Issue 13 T.O.C. – Jim Tolpin – “Some Thoughts on the Artisan Process: Enjoying (If Not Making) a Living with Our Hands”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Thirteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

The subscription window which includes Issue Thirteen is open now.

To get Issue Thirteen when it ships early October, you can sign up for a subscription here. 

If you aren’t sure about your subscription status, you can reach out to Grace at Keep in mind though, if you are set to auto-renew, you never have to worry about getting the next issue of Mortise & Tenon. Issue Thirteen is coming your way soon!



Jim Tolpin – “Some Thoughts on the Artisan Process: Enjoying (If Not Making) a Living with Our Hands”

Author Jim Tolpin has done a lot of thinking about making. He has built boats and gypsy wagons; he’s designed and constructed custom cabinetry and finished high-end homes and cottages; and he’s made wooden hay forks for farmers. As half of the “By Hand & Eye” team (along with George Walker), Tolpin has explored the ancient roots of thoughtful design and beautiful work. In fact, he’s written books on the subject.

In Issue Thirteen, Tolpin offers some valuable insights he’s learned over decades of making a living by making things. Applying wisdom gleaned from pre-industrial artisans, he talks about utilizing the coarsest tool possible for as long as possible and removing a maximum amount of waste fast. Possessing a working knowledge of the forces that affect joinery, utilizing physical measurements (proportions) rather than numbers, and creatively fixing mistakes are all hallmarks of the efficient woodworker. Through unique, early-20th-century-style layout and photography (Joshua’s oldest boy with slicked hair in lab coat and tie), Tolpin’s thoughts and suggestions come to life. They are sure to help make shop time more productive and enjoyable.

Subscribe now to reserve your copy of Issue Thirteen.


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