The Recipients of the 2021 M&T Craft Research Grant

After much agonizing over the pile of compelling applications we received, we have whittled it down to the two final grant recipients.

Our first recipient is Agnes Chang, who will be partnering with woodworking instructor Adan Jhan in documenting the last professional handplane makers in Taiwan. Traditional Taiwanese handplanes (which resemble Japanese tools but are pushed rather than pulled, at standing benches) are an amalgamation of Chinese, Japanese, and Western influences, and the modifications and adaptations made to these styles offer clues about the overlapping evolution of each. Chang and Jhan will be touring Taiwan to learn from the remaining few traditional planemakers to study how the traditional methods of making and using these handplanes might offer wisdom for the modern woodworker. 

Our second recipient is Kerry Lambertson, a handcraft instructor, fiddle player, and student of traditional violin making. A mention of classical violins recalls the ornate, cosmopolitan instruments of 18th-century Europe, but Lambertson’s interests lie in the study of the art from a more approachable, grass-roots level. Lambertson will be focusing on vernacular violin making in eastern North America, with a particular focus on hand-tool methods and local materials. He will be visiting traditional makers in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, documenting their techniques while showing that the craft is both accessible and democratic.  

If you would like quarterly field updates on this valuable work, you can become a grant supporter here. Thank you for supporting Agnes and Kerry’s fresh research!

– Joshua


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