| || |
| || || |
| || |
| || || |
| || |
Mortise & Tenon Magazine - Issue 1
"From the Editor: The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Manifesto""From the Editor: The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Manifesto" Where does a distinctive magazine like M&T come from? By way of introduction, this article will provide the background and impetus for the magazine. We recount the evolution from blog to print and explain the rationale behind the change. We also expound the unique vision for the magazine: bridging the worlds of furniture maker, conservator, and scholar because our experience interacting with all three spheres has proven that a multi-disciplinary approach, where head and hands are engaged in research is the most rewarding way.
"Imbued With Story: An Interview with Furniture Conservator Jon Brandon" Jon Brandon is a furniture conservator in private practice in Brunswick, ME. Jon trained at the Smithsonian Furniture Conservation Training Program and is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Historic and Artistic Works. Before opening his own practice, Jon spent two years working at MFA Boston in the conservation department. We spent time with Jon discussing his perspective and passion for furniture conservation as he showed us the daily happenings in his studio. This is an exceptional opportunity to get a glimpse inside a private conservation studio.
"A Discussion on Period Craftsmanship with Phil Lowe" Phil Lowe needs no introduction. His influence and impact on the period furniture making community is almost without comparison. Lowe not only takes commissions for exquisite reproductions but he also directs the school he founded, The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. Phil regularly works on museum pieces and has established himself as a final authority on building and restoring period furniture. Among other things, this personal talk with Lowe explores his background, personal tastes, and daily workload.
"Rural Refinement: Recreating the Parson’s Card Table" by: Joshua Klein This article shows historic reproduction taken to the most exacting level. What would it be like to examine every single saw cut, every plane mark, and every brush stroke with a goal to recreate a historic table as close as humanly possible? This is exactly what we set out to do with a card table attributed to a rural 19th century cabinetmaker named Jonathan Fisher. The article details examination, x-radiography of joinery, and authentic recreation of both the construction process and original "mahoganized" grain painting. The article will enlighten those unfamiliar with pre-industrial furniture making practice and inspire those who want to make their own period furniture making more authentic.
"Analysis and Details of a Federal Era Boston Secretary" This federal era secretary is a wonderful example of period craftsmanship to study. For those who do not have the privilege to routinely examine preindustrial furniture, this kind of article is a goldmine. Relying heavily on clear and illuminating photography, the article highlights both common construction methods and surprising idiosyncrasies. Specific emphasis is given to the aspects of construction which are usually inaccessible to the average woodworker. Details like the variety of surface qualities and the characteristic irregularity of hand prepped components are particularly enlightening.
"On Curation and Scholarship: A Conversation with Curator Gerald Ward" Gerald Ward has, for years, been held in utmost regard in the American Decorative Arts community. His commitment to research and scholarship is of the highest caliber and his passion for preserving history is nonpareil. We sat down with Ward over coffee for a personal and candid conversation about the sphere of museum collection and research of historic furniture. What is a museum curator? Why do museums collect and display furniture? What does it take to oversee the preservation of the nation’s material heritage? What is the new frontier in furniture scholarship that Ward is so excited about? This is a rare opportunity to peer behind the glass cases and chat with a man responsible for preserving our cultural heritage.
"Ex Nihilo: The Genesis of Classical Proportion" by: George Walker Scholars recognize that the artisans from ancient to recent history all used simple geometry to create a "language for building". This decorative vocabulary always was the key to the elegance of our built world. From palaces to side chairs, the surviving artifacts of history confirm this written and oral tradition. In this article, George Walker explores the transmission of design knowledge through three primary strands over time: Written material (books, drawings, logbooks, etc), oral craft knowledge passed down through guilds and artisans, and finally the artifacts themselves.
"Adorned with Feathers: A Carving Tutorial" by: Al Breed Al Breed tells us that the heart and soul of carving is all about seamlessly flowing curving lines and there are few details in which this effect is seen most vividly as feathers. Breed shows us the method he discovered based on an exceptional 18th century eagle carving. Breed takes us into the mind of the period carver exemplifying that balance of precision and efficiency that is the hallmark of a master.
"The Dominy Shop: New Discoveries" Nearly fifty years ago the discovery of the only complete surviving 18th century cabinetmaker’s workshop was first published in a book titled With Hammer in Hand. Charles Hummel of the Winterthur Museum literally dug through piles in order to reassemble the most important collection of artifacts related to period furniture making practice. The book was groundbreaking in its time and has had a major influence on research since. What wasn’t commonly known, however, is that Mr. Hummel never ceased his research. Over the course of the past fifty years an abundance of Dominy furniture has been discovered. We sat down with Charlie to discuss these new findings and the upcoming revised edition of With Hammer in Hand.