Creative Woodworks & crafts 2001-11, страница 22
22 • Creative Woodworks & Crafts November 2001
John Nelson — Scroll Saw Legend
by Robert A. Becker
John patterned this Hanging Country Wall Box (from the June 1997 issue) from a piece found in New England and dating back to 1775. Tn this case, beauty and simplicity of design work together splendidly.
A prolific author
John Nelson has contributed greatly to the world of woodworking. Since 1978. he has authored 46 woodworking books and 12 technical books. Hie technical books, which dealt mostly with drafting and design, came first, with his entry into the woodworking arena in 1982. Tn addition, since 1982 he has contributed over 400 magazine articles to eight different magazines, and has generated dozens of individual patterns, many of them very substantial in scope. John's earliest woodworking books were general in nature, until 1986, at which time he began to concentrate mostly on scroll sawing.
Scroll saw focus
Ever since John's entry into the world of scroll sawing, he's had an unwavering desire to elevate this unique form of woodworking to a higher level of achievement and to share his enthusiasm for it with others. Undoubtedly, he has done much to achieve this goal. In the mid 1980's, he observed that most people were using the scroll saw to cut out extremely simple, flat, forms such as teddy bears. Having been an antique lover for decades and having been exposed to many fascinating pieces of antique fretwork, John was determined to expand the conception of what the scroll saw could do. Tn his own words, "Tt was my goal then, and still is today, to preserve original scroll saw designs and bring scrolling to a higher level...to a highly skilled form of woodworking art." John proceeded to design a great number of scroll saw projects, some of them based on antique designs and some of them brand new. Tt is rare to find an individual so committed to "bringing back" antique designs who also is involved in bringing forth a continuous stream of profound innovations.
Sources of inspiration
John acquires inspiration for his designs in a number of ways - looking at antiques, attending craft shows, traveling with skclch pad in hand, reviewing new catalogs, and more. In the 1996 issue of Creative Woodworks & Crafts, his "Skeleton Clock" appeared on the front cover. In this case, John designed the clock to house a unique clock movement that featured exposed gears which he had seen in a clock maker's catalog. John relates that he used to attend local craft shows (in New England) for ideas, and now is tickled to find that many items at these shows are of his own design.
This pipe box, which appeared in our August 1997 issue, was modeled after a 1750 antique.