Monday, 7 December 2009

Eric Sloane

Many years ago before I became a green woodworker I spotted an intriguingly titled book on the shelves of my local library.  It was “A Reverence for Wood” by Eric Sloane (1905-85) and ultimately I tracked down my own copy.

I went to dig it out earlier this year when the line drawings in a book I’d just bought reminded me of it.  Couldn’t find it anywhere... vanished.  So I bought a new copy.  In my travels I’ve also acquired a few of his other books - he wrote 38 in all!  Quite a few are to do with Weather - how to draw clouds and sunsets, how to recognise weather patterns and signs etc as Sloane was an expert meteorologist amongst other things. He also painted 15,000 pictures in his career.

What I really like about all his books is the craftsmanly hand calligraphy and lettering and his deep love and knowledge of the subject.  I’ve pored over them for hours especially The Museum of American Tools.  You can always spot something different and I’ve found them inspiring and full of ideas - a lot of his books are available on Abe Books quite cheaply.

An interesting fact is that he changed his name from Everard Jean Hinrichs and took Eric from the middle letters of America and Sloane from his mentor.

Anyway Vanessa has just found the lost copy of A Reverence for Wood so it’s up for grabs... I’ll send it to the person who posts the most interesting, witty or erudite comment.



Robin said...

Big fan of Sloane. I live in Washington County, New York and as you know Sloane was a New Englander. I purchased his books on barns because I am in the process of restoring ours that was built in mid- 1800's. That is where I am turning these days, not a pole lathe yet, but I have instructions to make one. I enjoy following yours and Robin's blogs. I know this isn't witty and I don't know what the hell erudite is, but maybe it will be interesting. Thank you.

Woodland Antics said...

Sounds like the original 'Sloane Ranger',

and yes I realise that I am not in with much of a chance, I can hear the groans already. But a great idea Robin, keep up the good work,



Anonymous said...

What a great idea...

if I win it I'll leave to another woody in my I'd only own it on a sort of long-term sloane.

(Is that as bad as Mark's? :)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea!

If I win it I promise to pass it on when I die...a sort of long-term sloane...

(Is that as bad as Marks? :)

Sean Hellman said...


That is about erudite and witty as I can get. Please do not enter me in the give away as I have a copy.Fantastic illustrations as you said, I loved reading it. I will have to look out for for his other works, as I didn`t realise he wrote so much.


Jeff said...

Edwin Tunis (Frontier Life and Colonial Life in America) and Aldren Watson (Hand Bookbinding, The Blacksmith, Hand Tools) also wrote books with some excellent drawings.

And....Roy Underhill's latest book, The Woodwright's Guide is full of some very well executed drawings by his daughter..which makes it even more special.