There is no more evocative symbol of vernacular woodworking than the humble shaving horse. Commonly found in barns or front porches in much of the Western world until quite recently, this foot-powered workholding vise allows for efficient use of the whole body in shaping, rounding, and peeling stock with a drawknife or spokeshave.
Born in the early 18th century, Cesar Chelor lived in Wrentham, Massachusetts, working as the enslaved apprentice to the first documented planemaker in the colonies, Francis Nicholson. In that time of immense civil and cultural upheaval, Chelor’s skill and ingenuity at the trade elevated him into the upper echelon of period toolmakers.
This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Nine. 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 Nine is open now through August 28th. ___________________________________ “Making an Icon Panel” – Symeon van Donkelaar How do you embody the sacred with common, everyday elements? Using carefully gathered materials – pigments of various hues from the earth, winter-harvested lumber long dried in the attic – author and iconographer Symeon van Donkelaar brings us through the process of creating religious icons, in a tradition that has been passed down through millennia. “Traditional icons are...
In 2019, U.K.-based studio craftsman and author Abdollah Nafisi joined 5 other artisans in exploring the ideologies and innovations of the Arts & Crafts Movement for a BBC television series. For Issue Nine, Nafisi recounts his experience of recreating William Morris’ iconic Sussex chair for the series, utilizing only hand tools.