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Author Archives: Sal Maccarone

Sal Maccarone is an American author, furniture maker, and sculptor. He is best known as a master craftsman, and for his internationally distributed woodworking books such as Tune Up Your Tools, and How to Make $40,000 a Year Woodworking, both published by Betterway Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also known for his woodworking technique articles published both online since 1994, and in print by the national magazine Popular Woodworking. Sal attended San Jose State University and achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art History, and in 1974 a Masters degree in sculpture. In 2009 Sal began a syndicated newspaper column called, "How Art Shapes Our Lives". The column is published once each week in the California central valley, Sierra foothills, and the Yosemite area. Sal has also been in the business of designing and building cabinets, furniture and sculpture since 1972. His woodwork and sculpture can be viewed in many public, and private collections throughout the United States, and British Columbia. Locally, Sal built the Tenaya Lodge Bar, complete with four historical sculptures, in 1990. In 1991 he built 80 pieces of furniture, and 14 carved doors for the Chateau du Sureau. In 2010 he designed and built the historic walnut display cases which reside in the Great Lounge at the Ahwahnee hotel.

How Art Shapes Our Lives: The Oscar

Image of Walt Disney and Shirley Temple at the Oscars.

By Sal Maccarone The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was the idea of Louis B. Mayer (1884-1957), head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM.) Mr. Mayer felt that the organization would lend respectability and status to the movie industry, the reputation of which had been tarnished during the Roaring Twenties. So on May 4, 1927, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: The Shinzen Friendship Garden

Image of a bonsai garden.

By Sal Maccarone Parks are wonderful places! They provide recreation, they are aesthetically pleasing, and they are helpful to our environment in many ways. There are many types of parks, from urban to national, but they all share the same basic goal: setting aside space which will contribute to our physical and psychological well-being. Many urban parks are green spaces, ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Optical Art & Crop Circles

Image of a crop circle.

By Sal Maccarone Optical art, fractal art, abstract art, and many other forms of art rely heavily upon the placement of geometric shapes within a given space. Geometry is a language! The math that is used to create shapes — comprised of points, lines and curves — is thought to be universal. Geometric art forms can run anywhere from a ...

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 How Art Shapes Our Lives: Yachts of Fun

Eclipse

By Sal Maccarone Pirates and their pirate ships have always had a special place in our lore of the land. Those reprehensible villains in their sturdy well-manned boats. Arrrrgh! Forever a problem, it took the 17th century Dutch navy to finally devise a way of combating the threat. Their approach was simple: build a light weight, extremely fast ship that ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: The Art of Money Making

Morgan Dollar

By Sal Maccarone The lines that distinguish the difference between art and craft are oftentimes blurred. Craft is utilitarian, art is for looking at, but sometimes a particular craft is so precise that it might as well be art. Let us explore the world of engraving as an example. Beginning sometime during the fifth century B.C. man figured out how ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Haunted Architecture – Part II

The Moana Hotel in 1908

By Sal Maccarone Through the ages mankind has always had a fascination with the reconfiguring of landscape. For example, what once was the Isthmus of Panama is now the Panama Canal, what once was a desert in Nevada is now Las Vegas, and what once was a swampland in Hawaii is now the very famous Waikiki Beach. Waikiki, in Honolulu, ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Haunted Architecture – Part 1

Palace Hotel in San Francisco

By Sal Maccarone There was a time when hotel lodgings were very basic, consisting only of a room with a bed, a nightstand and a common bathroom at the end of a long hallway. That all changed somewhere along the way as luxury hotels were conceived and then built. Here in America, that change happened as a direct result of ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Julia Morgan

Neptune Pool, by Julia Morgan

By Sal Maccarone A few months ago I wrote an article for my column that had to do with William Randolf Hearst and his famous castle in San Simeon, California. While I only mentioned Julia Morgan in that article, I vowed to revisit the subject of this amazing woman and her unique contribution to California architecture. Julia Morgan (1872 – ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: John James Audubon

Great Egret

In general, an illustrator is a type of narrative artist whose job it is to enhance a subject, which is written or spoken, by providing supportive visual representation. Illustrations are used for a wide variety of reasons which include books, newspaper and magazine stories, advertising, directions and for a multitude of scientific uses. In addition to all of those differences, ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives – A Golden Age of Illustration

During the 1850’s our ancestors were beginning to experience many good effects brought on by the industrial revolution. For example, the development of high-speed printing presses quickly lead to an astonishing “enlightenment-of-the-masses.” Books, periodicals and newspapers, which all were beginning to include illustrations, were becoming prevalent. This phenomenon can easily be attributed to the many advances in printing technology that ...

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