The Woodbook, The Complete Plates
Author/s: Romeyn Beck Hough
Photographer/s: Andrew McRobb, Kew’s photographer, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Editor: Thierry Nebois and Leslie Weissgerber
Art director: Claudia Frey
Size: 766 pages
Publisher www: www.taschen.com
The Woodbook, The Complete Plates is the perfect companion for anyone looking to learn more about wood. This beautifully presented piece describes hundreds of wood species in equisite detail, each accompanied by high definition photographs of their transverse, radial and tangential sections. As such, this book should appeal to a wide audience; not just to carpenters, but also to engineers, architects and designers as well as those simply with a passing interest in wood. Indeed, with touches such as the handrawn illustrations of a species’ leaves or fruits or the high quality paper on which this book is printed, The Woodbook could function not only as a helpful workshop accompaniment but also as an attractive coffee table piece.
Moreover, the book’s appeal is not limited to an English-speaking audience; descriptions are also provided in German and French.
From the Baybeery to Yew family, Romeyn Beck Hough has, over 750 plus pages, provided a comprehensive coverage of woods both common and uncommon. As well as the detailed description covering typical size, aroma and visual appeal, The Woodbook also details habitat and usage of the wood. From Coco Plum’s utility as torch wood in the times of Christopher Columbus to a pine used most commonly for masts in small boats, the breadth of information contained therein is truly impressive, and the extent of Hough’s research really comes through in almost every passage throughout the book.