The Lost Carving
David Esterly, Jenny Uglow
The highly acclaimed memoir of a renowned artisan with a new introduction by Jenny Uglow, The Lost Carving reveals the inspirational secrets of wood and craft. On a chance visit to St James’s church, Piccadilly, David Esterly was awestruck by the delicate beauty and ambition of master carver Grinling Gibbons’s limewood decorations. The encounter changed the course of Esterly’s life as he devoted himself to these lost techniques.
By 1986, when a fire at Hampton Court Palace destroyed much of Gibbons’s masterpiece, Esterly was the only candidate to restore his idol’s work to glory, though the experience forced him to question his abilities and delve deeply into the subtle skills of making.
'A wonderful book... riveting' Edmund de Waal 'An illuminating and exhilarating book, as intricate and wonderfully engaging as the carvings that lie at its heart' TLS, Best Books of the Year 'A beautifully written account of craft and inspiration' The New Republic, Best Books of the Year 'One of those gentle quest memoirs in which the reader becomes an intimate... Esterly writes evocatively... Full of fine-grained and engaging detail' Mail on Sunday 'A beautiful, intricate mediation on creativity and discovery, on fire and rebirth, on culture and history. Truly, this is a story to be pored over with love and admiration' Elizabeth Gilbert 'Every now and then there comes along a memoir that stands out for its beauty, its ability to charm, and its insights into a life given over to art. This lovely book about woodcarving is just such a work. Entrancing' Alexander McCall Smith 'A big moment for the obscure world of wood carving' Wall Street Journal
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