Moxon’s “Doctrine of Handy Works”

 Behold, the State of our Art, in 1683:

 

“How Pleasant and Healthey, this their Diversion is, their Minds and Bodies find; and how Harmless and Honest, all sober men may judge?”

Joseph Moxon, (who lived 1627-1691, and is no doubt familiar to you as Royal Hydrographer to King Charles, Fellow of the Royal Society and best-selling author of “Mathematicks Made Easie”) was among the first to illuminate the industry of his time in print. A man of the enlightenment, he followed Bacon’s reasoning that spreading previously arcane knowledge of the trades would improve not only the public’s understanding of them, but provide synergistic benefits to the trades themselves, and consequently all of society.

His “Mechanicks Exercises” remains fascinating today, and is one of our best windows into a vanished trade. Despite this, it remains frustratingly hard to find in print – so I present a link to it here, from the Library of the University of Michigan.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUpon

My Work

Walnut Chest

Small dovetailed walnut chest, with forged
iron hardware from extant 18thc New
England examples.

Mjolnir Mk II

Second in my series of Sterling silver Thor's Hammer pendants. Fenris the wolf leers from the face.

Elk Ivory Pendant #2

18k White Gold pendant, set with a pair of elk-ivory buttons. Satin finish with mirror highlights. Shown with matching elk-ivory earrings.

Mjolnir MkI

Sterling silver Thor's Hammer pendant.
A significant pair of ravens adorn the face.

Rococo Pipe Tomahawk

Pipe tomahawk with light engraving
and pewter accents.

Gun-Barrel Tomahawk

Pipe tomahawk forged from a .45 muzzle-loader barrel. Pierced blade, pewter and brass accents.

Surt’s Horn

An elaborate drinking horn, leaning toward Jelling motifs.

Epona Among the Scythians

Scythian horses adorn this ornate 1" pendant,
a tribute to Epona, Rhiannon and potnia theron.

Silver Filligree Cuff

For a lady's upper arm.

Small Knives

Three small hunting knives, all 5160. From top, hafts are antler/cedar burl, Koa/Maple/Brass and Walnut with copper pins.

Heimdall’s Coffee Mug

A Viking coffee mug with Jelling motifs.

Oak Leaf Fireplace Doors

Copper and steel fireplace doors, to match and complete a 1920s marble fireplace. Some very simple repousse, modern and traditional forms.