Two old men, radiating contentment… Their trade seemed to have been a refuge for them. Perhaps their serenity came from making things that gave pleasure to others. Or making things they knew would outlast them, give them a little power over the grave. Leaving behind physical evidence that they had lived and were creative agents in the world. Maybe it was that they had spent a lifetime swimming in a sea of harmonious form, that this had osmosed into them, and then as the years went on it began phosphorescing out in a cloud of benign tranquility. Or was it something in the activity of woodcarving itself that gave them, at last, their moral radiance?
— David Esterly, The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making, Viking 2012
Also by David Esterly: Grinling Gibbons & the Art of Carving, V&A 1998