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Special Krenov focus in FWW is a strange coincidence

comments (4) September 10th, 2009 in blogs

AsaC Asa Christiana, Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
thumbs up 15 users recommend

By strange coincidence, the latest issue (FWW #208) has a special focus on Krenov. It went to press just before he passed away, though it wont hit newsstands until October.
Issue 207, now on the newsstand, contains Jon Binzens excellent tribute to Sam Maloof.
That pushed an article by Jim Budlong, about a Krenov-inspired display cabinet, into the current issue.
And that same issue already had an article about the sawhorses students learn to build and use at the College of the Redwoods.
Add to that a Master Class department on Krenovian details, and you have an unintentional, yet very fitting, tribute to James Krenov.
By strange coincidence, the latest issue (FWW #208) has a special focus on Krenov. It went to press just before he passed away, though it wont hit newsstands until October. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

By strange coincidence, the latest issue (FWW #208) has a special focus on Krenov. It went to press just before he passed away, though it won't hit newsstands until October.


A series of coincidences is like a row of dominoes. The first one was that we had a number of Krenov-inspired articles in the works. The main one, a display cabinet project, built by Jim Budlong, a longtime instructor at College of the Redwoods, was pulled from the last issue of FWW (207) to make room for a last-minute tribute to Sam Maloof. That was the second domino.

That pushed the display cabinet into the current issue, which went to press Tuesday but hasn't yet hit newsstands. And the current issue already had an article about the sawhorses that Krenov taught students to make. So we decided a few weeks ago to play up the coincidence, and play the two articles, plus a Master Class department that focuses on the cabinet's Krenovian details, as a special package in this issue, called, "Build the Krenov Way."

Then, just as we were going to press, we learned that Krenov was very ill. Not knowing for sure what would happen, all we could do was put an editor's note in the cabinet article. Today, two days after the issue went out the door, we found out he had passed. Very strange timing, made even more strange by the fact that the articles actually form a fitting tribute to the brilliance of the man, both in design and construction, and his far-reaching influence.

Stranger still, we had given the display cabinet article more space than we usually would have for a project, in order to convey Krenov's unique way of seeing and building. And the elegantly simple sawhorses show how the man's genius extended beyond furniture. And both articles were written by former students of Krenov, who are no doubt his greatest legacy. In the end, I'm glad our readers will have a chance to appreciate James Krenov, just as they are finding out about his passing. I'm cynical by nature, but it is weird the way it all happened.



posted in: blogs, workshop, cabinet, modern


Comments (4)

DougNoyes DougNoyes writes: There are few people in the world who can inspire so many to such heights. Jim was a man of subtle generosity, intelligence, humor, and a fiery temper that rarely surfaced.
A great friend, a great teacher, and a great deal more.
Posted: 11:04 am on September 14th

Sean2112 Sean2112 writes: Coincidence is just God's way of remaining anonymous. Anyway, I first saw Krenov in an article in Home Furniture. Boy, was this woodworking novice impressed with his works. Before I knew who Krenov was, I thought fine furniture and cabinetry had to be a pretzel or frilly, not subtle and delicate. Since then, my philosophic approach to my work (trim carpenter) and my passion (furniture building) has changed for the better.
Posted: 7:11 pm on September 13th

RalphBarker RalphBarker writes: Life has a nasty habit of ending, usually well before we'd like it to do so. Worse, there are no exemptions for those, like Krenov and Maloof, whom we'd like to have around forever. But, they live on in the on-going inspiration they provide. Rest in peace, Mr. Krenov, and Mr. Maloof, as well.
Posted: 12:34 pm on September 13th

Gezdog Gezdog writes: Vale, Maestro Krenov. I was never lucky enough to meet you, but like most of my fellow woodsmiths I didn't need to to be inspired and exhilarated by your masterful works, and your delightful, quirky philosophy. Thank you for the lessons learned, and the passion ignited. Oh, and say G'day to Sam up there.
Posted: 7:18 pm on September 11th

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