This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Ten. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come.
Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Ten is open now through February 28th.
To get Issue Ten when it ships early April, you can sign up for a subscription here.
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Joseph Brihiez – “Walking with Wood/Se Promener avec Le Bois”
In 2019, we at M&T were given a crash-course in French timber framing when dozens of international carpenters from the Charpentiers Sans Frontières came to Maine to build a blacksmith shop. The art of construction with hand-hewn timbers is closely guarded and preserved in France through traditional apprenticeship models which have been in place for centuries. In Issue Ten, we will hear from author Joseph Brihiez on his experiences as an apprentice to CSF carpenter Loïc Desmonts.
Equal parts observation, poetry, and thoughtfully cited prose, Brihiez presents an article unlike any other previously published in M&T. His thoughts on the beauty of physically engaging work, of the sound of a sharp axe on a fresh log, and of the ancient tradition of building with timeless tools are complemented by dramatic photography. Translated for us into English by American CSF timber framer Hank Silver, several French passages remain to poetically parallel their counterparts.
“The craftsman finishes the piece he is working – there are mounds of shavings. Having walked this part of the road, his knowledge of wood has progressed – the quiet knowledge of hand and body. He has held the tools used by the ancients, and left traces that will remain long after he is gone.”
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