Issue Four: Labor & Delivery

Issue Four is now sent out in the world. This past Friday and Saturday, a bunch of our friends drove up from all over Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York to help with the special wrapping and packaging.

Leading up to the big event, Mike and I did massive construction clean-up, we set up our shipping materials, and I spent at least a day and half printing postage. There are always a lot of pieces to this event.

Because Friday morning started out around 25° F, I woke up at 4:30 to fire up the propane heaters. This much-needed calm before the storm enabled me to get in one last vacuuming and set out all the food. By the time folks started arriving at 8:00 a.m., the room’s temperature had risen to a comfortable level. (Phew.) After a brief wrapping lesson from Mike, we chose our stations and got right to work.

Everything went swimmingly – we couldn’t believe how efficient the crew was. With a steady supply of upbeat music, delicious snacks, caffeine, and fascinating conversation (with some of the coolest people on the planet), we got more shipped in the first day alone than the whole of the last party. It may have been due, in part, to our new circular workflow that seemed to bring the group together for conversing while keeping the mags flowing toward the door.

This weekend profoundly affected Mike and me. We reserved several times over these two days for group sharing and discussion. All our (incredibly delicious) meals (thanks, Hannah!) were filled with discussion and both Friday and Saturday after work were centered around sharing stories, tools, and furniture projects with the group. Mike and I were so impressed with the knowledge and skill of our friends over these two days. Tanner Wilcox shared about his axe restoration business, Will Lisak talked about his trip to Romania that he wrote about in Issue Four, Danielle Rose Byrd showed us a huge shrink pot she made, Jeremy Tritchler brought his immaculate spice box, and many others shared their own work and passion. It was beautiful to see so many people from different backgrounds and experiences come together to celebrate handcraft. Everyone was so supportive, encouraging, and free with their knowledge – there was not one ounce of posturing. It reminded me once again that we grow as craftspeople (and people, in general) relative to our humility and respect toward others. This conviviality is exactly why we ship this way.

Ever since we parted ways late Saturday night, our minds have been buzzing with inspiration. We have so many new ideas to follow up on – tools we want to explore and places we want to visit. Our article ideas list might have doubled in size over the weekend.

We hope this packing party tradition never changes. As this publication (and its readership) steadily grows, we are working hard to see how we can keep this shipping in house. This biannual gathering is too special to hastily hand off to a fulfillment service. I’m sure there is a volume capacity we might hit someday but we are doing all that we can to keep this tradition alive. The exhaustion and stress involved is greatly outweighed by the value of the community.

Thank you to Wes, Aaron, Deirdre, Will, Will, John, Ryan, Danielle, Sarah, Tanner, Eric, Richard, Jeremy, Shaun, Andrea, Everett, Justin, Elise, Julia, Megan, Paula, Brittnay, and Hannah who came out to help Mike and me get these magazines out into the world. Your generosity and friendship has left an indelible impression on us. A thousand thank yous.



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