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Mortise & Tenon Magazine
According to its defining statement, Mortise & Tenon is a new annual print magazine
celebrating the preservation, research, and recreation of historic furniture.
We believe you will find it to be quite different from any other woodworking tome ever published.
Far more like a book than the term "magazine" would typically imply, Mortise & Tenon is the brainchild of
professional furniture conservator Joshua Klein, who lives and works in mid-coast Maine.
Joshua's meticulous devotion to detail honed over the years while restoring valuable
antique furniture is reflected in the exceptional quality evident in the design and content of his new publishing venture.
One new issue is expected to be published near the beginning of each new year, so the notion of an "annual subscription"
in this case would simply be the purchase of the current year's issue.
For the inaugural issue, Joshua sat down with the premier minds in their
respective fields for personal and illuminating conversations. The interviews dig deep
into their perspectives and daily work. There are also several craft practice essays, an
intimate and personal tour through an unparalleled collection, a detailed account of a
faithful historic reproduction, and an in-depth analysis of an incredible example of
Issue Two of Mortise & Tenon Magazine is available now. See the table of contents below to get a flavor of the content.
- "Perfection & Risk: The Making of a Banister-back Chair" by: Joshua Klein
- "Quiet Grace: An Interview with Chairmakers David and George Sawyer"
- "Examination of an 18th-Century Drop Leaf Table"
- "Dividing the Line: Assessing the Eye of Blue-Collar Geometers" by: George Walker
- "Decoding the Roman Workbench" by: Christopher Schwarz
- "A Furniture Conservation Primer" by: Donald C. Williams
- "An Unjustified Mystique: Period Dovetails Up-Close"
- "A Case for Cadwalader" by: Timothy Garland
- "An Interview with Tool Collector Skip Brack of Liberty Tool Company"
- "Fidelity to the Past: An Interview with Zachary Dillinger"
- "Everyone Who Knows 'Why' is Dead" by: Peter Follansbee
- "Woodworking in Estonia: Book Review" by: Michael Updegraff
Issue One of Mortise & Tenon Magazine is currently in stock and available to order. See the table of contents below to get a flavor of the content.
- "The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Manifesto"
- "Imbued With Story: An Interview with Furniture Conservator Jon Brandon"
- "A Discussion on Period Craftsmanship with Phil Lowe"
- "Rural Refinement: Recreating the Parson’s Card Table" by: Joshua Klein
- "Analysis and Details of a Federal Era Boston Secretary"
- "The Objects Reveal Themselves: A Conversation with Curator Gerald Ward"
- "Ex Nihilo: The Genesis of Classical Proportion" by: George Walker
- "Adorned with Feathers: A Carving Tutorial" by: Al Breed
- "The Dominy Shop: New Discoveries"
- "Striking a Balance by: Freddy Roman"
- "Distinguishing the Marks of an Artisan" by: Martin O’Brien
- "Before Our Very Eyes: A Visit to the Yale Furniture Study"
- "Workbenches: From Design and Theory to Construction and Use, Revised Edition Book Review" by: Zachary Dillinger
More about the publication
As Joshua describes it, Mortise & Tenon magazine seeks to bridge the worlds of furniture maker, conservator, and scholar. It is not just
another typical woodworking magazine. There are no "7 Essential Router Tricks", weekend
DIY pocket screw projects, or ad cluttered pages. Mortise & Tenon exists to showcase premier furniture
artisans and scholars in an elegant and artful manner. The magazine is printed on uncoated
70# matte paper with a minimalist photography-saturated aesthetic.
Mortise & Tenon curates stories and information you will find nowhere else
- Interviews with makers, conservators, and scholars
- Essays on historic craft practice
- Previews of upcoming research
- Reviews of relevant books
The passion to marry scholarship with craft practice imbues the publication with a unique voice in the world of woodworking media.
• • •
The Mortise & Tenon Manifesto
- Mortise & Tenon is neither elitist nor pedestrian. We believe that featuring both high style
masterpieces as well as simple vernacular furniture accurately represents the work of the
pre-industrial cabinet/chair maker.
- Mortise & Tenon celebrates pre-industrial methods. We believe that authentic reproductions are best
created with authentic tools and methodology. While powered mechanization is more
economical for quantity production, we believe working wood “by hand” is both efficient
and viable when building single objects. Because the vast majority of furniture makers are
not direct competition with factories, we believe there is much for us to learn from
- Mortise & Tenon is dedicated to hands-on research. We believe working with authentic methods is the
best way to do historical research because it allows the maker to stand in the shoes of
the original artisan. Insights are gained through this “shop based research” more readily
than by ordinary examination because the natural constraints of working by hand allow the
maker to discern the logic behind original construction choices.
- Mortise & Tenon honors original construction. We believe reproducing original characteristics such
as coarseness of secondary components, irregularity of dimensions, and occasional
expeditious joining/fastening methods is appropriate and honoring to original artistic
- Mortise & Tenon honors cultural heritage. We believe that patina makes an object more beautiful. We
agree with David Pye that “the effects of age and wear are powerful diversifying agents”.
And because historic artifacts are representations of the life and values of our
ancestors, patina is cherished as a document of the past just as much as the piece’s
- Mortise & Tenon serves as a bridge between disciplines. We believe that period furniture makers,
conservators, and scholars all have a unique and important contribution toward researching
and preserving our furniture heritage. We want Mortise & Tenon to be a place for those
disciplines to meet and collaborate.
- Mortise & Tenon is a celebration of historic furniture. We believe that reveling in historic
workmanship is an important way to honor the past. Although there is an astonishing
variety of wood craftsmanship produced today, our passion remains singular: Without
apology we celebrate the wisdom, skill, and ingenuity of our woodworking forefathers.
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