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Difficult to Draw a Hard and Fast Line

“It is important to stress that few period cabinetmakers made a living exclusively by building furniture. Especially in rural settings, artisans had diverse sources of income. Warren Roberts has said, “craftsmen were usually part-time farmers who had some land on which they grew crops and raised animals, devoting time to their own farm when they could. Hence it is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the farmer and the specialized craftsman.” If the Arts and Crafts legend of the rural craftsmen working in isolation, doing everything by hand and by the sweat of their brow is true anywhere, it is in Fisher. In rural towns such as Blue Hill, the craft tradition gave the maker more freedom...

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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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