While this new book is probably above what you normally pay for books ($185), I found it a superb and worthwhile addition to my collection of references to European chip carving and its history. Its many photographs are a wonderful study of design ideas. It may be purchased Directly from the Alpine School of Woodcarving / Wayne Barton.
Mangle Boards of Northern Europe is an unprecedented window into the world of mangle boards, wooden implements used from the 16th to 20th centuries for smoothing linen. Handcrafted, they reflect the work of both skilled carvers, trained in the classic styles of their times, and naïve carvers, unschooled in woodcarving and academic visual traditions.
The 267 mangle boards in this book were drawn from twenty-four museums and private collections in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.
Author Jay Raymond closely studied the boards for their aesthetic characteristics. Through his examination of the mangle boards, he established a set of visual characteristics typical to those of each country. Raymond’s new and invaluable insights are described and illuminated in detail.
The large format and the superlative photography permit the beauty and sumptuous nature of the mangle boards to be indelibly impressed upon the reader, who will end the journey with nuanced and keen appreciation for these exquisite works of folk art.
"The book is like a fine art museum, inviting you to go deeper, to look more closely. It feels fresh and ancient, all at once. The layout is just right, showcasing the text as well as the art. I get the sense of traveling back in time, from country to country, with this friendly and erudite curator showing the way.”
"This book is nothing short of exquisite. Wow! I have seen many art books, but this is beyond anything I have ever seen. It is, in itself, a work of art.”