As we’re only days away from the packing party to ship out Issue Two, I can’t help but reflect on the year (11 months actually) since Issue One was released. 2016 has been a wild ride for me. Before M&T launched, I spent my work week alone in my studio regluing chairs and refinishing dining tables. I ran a little blog documenting some of it but, for the most part, I was pretty much in my own little world.
This leap-in-the-dark magazine idea was simply the culmination of my many thoughts and observations working on period furniture. I never knew if it would resonate with anyone else.
Mortise & Tenon has completely flipped my life upside down. The interest far exceeded what I thought possible, I hired full time help to keep furniture moving through my studio, and now a bunch of my professional time is spent on activities related to teaching, writing/editing, and interacting with readers of the magazine. With Mike on board, we’ve started learning to use new mediums like video. Mike and I have learned a lot doing the Foundations video and we really enjoyed it. We see the Apprenticeship series primarily as a means to teach and demonstrate our methods of working so that we can hook more people into hand tool work. We are truly passionate about handcraft and want to make it as approachable as possible. Video seems to be a good way to do that.
What should you expect to see from us in 2017? Good question. Lots…
We are prouder than ever of Issue Two and expect it to generate a bunch of dialogue with readers. We plan to ramp up our blogging and YouTube activity to facilitate that. YouTube is new to us and we hope to figure out its “isms”. We see it as a powerful tool to communicate through comments. Subscribe to our channel and watch for new videos.
You can also expect to see a new Apprenticeship video released sometime before summer. Mike and I have been discussing the outline for that but we will announce the topic in the near future. What I can say is that it is a topic (and perspective) I don’t recall ever seeing done before. We hope it will be a valuable resource for our readers. Stay tuned for that.
We will have new shirts soon – the design is in the printer’s hands. We’ll see if we can figure some hoodies too but are not sure if there is enough interest. (Do you all want hoodies?)
And there will be new stickers.
We also have a big project that we will announce this summer. I can’t say what it is yet but I will say it is huge news for M&T and that Mike and I (and others) will be putting a ton of time into it. You will see a lot about it, believe me.
This winter, though, I’m finishing up my book about the furniture making of Jonathan Fisher for Lost Art Press. During the course of my research and writing, the vision for the book has clarified. The book will be much more personal and less academic than originally intended. I discussed this with Chris and he said he and John expect and actually hope that their authors have a new perspective on the project having been in it so deep. What an incredible support Chris and John have been to me. You won’t find a better publisher. Come spring, my part in the Fisher book will be complete.
We already have a pile of ideas for Issue Three and will begin planting those seeds with authors soon. We are hopeful that Issue Three (which we plan to be shipping in November or December 2017) will be the beginning of a biannual publishing schedule. Doing this thing twice a year will be a huge amount of work but we are working toward making it attainable.
So the turning of the year tonight has me thinking afresh about the whirlwind of 2016 and the exciting new opportunities to grow and expand in 2017. There is so much on the horizon. Even personally – my wife and I are expecting our third child this spring.
Mike and I thank you for supporting our young families. Mortise & Tenon Magazine is a homegrown publication that we pour our hearts into. It’s your enthusiastic comments on social media and emails that keep us focused on providing content that you readers enjoy.
Thank you, readers. May your 2017 abound with shavings.