- Refinisher, Craftsman, Columnist, Author and Televsion Host
Books by Bruce Johnson
A man called me at my workshop not long ago, expressing an interest in my books. I began giving him the names of some of the local bookstores that carried them, but he insisted on coming to see me. I was flattered, but annoyed, as I was in the middle of several projects. He arrived thirty minutes later at my workshop, where I had laid out several of my books. After we exchanged pleasantries he asked to see my hands. Puzzled, I held them out. He looked at my calluses, the stains on my fingertips and my not-so-clean fingernails, then said, "I'll buy the books."
"Don't you at least want to look at them?" I asked.
"Don't need to," he smiled.
Below I have included information on several of the books I have written. Today nearly all of them can be found at Amazon.com in either new or used condition. I?m always working on a new book, so watch this site for updates on my next book.
The Arts & Crafts Furniture of the Grove Park Inn
The historic 1913 Grove Park Inn provides the perfect setting for the country?s largest collection of Arts & Crafts furniture and lighting. The text of this new book - which won the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award - explores the role of the Roycroft Furniture Shop and the Roycroft Copper Shop in furnishing the Grove Park Inn, as well as examining antiques by Gustav Stickley, Charles Limbert and others now in the hotel?s collection. (F+W Publications, Cincinnati, 2009, hardback.)
Built for the Ages:A History of the Grove Park Inn
Once nearly overlooked but now beautifully restored, this 1913 Arts & Crafts hotel is Asheville?s jewel on Sunset Mountain. Host to presidents, foreign dignitaries, entertainers, inventors and politicians, the Grove Park Inn?s history is laced with intrigue, a ghost known as The Pink Lady and a scandalous lawsuit between owner E.W. Grove and his son-in-law who designed and managed the hotel. Originally furnished by the Roycroft craftsmen, the hotel?s later additions have been designed and decorated with Arts & Crafts antiques and reproductions. It now serves as the site for the annual Arts & Crafts Conference (Arts-CraftsConference.com). (Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, Asheville, NC, 2004, hardback, 128 pgs.)
Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House
The third in a series of books for the do-it-yourselfer, this one tackles 50 of the most common problems homeowners encounter ? from wet basements to pesky pigeons ? and lays out simple solutions nearly anyone can follow. Written in a casual, yet serious style, the information is complimented by detailed illustrations and helpful tips. (Ballantine Books, New York, 1995, paperback, 310 pgs.)
Hand Wrought:The Artistry of William Waldo Dodge, Silver and Architecture
Written to accompany the exhibition by the same name, this catalog explores the life and work of Arts & Crafts silversmith and architect William Waldo Dodge (1895-1971). Wounded in the trenches of France, Dodge learned the art and craft of silversmithing while recuperating in North Carolina. Earlier trained as an architect at M.I.T., he followed a dual career from his workshop and studio in Asheville, creating beautiful sterling silver bowls, platters and candlesticks while designing some of the city?s most treasured homes. (Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC, 2005, paperback, 90 pgs.)
How To Make Up To $20,000 a Year in Antiques & Collectibles ? Without Leaving Your Job
Written before the internet and Ebay, this book was based on my experiences buying and selling antiques, then organizing and running an antiques mall in Iowa City, Iowa. While the prices are no longer current, the advice on bidding at auction, snagging flea market prizes and dealing with dealers will never be outdated. The paperback version is still in print; hardback copies pop up on Amazon. (Rawson Associates, New York, 1986, hardback and paperback, 240 pgs.)
Knock On Wood: Buying, Restoring and Preserving Heirloom Furniture
This was my first book, a selection of questions and answers drawn from my syndicated newspaper column by the same name. My weekly refinishing column ran in antiques newspapers and magazines across the country for twenty years before I switched to writing for Country Living magazine and now for Style 1900. This book is out of print but copies do show up on Amazon. (G.P. Putnam?s Sons, New York, 1984, hardback, 218 pgs.)
The Official Price Guide to the American Arts & Crafts Movement
Price guides are notorious for being out-dated before they even arrive, but this one remains a valuable tool for Arts & Crafts collectors for it includes a history of every major and most minor firms, as well as production dates, designers, photographs and critical identifying shopmarks. Written with ?Antiques Roadshow? expert David Rago, it is considered the most thorough Arts & Crafts book of its kind. (House of Collectibles, New York, 2003, paperback, 480 pgs.)
The Pegged Joint:Restoring Arts & Crafts Furniture and Finishes
I wrote this handy guide once it became apparent that Arts & Crafts furniture - and Arts & Crafts furniture collectors ? needed some special advice on how to preserve, restore and, if necessary, duplicate an Arts & Crafts finish. I only printed a thousand copies, so they have become a collector?s item, but do show up on the internet. (Knock On Wood Publications, Fletcher, NC, 1995, paperback, 96 pages)
The Weekend Refinisher
Subtitled ?How to Make the Most of Your Furniture ? A Step-by-Step Guide,? this book explains how to set up a work area, make basic repairs, and save an original finish, along with tips and techniques for sanding, staining and finishing. Simple, straightforward, reliable advice based on years of experience. (Ballantine Books, New York, 1989, paperback, 298 pgs.)
The Wood Finisher
A companion to The Weekend Refinisher, this book moves beyond the care and repair of antique furniture to the staining and finishing of doors, floors, woodwork, unfinished furniture and more. It de-mystifies the multitude of brushes, stains and finishes and advocates ?less is more ? and simple is best.? (Ballantine Books, New York, 1993, paperback, 342 pages.)
Three Important Rules: Always follow the manufacturer's directions, take all safety precautions and first test every product in an inconspicuous spot.