Japanese Fine Cut

We can always appreciate a woodworking tool that both functions well and looks great sitting on the work table. Japanese handsaws work on the pull stroke as opposed to Western style of the push stroke. This allows for a much thinner blade, which also allows for finer teeth that leave a clean and smooth cut. This kind of precision is achieved with fewer excursions as well.

Next time you are building some furniture or building a house, make sure to check out a Dozuki, Ryoba, and Kataba saws. From dovetails, larger cuts, and difficult cuts, these tools will get the job done.


Case Study House #4 - Never Built / Not Forgotten

The Arts & Architecture magazine Case Study House Program ran from 1945 to 1962. It was initiated to establish new ideas in housing design that could be duplicated in an affordable manner. Of the 35+ houses designed for the program, not all were built. A MGS favorite of this group happens to be CSH #4 by Ralph Rapson.


Ralph Rapson was an architect from Minnesota whose work and sketches have influenced many over the decades. He pursued Modern Design along side friends such as Charles Eames, Harry Bertois, and Eliel Saarinen. His long career allowed him to see a renewed interest in his works as well as the reintroduction of some furniture designs. MGS has been influenced not only by his design works, but also by his pursuit of a modern goods shop in 1950, called Rapson-Inc. It was located in Boston and was run with the help of his wife, Mary.


Case Study House #4, The Greenbelt, was to be two sloped butterfly roof structures that had a greenbelt passing through for plantings. This allowed for the house to have private and public areas. An open plan helped with more than a few possibilities for the end user.



Sawkille Co. - Catskills Crafted Design

We have had our eye on the upstate NY happenings of Jonah Meyer for several years now, when operating under different names and such. Sawkille Co., in its current state, looks to be an interesting group of individuals that are forging ahead with like-mindedness and pushing the coined concept of Rural American Design. Their works are hand made and created with mixed materials that will equal years of use and longevity. We here at MGS not only embrace this crafted aesthetic, but applaud its heirloom quality.

Here are some of the goods from their line. They do commission and custom projects as well.



Plywood – Layers of Lumber and Glue

Looked at as a simple material, plywood has made its mark for decades in the areas of furniture design, architecture, and products. There is an exhibition at MOMA called Plywood: Material, Process, Form – this is a must see for anyone interested in this material and design as a whole.

This exhibit covers modern designs and experiments ranging from a Marcel Breuer prefab house model to Eames chair prototypes. These past ideas and production goods have held their own over time while influencing current design and architectural happenings using this material.

From the exhibit >

Non-exhibit  / more ply >

Ply-arch -

A MGS favorite, a house by Uni Architects using plywood both inside and out.

Sim-ply –

We like the refined form of these chairs by Rolu mixed with the raw and natural look of the plywood.

Skate-ply -

Ply Chair / 1988 / Jasper Morrison -

Ply Heavy Hitters >

Some of the design icons pictured below experimented, designed, and carved careers out of plywood goods.

G. Nelson, E. Wormley, E. Saarinen, H. Bertoia, C. Eames, J. Risom

George Nelson –

Tray Table

Ptetzel chair

Edward Wormley –

Ply Tray Table 

Eero Saarinen –

Saarinen and Eames designed this chair for the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition in 1941 at the MOMA.  There were several versions, all incorporating a molded plywood core. This chair won the competition, which pushed Eames to develop many more designs with plywood.

Harry Bertoia –

He worked with the Eames Office from 1942-45 in helping with the development of plywood ideas, prototypes, and production.

Eames Office – 


Bridge House(s) – Past and Present

When we first saw this Australian project, we had immediate flashbacks to the Craig Ellwood Bridge House projects of the 1960’s.

Max Prichard has taken the concept of a bridge house and spun it into a thing of function, beauty, and affordability. The steel, wood, and concrete structure are strategically placed over a creek. Concrete pylons anchor steel trusses to form the core of the structure. Windows run most of the span on both sides, which allow one to have that tree house feeling.

Special attention to the environmental footprint and sustainability were followed. They used as many local reusable or recycled materials as well as things produced locally. The water from the roof is collected to use for the house. Hot water is achieved via solar panels on the roof.

square footage of Pritchard version = 1184
cost to build  = $177,000 U.S. dollars

Craig Ellwood / Past –

Max Pritchard / Present –

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