Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Full Time Gig

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.


  1. Your killing me. I cannot wait for the issure to arrive.

  2. Your killing me. I cannot wait for the issure to arrive.