Emil Milan: Midcentury Master

Created by Emil Milan Research Project

This book is no longer sold on this website. Purchase at emilmilan.org/products.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Can a wooden spoon stir your soul?
9 months ago – Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 11:34:55 AM

As a supporter of Emil Milan’s book project we thought you would be interested in getting to know Milan’s grandson in craft, Norm Sartorius. Emil Milan instructed Norm’s first woodworking teacher, Phil Jurus, and Norm still shapes each unique sculptural object using the techniques taught by Milan.

“I don’t make spoons to stir the soup, I make spoons to stir the soul.”


Examples of Norm's awe-inspiring wooden spoons. Left to right, top to bottom: Retusa Galaxy, Primal, Perseid, Introvert, Conquistador, Tadpole, Bighorn, Apex, Tsunami.

Learn more about Norm in the forthcoming publication Spoons to Stir the Soul. Published by the Center for Art in wood, this is the first dedicated publication celebrating the life and work of extraordinary wood carver Norm Sartorius.


ORDER NOW to get special discounts and limited editions ONLY AVAILABLE on Kickstarter. FREE 2022 WALL CALENDAR for a limited time when you order a Special or Limited Edition book. There are also some of Norm’s awe-inspiring spoons available for sale. Get them before they are gone.

ACT FAST—Kickstarter ends at midnight on Nov. 20.


We thank you for your support.

Revival of the 1970s Milan T-Shirt
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 07:48:47 AM

This t-shirt design was all but lost but the research for the Milan book unearthed it—now we’re bringing it back.

Your support helped make the Milan book a reality and we thank you. Now we want to spread the inspirational story of Emil Milan far and wide so we are offering a new line of products with Milan-Inspired designs. The t-shirt was originally designed by Milan’s students at Peters Valley School of Craft and the design uses Milan’s mantra “wood is warm,” inside an image of a signature Emilan bird and bowl. Other products include mugs, tote bags, posters, and postcards.


You love your Milan book—now you can share it for 50% off

Gift-giving season is upon us and the award-winning Milan book is the perfect item for any woodworker, maker, designer, or midcentury modern lover in your life. You can help us spread Milan’s inspirational story far and wide. Use discount code BACKER-50%-OFF-BOOKS and get 50% off any Milan book purchase—even the Limited Edition.


Adorn your wood shop with Milan woodworking wisdom

Derived from a wood carving hand out that Milan used when teaching at Peters Valley School of Craft in the 1970s and 80s, this poster will help inspire the maker in all of us.


We hope you will enjoy all of the Milan related products and that they will help raise awareness of this inspirational artist.

—The Emil Milan Research Project

What awards did your support help us win?
over 3 years ago – Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 10:41:00 AM

Hello backers,

Emil Milan: Midcentury Master is getting rave reviews from all of its Kickstarter backers. But you aren’t the only ones who appreciate this beautiful publication—your support helped make it award-winning. We are excited to announce four awards we have received to date.

  • First Prize | Exhibition Catalogues | American Alliance of Museums Publications Design Competition
  • Gold Medal | Regional Non-Fiction Books, Mid-Atlantic | Independent Publisher Book Awards
  • Regional Winner | Editorial Books, Midwest Region | Print Regional Design Awards
  • Winner | Creative Quarterly 53 magazine 

Thank you for helping to make this publication such a success.

Give the gift of award-winning design 
If you are trying to find a unique gift this holiday season then the Limited-Edition version with wood slip case is perfect for those who appreciate art, design, craft, woodworking, midcentury modern design, or a great story. See the most recent photos of the book on our website.

As a special thanks to Kickstarter supporters we are providing free shipping for any Milan books. Order by Dec. 10 in order to receive delivery in time for the holidays.* The Limited-Edition is only available through our online store and less than 50 remain so get yours now before they are all gone.


Many thanks,
The Center for Art in Wood
The Emil Milan Research Team

*We use ground shipping to deliver the books from our warehouse in Seattle. If you order by Dec. 10 then you will receive it in time for Christmas. If you order after Dec. 10 but before Dec. 16 you will likely still receive the package in time for Christmas but we cannot guarantee it. The closer you live to Seattle the more likely you will get it in time. The free shipping offer ends after Dec. 10.

Finalize shipping address for Emil Milan book
over 4 years ago – Thu, May 03, 2018 at 05:46:32 PM

This is it! We’re finally getting ready to ship Emil Milan: Midcentury Master!

We know you are all anxious to receive your books and you will be getting them soon. We will begin shipping out orders by the end of next week. Some of you might receive your books the week of May 14 and we hope that everyone will get their book no later than May 25. (Shipments outside the United States and Canada may come later.)

We will lock down shipping addresses soon. That means you have until Midnight on Friday, May 4 to update your shipping address in your BackerKit survey. You will also be receiving an email from Backerkit with a notice to update your address.

If you need to review your shipping address, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at https://emil-milan.backerkit.com/.

If you haven’t answered your survey yet, you can still fill it out to get your rewards, but your shipment may be delayed.

We can't wait to get you your books.

The Emil Milan Research Team
The Center for Art in Wood

p.s. There is a great review of the book in the current issue of Woodcarving Illustrated magazine so get a copy at your local newsstand today.

Book award and last chance to upgrade
over 4 years ago – Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 09:32:06 PM

Hello Backers,

We have exciting news. Emil Milan: Midcentury Master has won a book award! The book received a gold medal from The Independent Publisher Book Awards for the best Mid-Atlantic regional non-fiction book. See a full list of the regional winners here.

Just wanted to remind you that we plan to charge cards today at 5PM ET for add-on items you purchased or any additional funds you may owe through BackerKit. Remember that this is only for items purchased through Backerkit, your original Kickstarter order has already been charged.

If you need to review payment information, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at emil-milan.backerkit.com.

Take this chance to upgrade to the Limited Edition before they are all gone.

See photos of the final printed book at wonderfulldesign.com/editions-emil-milan.

We will update you next week on when to expect your books in the mail. We know you are all anxious to receive this beautiful book.

Thank you,
The Emil Milan Research Team
The Center for Art in Wood