Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Tonight after work, I deposited a pile of boxes into my new Mortise & Tenon storage unit. Between t-shirts, stickers, posters, and all the mailing supplies, and not to mention soon-to-be thousands of copies of Issue One, I needed storage space. I’ll have to build a few shelves to make this stuff easily accessible throughout the year.
Thanks to the help of my new studio assistant, Mike, I’m wrapping up the last few projects before I go into full time M&T mode for the month of January. I’ve got a handful of chairs, a couple tables, and a desk that need to be out before next month. As always, deadlines are getting tight as the week is drawing to a close.
Speaking of deadlines, the sponsorship opportunities are closing after January 1st. That gives anyone who has been meaning to inquire two days to drop me a line. Now is your chance. I’ve been adding more and more sponsors as time goes on and there are a few more I will add when I get the final details. It turns out that Issue One will be sponsored by about thirty businesses and individuals, all of whom I have immense respect and admiration. It is very humbling to be endorsed by folks of this caliber. Check out the list here. It is pretty incredible.
What a turn of events. I never thought this would take off as well as it has. Thank you for your support, readers. I am very blessed.
That’s it for now. I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
|Posters for sale in January|
This whole magazine thing is starting to become a full time gig. In the beginning when I was talking with Chris about the idea, he told me that producing one issue of a magazine is the same as writing a book. It’s true. People have asked me why I am starting by only publishing annually. It is perfectly understandable that folks that have never been involved in any publishing would be unaware of how time intensive this stuff is. Well, besides running the conservation practice that pays my bills, I am the editor in chief, marketing department, photographer, interviewer, contributing author, designer, customer service, and sales manager for an emerging internationally distributed magazine. It’s kind of like a lot of work or something.
I have recruited some help. My good friend Brittnay has transcribed the audio recorded interviews. Recording the conversations this way enables the interviewee and I to chat casually and comfortably without the distraction of note taking. I think it pays off in the final product. I then have been sending these rough transcriptions (Brittnay’s not a woodworker) and rough drafts of articles to woodworker/writer Jim McConnell. Jim, trained and experienced in editorial work, has been working these articles through in a way I never would have been able to. The magazine will be so much better for having Jim on the team. After the manuscripts are cleaned up for review, I work through them to refine/cut content, etc. Then the files go to my copy editor, Megan Fitzpatrick. She makes sure everything is house style compliant and that the commas are in the right places and words are spelled correctly. Having such an awesome team working on this has fueled and inspired me in a way that never would have happened working on this by myself.
But how am I going to keep furniture moving through my studio? Again, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends. I am starting to get studio help one day a week from a very good friend of mine. Mike helped me on the house project and I was so impressed with his careful hand and work ethic I invited him into my studio. As a woodworker and boat varnisher with an enthusiasm for historic furniture, he’s got a great foundation for developing conservation skills. I’m really looking forward to working side by side with him. More on our collaboration later.
Many late nights and early mornings lately have been consumed with producing this magazine. I will be dedicating the entire month of January to M&T in order to get the finished Issue One to the printer Feb. 1st. After that, I’m turning back to Fisher.
|Hogarth's "Line of Beauty" found in Fisher's stand legs|
Working on this magazine has been very instructive to me as I am writing this book about Jonathan Fisher’s furniture making. Through the many conversations I’ve had and the feedback I’ve gotten my vision for the Fisher book has been clarified. I feel like I am on a better track by focusing a little more on the craftsmanship of Fisher and less on the biographical backdrop. As strange as it sounds, launching M&T during this book writing process has actually been very good for the book. It will be better for it.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The first week of pre-order opening has gone spectacularly. I’m blown away by the amount of enthusiasm for this publication. Honestly, when I first came up with this idea, I thought I'd have to figure out how I could convince a few of my friends to buy a copy. But as this thing has been developing and growing the past year there has been a good amount of buzz about it. Popular Woodworking and Classic Hand Tools have been tweeting about it. Chris Schwarz, Tom Fidgen, George Walker, and Jim McConnell have been blogging about it. It’s been passed around Facebook quite a bit now. All in all, I am pretty overwhelmed by the response. It has been a long road to get to this point and I’m still in the thick of it for a while doing the nitty-gritty editing and designing. I will make sure you see this thing in your mailbox in February.
A Few Words on Ordering
A small handful of people have contacted me to tell me they’ve had issues not being able to sign up for pre-orders. Most of them followed up later and said it finally went through. I can’t say why that glitch happened but all I can tell you (as annoying as it sounds) is it’s a Paypal issue and not anything on my end. If you’ve tried and tried with no success feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do. I will be switching to a different (and better) storefront in the next few weeks so I’ll let you know when that is launched. There may even be a few new products to release. We’ll see if they arrive in time.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Finally the day has come to take Mortise & Tenon Magazine pre-orders! The “Pre-order Now” button is live at the Purchase page of the M&T website. Check out the updated Table of Contents and put in your order. Don’t forget: As a thank you for your support, all US pre-orders from the website will receive free shipping.
For international orders, please check the Purchase page for the list of stockists. Classic Hand Tools is taking pre-orders for the UK and Europe and The Wood Works is now taking pre-orders for Australia. Also, Lee Valley will begin taking all Canadian pre-orders within the next couple of weeks. I will let you know when they’re ready.
I have spent many hours this year interviewing, photographing, and writing to prepare Issue One. It has been an incredible privilege spending time with the best of the best discussing period furniture, conservation, woodworking, and scholarship. Al Breed, Phil Lowe, Freddy Roman, George Walker, Martin O’Brien, Jon Brandon, Gerry Ward, Charles Hummel, Zachary Dillinger, and the Yale Furniture Study are all making an appearance in this Issue. It is a truly incredible line up… beyond what I could have hoped for.
I’m now hunkered down now in editing mode in order to get the manuscripts off to my copy editor, Megan Fitzpatrick. There are a lot of articles and photographs to work through so I’ll be busy. The printer and I are working out an expected delivery of mid to late February.
To all you enthusiastic folks that send me the steady stream of encouraging emails and messages, I look forward to putting Issue One in your hands. Spread the word: Pre-orders are open! Thank you!
Mortise & Tenon Magazine