Magazine Interview

I spent some time with UK woodworking magazine editor, Nick Gibbs who is co-founder of Quercus, which dedicates its content to articles on working wood by hand. Nick contacted me to see if he could arrange to interview me about my life working wood as a full-time lifelong woodworker. Nick is one of the few magazine editors to pioneer a magazine away from taking advertisements and take an active pursuit of hand-working wood. I’ve known Nick for several years and recall my first encounter with him in 2007 or 2008 when I found someone who works as many hours in a day and as many days in a week as I do. As kindred spirits, I did something I usually shy away from and Nick came for a visit to discuss my woodworking life.

The cover image tells the story. I’m as enthusiastic a woodworker after 57 years in the saddle as I was when I was 15 starting my woodworking and furniture making career.

In the pre-internet days, magazines were more plentiful and in recent years I have watched them drop off one by one as people favour on-the-spot information at their fingertips. Pioneer? Well, I just don’t know of a new magazine start-up by a lone entity that’s occurred in these recent times with a monthly output and that was quite so close to the point of a pandemic overtaking the world.

Nick Gibbs asked me lots of questions and here are a couple you might want to know the answers to. He asked me whether mesquite would be my Desert Island timber and whether I was escaping the British class system when I moved to the US. The answers to these questions and more are in the next issue of Nick’s magazine and here is the link to get your January edition of Quercus! I know you’ll find it interesting. Well done, Nick Gibbs!

11 thoughts on “Magazine Interview”

  1. Thanks Paul. Another woodworking magazine dedicated to hand tools is Mortise and Tennon. I’ve quite enjoyed that one and will look into subscribing to Quercus.

    I found the magazine name interesting but I didn’t know what it meant. Having studied Latin in high school, it looked like it might be a Latin word. So, I looked it up. It is Latin for oak. A fitting magazine for a woodworking magazine I think.

  2. I went to the website of Quercus and subscribed. I have held off with subscribing to any new magazines but it seems this one will work. Another thing, I would like to learn how to create a picture in the style of the cover of that magazine. Is it a photograph or a painting?

    1. Almost certainly it is a photograph that has been through a “turn into a painting” filter in some graphics software. I had some free software that would do just that with my first computer scanner, which I bought in 2000… so it’s been around a long time!

      1. Thanks Matt
        I do not have the app but I think I can use a light box to trace a photo graph and then try to color it. I will check on the app too

        1. Jim,

          This exact way of editing used to be possible with the free Microsoft photo editor that was on all laptops and pc’s. I don’t use Microsoft any longer but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s still part of the package.

        2. Jim et al. – The filter you are looking for is called “posterize”, and/or “pencil sketch” I think – or at least those are the old names. The free-ware image editor Gimp has similar filters and others that can be added both for free and profit.

  3. I’ve just treated myself to Paul’s, “Essential Woodworking Hand Tools, book and DVD set”

    I’ve been a very good boy this year, no ashes in my stocking this time.

  4. Andrew Churchley

    The cover image is excellent; looks like a drawing, but captures the subject precisely. I’m in no doubt that it is a photo which has been processed. Very good indeed.

  5. Thank you Paul, it’s good to see you supporting woodworking magazines, especially one focused on using only hand tools. I’ve pre-ordered the paper issue. Looking forward to reading it!

  6. I occasionally buy various woodworking magazines from Smiths. I like to browse them first to see if there is anything interesting. however, far too often i see mistakes in them e.g. not knowing the difference between pliers and pincers or thinking that coping, fret and piercing saws are the same. Plus the assumption that most of us have a shop full of machines rather than hand tools.

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