I believe that man is not meant to simply exist, but to live — to truly live. I believe that the American dream has caused us to lose sight of our worth, through pursuit of comfort and convenience. Each man has sacrificed a piece of his own communion with God and with the earth for a life of ease, and society has seen the decline of men and women of truth, of bravery, of beauty, and of steadfast character.
We satisfy ourselves with synthetic replacements for every good thing provided by God and nature, we keep ourselves awake by mechanical and artificial means, though we are not truly awake. But there appears here a ray of hope. Because for every thousand men sleeping soundly in this state of stupor, there arises, ever so rarely, one who wonders against convention and asks the questions no one has answers to. And here, in the search for answers, is the hope of an awakening generation.
I have hope that there is an awakening in this generation for the things of old. For the things of beauty and of bravery and of truth. I have faith that a remnant is being preserved for the conservation of the old ways, the love of hard work and fortitude.
This place is dedicated to the spirit of that awakening. This is a place to rekindle the fire of a true and sincere soul, one that is yoked equally with God and nature.
This is a place to kindle your sense of adventure, your wanderlust, your love for your fellow man, the discipline of your soul, and the wildness of your heart. This is a place for the dreamers, the lovers, the fighters, for the talkers, for the thinkers, for the doers, for the living, for the dying, for the laughing, for the crying, and for everyone in between
My name is Josh Abe, and I make things.
Growing up, when I wanted to know how something worked, I took it apart, and tried to make it myself. I built model airplanes, treehouses, boats, bows and arrows, anything I was interested in, I’d try to make it myself, and I learned how it worked along the way. I also grew up playing music, and found that I could visualize notes in my mind as though they were a physical thing, and my hands could create what I saw just as easily as breathing.
Soon after I graduated from design school, I realized that I felt unfulfilled in my work because I have always been wired to make things with my hands. I felt a real disconnect between the intangible work I did on a computer, and the joy of creating something useful that you can touch and see and use.
I tried to fill the void between my vocation and my calling by going outdoors, trying to reconnect with the real, tangible world in nature. I also chopped down a tree and built my first chair out of it, and through these experiences, found that manifesting my mind physically in the world through my hands was innate in my nature, as though it were coded into my DNA.
My passion is to make things that are both useful and beautiful, and to apply a high level of craftsmanship and excellence so that they serve their purpose well. I also find that it is helpful to write about my experiences in discovering and exploring, so that others may find that a similar note resonates within them, and can realize their passion and calling as well.
The orb and double cross is an emblem adapted from an old insignia used by a group of people called the Roycrofters in Aurora, NY in 1906. The Roycrofters were a community of people started by Elbert Hubbard, who was a writer and an artisan, what some would call a Renaissance man. He believed that all things should be done with the utmost craftsmanship and excellence, and applied that ideology to book binding, woodworking, and other crafts, and united makers and artisans around a standard for high quality hand-craftsmanship, excellence in design, and continuing artistic growth. The orb and double cross was a mark that they would place on any works created by members of the community that met these criteria, and bore the initial “R” to denote utmost craftsmanship. Their logo was actually adapted from a symbol that monks used in the middle ages to mark their illuminated manuscripts, which signified their work as “The best I can do, dedicated to God.” The name “Roycroft” itself means “The Kings Craft” and alludes to a quality in craftsmanship worthy of the King.
I adapted this mark with the initial of my own last name to denote my commitment to quality and craftsmanship in all things. It is my aim to make things with excellence and skill, and to the best of my ability, dedicate my craft to God.