Manufacturing Arts in AncientTimes," took twenty-five thousand loads of timber in its construction, and the

    FIG. 2. One of the earliest examples ofsculpture in wood.

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    4 HANDCRAFT. [CHAP. i.instructions to Noah, "make thee an ark of gopher wood,'' etc., indicates thematerial employed. In Eastern countries, notably India, craftwork is possessedalso of ancient traditions ; fine carvings, inlay, and other decoration applied towood and metal have been for centuries produced in abundance. Omittingprehistoric work in England, and much work produced by the Romans here, craft-work in wood and metal does not appear to have made much headway until thesixteenth century, although previous to that date some noteworthy work in stone,chiefly ecclesiastical, had been produced. Wood and metalwork developedalmost simultaneously, most early pieces of British craftwork exhibiting a com-bination of these materials, characterized by crude craftsmanship and of butlittle artistic merit. Gothic work is the exception, and following that period theEnglish Renaissance, beginning in the reign of Henry VII, saw English woodworkdeveloped through the rich periods of Elizabeth, James, and Cromwell to theearly Georgian era which began with William and Mary and Queen Anne.(These and successive periods cannot be better studied than by personalobservation in our museums, or from the numerous excellent treatises de-voted to historic English furniture and decorative objects.) Great architects suchas Inigo Jones, Sir Christopher Wren, the Brothers Adam, and designer-craftsmenincluding Grinling Gibbons, Sheraton, Chippendale, and Heppelwhite each con-tributed to the general development of artistic woodwork in England, and nearlyall of them have left writings and drawings of their own, which can be studiedin our national libraries and museums.

    II. METALS AND METAL-WORKING.While history has always a sentimental value, it has also an indirect, and at the

    same time through tradition a very direct, bearing on workshop practice. It isbesides very interesting, and no apology is necessary for its introduction here.The study of the development of metal-working, and of the many apparentlydivergent points of view, adds interest to the story of the origin of manyprocesses common to the jeweller and the decorative metal-worker. Onlypractical workers in each craft can properly appreciate the wide gap that separatesthem, but many operations are common to all branches dealing with metal.Filing, drilling, turning, hammering, the use of chisels and punches, etc., areas essential to the jeweller as to the decorative or architectural metal-worker, tothe watchmaker as to the shipbuilder. A student capable of performing theseoperations efficiently and so possessing that proficiency which places him in theclass of " skilled " labourers has the chance of entering any industry in whichmetal plays a part. The knowledge of metal-working, as th...

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