Hole & Corner is a British publication with a passion for craft and the people who make things – furniture, food, gardens, instruments, jewelry, books, clothing, motorbikes – that matter. Articles include features on wood type, rare books, sustainable surfboards and (almost) everything in between. Whether speaking with an architect and “incidental astronomer” who makes telescopes in his signature fire engine red, or surveying the history of the ukulele (first made by Portuguese cabinet makers on a ship bound for Hawaii…), each piece is sure to leave readers more curious and inspired than when they first opened the magazine.
We asked Editorial & Creative Director Sam Walton to share a few highlights of starting your own magazine.
Year launched 2013
Home base Dorset, England
Number of issues to date Two
Number of issues per year Two
Why did you start Hole & Corner?
The dictionary definition of hole-and-corner is “being or carried on in a place away from public view.” This resonated with me as soon as I found it; our title and subjects – our whole concept really – are defined by this.
Magazines have been my passion throughout my career, so after an eight-year hiatus from publishing, working at the creative helm of a communications agency in London, I felt it was time to take a new direction. I was encouraged by the emergence of some inspiring content-driven independent titles and thought it might be time to set about launching my own. There was an opportunity to tell extraordinary stories but without the celebrities, PR campaigns or the bandwagon of fame that comes with them.
What was the first article you assigned?
The first two features we commissioned were a 12-page still-life story on functional wooden brushes by Robin Broadbent, and a piece on a stone mason called Teucer Wilson, who is influenced by heavy metal album covers. That last one was written by Richard Benson (former editor of The Face magazine) – a perfect example of the merging of two worlds we wanted to combine. The majority of our subjects aren’t after fame for themselves, but for recognition of their work, and it’s their passion that we’re drawn to.
Who are your readers?
It’s not the most straight-forward demographic but there are enough of us out there who appreciate the beauty in living an alternative life, those who would like to understand where things derive from and what makes someone live a certain way or dedicate such a huge chunk of their life to a certain subject.
Hardest story to get off the ground?
Time is on our side so this doesn’t really apply to us. If we can make a story work for the next issue that’s great – if not, the following issue or the one after that. Our stories don’t tend to have an expiration date. Slow publishing! Issue 1 could still be read next year and it wouldn’t be obvious you were reading an old title.
What is a story you have yet to tell but would like to?
If they can keep coming in as they have so far, I’ll be delighted. I don’t think we’ll run out of content any time soon – the network grows as we meet more fascinating characters.