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Junkshop Gem: Anatomy of Contemporary Furniture by John G. Shea

AnatomyFancy making your own mid-century classics? John G. Shea can show you how with the Anatomy of Contemporary Furniture.

First published in the mid 60s, then updated through to the mid 70s, the book is part reference guide to contemporary design of the day (names like Artek, Herman Miller, Knoll and Eames), a pictorial guide to some of the leading designs (it is very picture heavy) and a DIY guide to building your own furniture in the style of some of some classic pieces. So if you fancy getting down and creating your own shelving, coffee table, circular dining table or space age lounger, your guide is at hand.

Obviously, none of this is for beginners like me, but if you have some good woodworking skills or know someone (or some small company) that does, you could use the book's drawings and guides to create bespoke mid-century-style furniture at a fraction of the cost of an original. The price of this gem? Well, we picked it up from a junk shop for £1 and I can guess you'll not pay much more for a copy on eBay or Abebooks.

Browse for a copy of the book on the Abebooks website

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