The lost carving : a journey to the heart of making

by Esterly, David.

Format: Print Book 2012
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction NK9798.E88 A35 2012
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  NK9798.E88 A35 2012
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 730.92 Est
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  730.92 Est
"A beautiful, intricate meditation on creativity and discovery, on fire and rebirth." --Elizabeth Gilbert

Awestruck at the sight of a Grinling Gibbons carving in a London church, David Esterly chose to dedicate his life to woodcarving--its physical rhythms, intricate beauty, and intellectual demands. Forty years later, he is the foremost practitioner of Gibbons's forgotten technique, which revolutionized ornamental sculpture in the late 1600s with its spectacular cascades of flowers, fruits, and foliage.

After a disastrous fire at Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace, Esterly was asked to replace the Gibbons masterpiece destroyed by the flames.  It turned out to be the most challenging year in Esterly's life, forcing him to question his abilities and delve deeply into what it means to make a thing well. Written with a philosopher's intellect and a poet's grace, The Lost Carving explores the connection between creativity and physical work and illuminates the passionate pursuit of a vocation that unites head and hand and heart.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Serious connoisseurs of woodcarving will recognize Grinling Gibbons as the name of one of the craft's preeminent masters of floral reproduction. Commissioned primarily by the British royalty between the late 1600s and early 1700s, Gibbons became famous for his astoundingly detailed and lifelike renderings of plant life in wood. When in 1986 a devastating fire at Hampton Court Palace destroyed a Gibbons masterpiece, the search went out for someone who could faithfully restore it. Enter master woodcarver and lifelong Gibbons devotee Esterly. Working from journals he kept during the yearlong project, Esterly engagingly describes the challenges he faced, both professionally and psychologically, in reproducing his idol's work, from political controversy the royals wanted a Brit, and Esterly is American to fears of failing his craft. Along the way, readers also get acquainted with Gibbons' own tribulations and learn how Esterly works. Although few photos of his carving projects are included here, Esterly's masterfully witty and nuanced prose makes it clear his writing prowess is at least on par with his woodworking skills.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In 1986, a fire at Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace damaged and destroyed countless woodcarvings by the 17th-century master Grinling Gibbons. The job of reconstructing the lost artwork fell to a small group of historians and artisans, including Esterly, one of the few woodcarvers in the world carving in the same fashion that Gibbons once did. Tracking the ups and downs of the project while contemplating the nature of art, rediscovering the intricacies of his chosen discipline, and exploring the process of creating, Esterly (Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving) has created a work that is part philosophic memoir and part treatise on true craftsmanship. A former poetry scholar, Esterly's prose is enlivened by quotations from Yeats and Shakespeare, and often his words take on the imagery and rhythm of verse ("Then I'll go back and open the drawer, put my hand in the stream, and lift out those days"). There are some interesting subplots as Esterly battles British bureaucracy that opposes his ideas for a Gibbons exhibition and tries to convince others that Gibbons's work should be shown in its natural, uncolored state, but it is Esterly's personal battle to live up to Gibbons's work and aura that is at the heart of this work. As intricate as his carvings, Esterly has shaped a story that captures the effort and uncertainty that lies behind the creation of art and beauty. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Esterly, David.
Hampton Court (Richmond upon Thames, London, England) -- Fire, 1986.
Publisher New York :Viking,2012
Language English
Description 279 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780670023806 (hardcover)
0670023809 (hardcover)
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