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“Craftsmanship is Risk” Sticker Now Available!

The new sticker just arrived in the mail yesterday. This 4.25” x 2.75” sticker features the same Roman woodworker that is on our new t-shirt (which is still being shipped for free through this Friday, by the way). The sticker is $3 in our store. It seems to be an item folks like throwing into the cart with DVDs or mags that they order. If you’re not looking to order anything else, we’ll still take orders for just a sticker.  But what does “Craftsmanship is Risk” mean, exactly?  It’s not news that the term “workmanship of risk” has made David Pye famous in woodworking circles. The term was coined by Pye in the mid 20th century to describe workmanship that depends...

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They Actually Do This Stuff For Fun?

  This past weekend I attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour as it came through Ellsworth, ME. The guys I’ve gone with for years always choose the ‘extreme sports’ night over the ‘culture’ night. Every year, we watch people climb rock faces in snowstorms, kayak off of waterfalls, and trek across barren wilderness just for the thrill of it. It’s wild stuff. I can appreciate it from a distance but it’s hard for me to relate to because I spent most of my childhood in art classes when everyone else was playing football.  Every year, though, I can’t help but think about what it is that motivates a person to push themselves that hard and take that much...

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New Shirts in Stock! “Craftsmanship is Risk”

  We just launched our new “Craftsmanship is Risk” t-shirts in the store. We are offering this design in 3 new colors. Check all the colors out here. As a thank you for your support, we are offering free shipping on these shirts for the first week. Also note that we have now discounted our previous “Artisan” shirt to $18. We don’t have every size in stock but if you want one of these, just know we will not be doing another run. All our designs are a one-time deal. They will only be in our store as long as we have them in stock. FREE SHIPPING ON THE NEW SHIRT UNTIL  SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11th!  It’s not news that the term...

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Last Call for Hoodies

  The month is almost over, folks, and that means that the purchasing window for the “Craftsmanship is Risk” hoodies is just about up. First thing Saturday morning I am emailing the total number of orders to Shannon and he is going to order only enough to fulfill these pre-orders. Then no one else will ever get one of these sweatshirts. That’s right… This is a one-time pre-order-only deal because Mike and I don’t want to keep boxes of hoodies around. (We may order a few more just in case of mistakes, but no promises.) If you are on the fence as to whether you were going to order one or not, you’ve got until Friday night to decide. In...

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New T-Shirts and Hoodies: “Craftsmanship is Risk”

Front Design  To celebrate the release of Issue Two, we are announcing new M&T apparel. One design. Two items. The hooded sweatshirt is a pre-order only item. From now until February 4th (three weeks), we will be taking these pre-orders ($50) for hoodies. We will order a few more of each size just in case there are issues but after February 4th, there is no guarantee of getting this hoodie. If you want one, it’s now or never. It’s not marketing hype… we just don’t want to store boxes of hoodies. The t-shirt will be a regular in-stock item for the foreseeable future (just like our last shirt) They’ll be available to purchase when they arrive in February.   Back...

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Why Do People Love Hand Planes?

    What is it about the hand plane that draws people into woodworking? What is it about that block of wood with an iron that connects with woodworkers at such a visceral level? I think about this question a lot when I’m working in the shop because there are days when it seems I just need to shape wood – as if it’s some sort of therapy or something. The feeling of satisfaction that comes from using such a simple tool to work the lumber must be something rooted in us at the deepest level. Creativity, I think, is something rooted in our humanity. We were all made to work with our hands. But also, to lose touch with...

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‘Woodworking in Estonia’ Book Review: Issue Two Table of Contents

In every issue of M&T we want to review a book we think will benefit our readers. For Mike and I, this issue’s selection was a no-brainer. Woodworking in Estonia, recently republished by Lost Art Press, has got to be one of the most important books released on traditional woodworking in a long time. Antes Viires spent many years of his life documenting and studying the wood craft tradition of Estonian artisans and wrote a comprehensive book founded in scholarly rigor and aimed to inspire the next generation of craftspeople. Because Mike has been poring over this book since it came out he jumped at the opportunity to write a review. He has been particularly fascinated to see that understanding...

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Insights from Foodies

Tonight, my wife asked if I wanted to grill steak for dinner. While I hesitated for a moment (inexplicably) I thought I heard her ask, “Well, I could always boil it.” I laughed before she clarified that she said “broil”, not “boil”. The moment reminded me of our previous observations about how essential variety of texture is in high quality ‘artisanal’ food. Boiled steaks are perfectly and uniformly cooked, there are no char marks from the grill, and the process is a much simpler operation. What more could you ask for? It seems that boiling steak should be an ideal way to cook meat, right? Wrong. Roaring flames leaving grill marks on steak is commonly thought of as tantalizing. On...

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Craftsmanship: A Word to Start an Argument With

  When I wrote the previous post titled “Thoughts on Real Craft”, I wasn’t anticipating such an active interaction with readers. (If you missed that last post, you might want to go back and read it to make sense of the clarifications here.) The post was written as a way to think out loud and get feedback. Boy, did I get feedback! I am grateful for such passionate and thoughtful readers who are willing to invest time into this discussion. Thank you for your comments! I appreciate your participation so much, in fact, that I am looking into upgrading the commenting system to a platform that is easier to use and read in the future. The conversations I’ve been having...

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Thoughts on "Real Craft"

  I’ve been interested that the term “Real Craft” has been thrown around a bit the last couple years in green woodworking circles. The hash tag is full of spoon carving, pole lathes, and the like. After doing some digging to try to figure out the origins of this phrase, I realized I should talk with Jarrod Stone Dahl. Jarrod is a spooncarver/bowlturner from the Wisconsin woods who has been using the term more than anyone else so I thought I’d pick his brain about it. Jarrod sent me to Robin Wood’s commentary on Chris Eckersly’s 2014 “Real Craft” exhibition. Reading Eckersley’s essay and Wood’s critique hit me in just the right spot as I’ve been thinking a lot lately...

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