M&T Summer Workshop: June 17-21, 2019


On Friday, March 8th (one week from now), we will be opening registration for our summer workshop, which will be taking place June 17-21 at our shop in Sedgwick, Maine. But don’t worry. This won’t be a “feeding frenzy” first-come-first-serve, refresh-the-browser-as-panic-ensues kind of release. Stay tuned throughout the next week for details about the workshop registration, topic, and format.

In the meantime, here’s a little about our vision: 

As Mike and I sought to develop a unique workshop format, one of the things that came up time and again was that we wanted this week to be an expression of the distinctive philosophy driving M&T. As you know, Mortise & Tenonis much more than a “how-to” magazine – In each issue, we strive to present hand-tool woodworking in its historical and present-day context. We also believe the merger of in-depth analysis of historic objects with hands-on shop time using period tools is the best way to bring our students into the world of woodworking before machinery.

We hope to have this workshop reflect the philosophy of the magazine in several ways:

  1. We’ll be designating time to examine and discuss period objects and their tool marks inside the shop setting. Every student will learn to use period tools alongside these objects in order to make sense of the marks left behind. This is stuff you can’t get from books. Without this exposure, it’s hard to understand pre-industrial workmanship.
  2. Not enough woodworkers today are acquainted with trees in their natural environment. During this week, we will be spending time exploring the forest landscape and discussing wood in its natural setting. We will see how the life dynamics of the forest impact our efforts as woodworkers.
  3. The library. We do not take it for granted that we have accumulated a sizeable (and ever growing) collection of books about period furniture making and other historic crafts that folks may want to wade into during mealtimes or the evening hours. Students at our workshops will always have free access to the books in our collection and we look forward to directing you to books that might help you in your area of interest.
  4. Lastly, because one of the goals of our workshops is to “cultivate a respect for and appreciation of physical labor,” we’ll be challenging ourselves physically. Working side by side with others, sweating and pushing yourself to press on is a powerful way to form lasting bonds and to grow as a person. Make no mistake, this week will be hard work.

Mike and I cannot wait for this workshop. We’ve been dreaming of gathering folks into this space for a long time. This focused, intensive, and relational model has been designed to make a lasting impact – on us just as much as our students.

In our modern world of relentless automation and digitization, this kind of immersion into the tactile stuff of wood, steel, and shavings is a breath of fresh air.

Interested in joining us? More details next week…

-Joshua