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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 F & W publications, Betterway Books, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also known for his woodworking technique articles published both online since 1994, and 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 he 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. The column is designed to help build an awareness of the fine arts and the "Bigger Picture" of art, while pointing to something local that can be observed. In 2010 Sal designed and built the two wood & glass display cases which reside as part of the permanent collection in the Great Lounge of the Ahwahnee Hotel. These furniture pieces were the first new additions to grace the Great Lounge since 1927. Both matching cases are made of native California walnut and are used to display the historic baskets made by the Miwok people who once lived in Yosemite Valley. In 2011 the display cases were designated as "Reserve Property" of the hotel and are now part of the United States national heritage. He has been in the business of designing and building cabinets, furniture and sculpture since 1972. His woodwork and kinetic sculpture can be viewed in many public, and private collections throughout the United States, and British Columbia. As a member of the American Institute for Conservation Sal has also served as a conservator of furniture for the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, and has helped to preserve such National treasures as the three Craftsman style harvest tables which were built in 1926 by L & J.G. Stickley especially for the hotel.

How Art Shapes Our Lives: Jimi, Janis, & Jerry

Jimi, Janis, and Jerry

By Sal Maccarone It has been many, many years since I have visited the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Known as “The Haight” to many, including myself, I found it to be remarkably frozen in time. I have actually visited twice during the month of July this year. First during my trip to preview the Peter Paul Rubens exhibit which ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: The Evergreen Air & Space Museum

Jet airplane.

By Sal Maccarone The shape and design of any object should relate directly to its purpose. This wisdom applies to all aspects of Industrial Art.  The phrase, “Form follows function,” was first spoken by architect Louis Sullivan, the father of the modern skyscraper, during the late 1800’s. His point was simple, and still applies: the form of an object should ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Victorian Era Architecture

By Sal Maccarone — Preceded by the Georgian era, the Victorian era refers to the reign of Queen Victoria. At 63 years-plus years (1837-1901), her reign in the United Kingdom was the longest of any monarch until recently as her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II now holds the new record. In terms of progress and architecture, though, Queen Victoria ushered in ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Crop Circles

Optical art, fractal art, abstract art and many other forms of art rely heavily upon geometric shapes and spaces. Geometry is a language! The math that it takes to create shapes that are comprised of points, lines and curves is thought to be universal. Through art, geometry can be employed in many ways — from simple design to giving the ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Local Architecture

By Sal Maccarone — Great architectural achievements always reflect a careful blending of art and science. Throughout the process of building something great these two disciplines will come together and, by designing and building a structure which reflects certain considerations, all things will work in harmony to produce a three dimensional form of art. Becoming an important piece of architecture ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Baroque Style At Legion Of Honor

By Sal Maccarone — What exactly is the Baroque style? Words like extravagant, ornate, unrestrained, extreme and excessive could be used to describe it. This distinctive approach to art is certainly not limited to a few words, but those are a good beginning. Developing early during the 17th century, the baroque style was eventually applied to music, dance, architecture, sculpture ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: The Importance Of Folk Art

By Sal Maccarone — Uninfluenced by movements or academic theories, Folk Art surrounds us everywhere that we go. Historically, this type of artwork can be defined as utilitarian or decorative in nature as opposed to being purely aesthetic. Produced by the artistically inclined individuals of every culture on earth, folk art directly reflects the values of a society. For instance, ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Forestiere’s Underground Gardens

By Sal Maccarone — It is accepted knowledge that most artists function primarily from the right side of the brain. This means that sometimes they will approach a problem or challenge in ways that most people do not understand. Under a “right-brain” spell for pretty much my whole life, I know what it is like to leave others scratching their ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: Hearst Castle

By Sal Maccarone — I am writing a series of articles exclusively for Sierra News Online on the subject of art — a very broad subject I will tailor specifically to enlighten our mountain area readers. Chronicling places with a fairly close proximity to us, the focus will be why they’re important, as well as on specific artists and their ...

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How Art Shapes Our Lives: The Mission Style

By Sal Maccarone — Within the realms of art and architecture the word style can refer either to the values followed while considering what will be created, or to the physical techniques employed during the actual process. In order to begin a study of the Mission style, one needs to go all the way back to 18th century Spain. At ...

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