Please note: Rated “S” for sailor language.
Hardbound book, 141 pages, printed and bound in the United States.
Price includes shipping to mainland U.S.
Please note: Orders are shipped via FedEx Smartpost, which typically takes 7-10 business days. This shipping service does not guarantee delivery dates. In rare cases, delivery may take longer than 7-10 business days. If you need to receive your order by a specific date, please contact Nancy at nrhiller <at> nrhillerdesign <dot> com for alternative shipping options.
UK and European orders are handled through Classic Hand Tools at www.classichandtools.com.
–Jonathan Binzen, Senior Editor, Fine Woodworking
Fashion statement. Celebrity sport. Path to personal salvation.
Furniture making, once a way to earn a living through an arrangement between makers and clients, has been discovered, like a rosy-cheeked girl plucked from a Nebraska farm and made over into a big-city model.
For many of us, making furniture and cabinetry is still a way to earn a living, however marginal. We may do what we love every day, to paraphrase the marketing pitch of a well-known school, but as with most long-term love, ours deepens from the passion of new romance to the mature familiarity of marriage: sometimes tedious, occasionally exasperating, as much taskmaster as muse.
The day-to-day realities of those who make things for a living get scant attention compared to the potential satisfactions of craft as avocation. But they are every bit as important – especially for those actively considering exchanging the lecture hall, office, or operating room for a woodworking shop.
Honest, earthy, and wryly humorous, this collection of tales drawn from more than 30 years of experience at shops in England and the United States is thought provoking as well as entertaining. We follow Hiller as she stumbles into furniture making after dropping out of Cambridge University, finds employment in one, then another, English workshop, grapples with monotony, sexism, and self-doubt, attempts escape, and eventually makes peace with her vocation.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping: We ship via Fedex Smartpost Select. You should receive your order within 7-10 business days.
Returns: Returns will be accepted provided that the product is in brand new condition and received in its original packing within 30 days of shipment from our premises.
Nancy Hiller’s chisel-sharp, damn-funny memoir reveals that even when someone knows how to put things together to stay – and does an equally elegant job assembling sentences and cabinets – life itself is rarely susceptible to such resolution. Her book is an engaging ramble, the unsparing story of a perceptive woman deeply dedicated to her craft but noting at each turn that her path through it is provisional.
–Jonathan Binzen, Senior Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
For those of you who have ever dreamed of becoming a professional cabinetmaker, or for those professionals who have the scars to prove it, or for anyone who just enjoys an accurate look into a life spent honing a craft, you really need to get this book. A nationally renowned woodworker, author, and teacher, Nancy Hiller has written a fascinating account of some of her trials and tribulations that compose the nearly Sisyphean task of making a living by doing that which she loves. The stories she tells are funny and sharp, occasionally pathetic, often brave, and most of all, inspirational. Make a space on your bookshelf for this one.
–Charles Bickford, former senior editor, Fine Homebuilding Magazine
A cabinet-maker’s Bildungsroman, Nancy Hiller’s story charts a path fraught with adventures both good and bad, savors the victories, and rises above the adversities with an indomitable, creative spirit that brings joy into homes forever imbued with the craft her hands wring into form and beauty. A must-read for those brave souls ready to sally forth into a creative profession where belief in oneself must never waver.
–Mark Harrell, Bad Axe Tool Works
This is not a book merely about making cabinets or dressers or chairs. It is about the forging of a principled life. Nancy Hiller introduces us to the everyday struggles and big philosophical questions that define what a craftsperson is and how she may survive in our mass-produced world. This book is riveting, pulling the reader into the author’s transatlantic story, including unrequited romances, conflicts about hinges, occasional slapstick, and sleepless nights spent worrying about budget, hardware, and design. Read this book to see how we can make our way, one dovetail joint at a time.
–Kathryn Lofton, Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies, Yale University