Blog — Issue Ten RSS





The Stones of Venice

We've been on a bit of a John Ruskin kick lately. In Issue Ten, we printed an excerpt from his classic work, The Stones of Venice, in which he extols the virtues of free workmanship. The opening spread of that article (titled "Savageness") might be my favorite ever. As I wrote in the introduction to that excerpt, Ruskin's impact on the world would be hard to overstate. As a brilliant thinker, social critic, and art scholar, Ruskin's ideas shaped cultural reforms in England, India, France, and many other places.  I managed to track down a beautiful, complete set of The Stones of Venice on eBay for less than $50. This is an 1886 edition, published by George Allen. Allen was an early pupil and friend...

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The Best One Yet

  Whenever Mike and I are asked about upcoming issues, we try to contain our enthusiasm so as not to oversell our products. But we are usually so excited about the upcoming material because we bust our butts trying to make each issue even more refined, fascinating, and beautiful than the last. We are constantly honing the variety of skills it takes to bring this magazine into being. It seems like each time we discuss the latest issue on our podcast, we end up saying this one is “the best one yet.” The temptation is so strong that we’ve even made a rule for ourselves to refrain from that particular phrase so as not to tire our readers. With Issue...

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Podcast 24 – Our Tools Shape Us

Mortise & Tenon Magazine · 24 – Our Tools Shape Us   In this new episode of our podcast, Joshua and Mike discuss the idea that “we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” – the very theme that runs through Issue Ten (which is now officially in the hands of the printer). They look at several of the upcoming articles and discuss how they were impacted by them as they worked through the editorial process. Issue Ten is full of deep, thoughtful reflection on our tools and the work of our hands.  

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Last Call for Issue Ten!

The Issue Ten Cover Design The table of contents has now been fully released and this is the last call for the Issue Ten subscription window! Tomorrow, Sunday, February 28th, is the last day to get in on the big send-out to subscribers. If you want to be in the initial release, make sure you order a subscription here.    The Issue Ten Table of Contents   Will Wheeler - “An Unexpected Gift: Discovering Calm in a Modern Apprenticeship” Jeff Miller - “An Exercise in Precision & Randomness: Replicating David Pye’s Fluting Engine” Al Breed - Book Recommendation Joshua Klein – “Ready Hands: A Letter to My Sons” John Ruskin - “Savageness” George Walker – “A Whisper from the Past: The Lessons...

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Issue 10 T.O.C. – Joseph Brihiez – “Walking with Wood/Se Promener avec Le Bois”

In 2019, we at M&T were given a crash-course in French timber framing when dozens of international carpenters from the Charpentiers Sans Frontières came to Maine to build a blacksmith shop. The art of construction with hand-hewn timbers is closely guarded and preserved in France through traditional apprenticeship models which have been in place for centuries. In Issue Ten, we will hear from author Joseph Brihiez on his experiences as an apprentice to CSF carpenter Loïc Desmonts. 

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Issue 10 T.O.C. – Michael Updegraff – “The Rhythm of Weaving Cattail Rush Seats”

When it comes to sustainable and useful natural materials, it’s hard to beat the common cattail. Long used in traditional handcraft, it was the go-to choice for weaving comfortable chair seats for many centuries before the invention of factory-produced paper rush and other industrial products. But author Michael Updegraff believes it’s time for cattail rush to make a comeback.

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Issue 10 T.O.C. – George Walker – “A Whisper from the Past”

As woodworkers, our tools are precious to us. We’ve grown accustomed to their quirks, learned their capabilities and weaknesses, and love the feel of their worn handles. They become extensions of our own hands. This connection between worker and tool has existed for millennia. But how have the Industrial and Digital Revolutions changed the way our culture defines “tools?”

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Issue 10 T.O.C. – John Ruskin – “Savageness”

We at M&T believe that the textures left behind in the process of making handmade objects tell a story of freedom and creativity. And so did John Ruskin. Ruskin’s name features prominently among the great thinkers of the 19th century. His writings were held in high esteem by the likes of Gandhi, Tolstoy, and many others, and changed the way we look at art, labor, and craftsmanship. The BBC recently entertained the idea that Ruskin might have been the most important man who lived in the last 200 years. His thoughts on handcraft were the seeds of the Arts & Crafts Movement, and his outspoken criticism of industrialization and the exploitation of the poor made some enemies but inspired many...

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