ABA Product

The Nature and Art of Workmanship Cover Image
By David Pye, Ezra Shales (Editor)
Not Yet Published


In this classic book, first published in 1968, David Pye assesses the importance of craft in a mechanised age. At a time when many questioned the relevance of working with hand tools, Pye argued for the importance of skill and workmanship, proposing a new theory of making based on the concepts of 'workmanship of risk' and 'workmanship of certainty'. In Pye's view, good workmanship imparts richness and diversity to our visual environment.

In his introduction to this new edition, leading craft scholar Ezra Shales surveys Pye's unique role as an expert eye whose writing is still cited by influential anthropologists such as Tim Ingold and Daniel Miller as well as art historians such as Glenn Adamson and John Thackara. He considers Pye's role in the 1980s as a contributing curator to the Maker's Eye exhibition, and contrasts the distinct ways that his writings and legacy as a theorist have been interpreted. The new edition is illustrated with images of Pye's own work as a maker, as well as with work by artists and makers who have been influenced by Pye's practice.

About the Author

David Pye OBE (1914-1993), was Professor of Furniture Design at The Royal College of Art from 1964 to1974. Pye was an accomplished wood-turner and carver, as well as an important writer on the theory of design and handcraft. 'The Nature and Aesthetics of Design', first published in 1964, and 'The Nature and Art of Workmanship', first published in 1968, were both hugely influential for the development of craft studies and design history.Ezra Shales is Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the author of Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era (Rutgers University Press, 2010).
Product Details
ISBN: 9781350004528
ISBN-10: 1350004529
Publisher: Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Publication Date: December 14th, 2023
Pages: 160
Language: English