Working with Wood: A Nordic Perspective on Cabinetmaking is a richly illustrated book about the past and future of Finnish woodworking traditions, and it passes on furniture manufacturer Nikari’s knowledge of traditional craftsmanship to the next generation. The book is written in both English and Finnish. Working with Wood: A Nordic Perspective on Cabinetmaking was awarded Beautiful Book Prize 2017 by the Finnish Book Art Committee.
Wood is omnipresent in the Nordics. Vast forests feature in childhood memories of people who grow up in the North, wood has kept homes warm in the harsh Nordic climate, and modern design that hails from Northern Europe has always been strongly associated with this natural material. Working with Wood is a collection of musings and factual knowledge about the traditions of Nordic woodworking. It draws upon interview material with Kari Virtanen, master cabinetmaker and founder of Nikari, the company craftsmen, and designers, as well as personal notes on the philosophy of their craft. It is a book that combines information about the makeup of Finnish forests and the process of transforming a tree into a piece of design, as well as the basics of what can be called ‘rational Nordic cabinetmaking’.