Local Author Jim Tolpin Presents "By Hand & Eye"

Port Townsend author Jim Tolpin will present a program about his latest book, By Hand & Eye. Co-authored with George Walker, By Hand & Eye is a deep dive into the world of history, architecture and design.  

Tolpin and Walker show how much of the world is governed by simple proportions, noting how ratios such as 1:2 or 3:5 were prevalent in the designs of pre-industrial artisans.  By Hand & Eye demonstrates how the principles of good design are learned through exercise and repetition, and how with practice it becomes second nature and your hand and eye work together as one. 

The book outlines quick techniques you can use in your workshop, such as how to compose aesthetically pleasing curves and tapers or develop molding profiles, using only a set of dividers, a straightedge, a pencil – and most important, your hands and eyes.

“The design language present in By Hand and Eye is not about magical rectangles” said Jim Tolpin, “it’s not about arithmetic derivations; and no, it’s not about working to prescriptive formulas, either. It’s just an immersion in a simple, generative geometry that is just as much fun to do now as it was when you first met up with it in first grade!  Welcome to the real - and reasonable - world of rational (i.e. able-to-ratio) numbers.”

Best known for his books on cabinet making, cottages and cottage-style furnishings, Jim has been thinking, building and writing about woodworking since he was born, in a cottage, more than sixty years ago.  Jim is a founding member of the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, where he teaches hand tool woodworking and artisanal design.  He lives with his family in Port Townsend.

Wednesday, October 23rd