On a farmlike compound near New Hope, Pennsylvania, George Nakashima, his family, and fellow wood-workers create exquisite furniture from richly grained, rare timber. Tables, desks, chairs, and cabinets from this simple workshop grace the homes and mansions and executive boardrooms of people who prize such excellence. In this lavishly illustrated volume, George Nakashima allows us in intimate look at his artistry, his philosophy, his life. It is the portrait of an artisan who strives to find the ideal use for each plank in order to “create an object of utility to man and, if nature smiles, an object of lasting beauty.”
The author’s search for the meaning of life took him as a young man to Paris, Tokyo, and Pondicherry, India. In India, he found the inner peace for which he had been searching and began to find ways to work with timber. He writes movingly about the grandeur of ancient trees and stunning figured woods and explains how he selects and prepares his materials. Above all, he impresses us with his devotion to discovering the inherent beauty of wood so that noble trees might have a second life as furniture. The Soul of a Tree looks at the world through the eyes of an artist and evokes the joy of living in harmony with nature.