From Scratch

Is now accepting submissions to publish its first issue!

___ From Scratch is a portal into the beautiful and hidden world of things made


This magazine combines the sensitivities and knowledge of artists, practitioners, scholars, and scientists to illustrate the making processes of the world around us and what it takes to do something “from scratch.” Essays, interviews, instructions, and art are brought together to illuminate the methods and histories of each themed issue. ____ From Scratch exists to celebrate the intersections of History, Contemporary Craft, and Science in a digestible and artful manner


The goal of each issue is to pull back the curtain of process, and to lay bare the methods used to bring about the fabricated world. Topics will range from tools, bread, houses and even extend to humor and films. By the end of each issue, our inquisitive readers will have experienced a broad introduction to many or all aspects of doing something from scratch.


 Each issue is home to morsels of information intended to be utilized in practice, or to jump start the learning process of a craft. This might include instructions to make a sourdough bread starter, diagrams to make your own wooden plane, or instructions to build a kiln for ceramics. Each issue lays the foundation for our readers to start their path toward a deeper understanding of making

In a world of fast fabrication and disposable design, ___ From Scratch begins as a small flame in the darkness, to shine light on the knowledge, care, and joy that comes from the earnest attempt at doing a lot when starting with a little.  I hope that you’ll join our community of passionate artisans, teachers, students and dabblers to learn about the many ways in which people all over the world, through all points in time, have made incredible things from scratch.



Justin Seow

Editor of  ___ From Scratch

Who are we?

Our editor is Justin Seow. They are an artist, designer and graduate student based in Chicago, IL.  Their undergraduate education was at the Rhode Island School of Design (Class of 2018). They received a BFA in Furniture Design with a concentration in Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies. After graduation,  Justin was awarded the Windgate Fellowship from the Center for Craft Creativity and Design to travel and study the craft of puzzle boxes. This consideration for the traditions and legacies of crafts brought them to the M.S. Historic Preservation program at SAIC (Class of 2022).

Justin has a passion for well made things and believes that the world would be more sustainable if there was a larger cultural appreciation and understanding of how things are made, and if consumers were equipped with the knowledge of how to do things themselves. To this goal, our editor conceptualized “___ From Scratch” in a course on publishing at SAIC, instructed by Dushko Petrovich in 2021. 

What are we looking for?

We are looking for essays, reflections, poems, histories, photos, illustrations, instructions, and plans about TOOLS, with an emphasis on pre-industrial tools and technologies. These can include a wide variety of submissions, but we are specifically looking for tools that can, or historically have been made “from scratch” meaning that they are the first tool made from raw materials. 

 Below is a list of topics that we are looking for, but you are in no way limited to. These are to illustrate the kinds of information we are looking for. We are searching for pieces that provide informed perspectives, technical instruction, and histories around the subject of tools.


  • A perspective about tools, and making in the age of industrial mass production

  • An essay on the historical processes used to make bronze tools

  • Diagrams and explanations of how to make a Japanese Kanna plane

  • A description of how to identify iron ore, and prepare it in a bloomery to make steel

  • What is a drop spindle, and how do you use it?

  • How to knap flint to make a stone adze

  • An opinion piece on how working with tools has changed your perspective on things

  • Restoring hand tools from Craigslist and getting them back to a functionable state

We're also looking for visual artists to submit existing works that are related to tools, or are looking to illustrate for written works! Submit a form, and indicate that you're looking to illustrate/submit a completed piece in the form!

How can I submit?

First of all, THANK YOU for your interest in this project! I look forward to reading your submission.

Fill in the submission form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can with next steps. Have no fear. Your contact information is only used for internal processes (to get back to you about the submission) we do not sell information. We have no time for that, and value your privacy. 

Here's the process:

1. After you've submitted, please wait as we sort through submissions. We will reach out to you if your submission has been approved or if it has been deemed unfit for this particular issue. 

2. If accepted, we will come to an agreement for the commission, and sign a contract to MAKE OUR BOND INTO ONE OF STONE! CEMENTING OUR UNION FOR ALL OF TIME! We will negotiate compensation. We can also do an "hour trade" or  "artist trade" where we exchange work for work, if that is more appealing to you (Justin makes really nice wooden boxes.) 

3. You will send along your piece if it has already been written, or submit it by the due date agreed upon.

4. We will work with you to cheer you on, give feedback,  and sing your praises until it's proof read, and ready for print.

5. Finally, the publication will be printed, and orders filled. 

6. You join the ranks of the first class of  TOOLS From Scratch

____ From Scratch Submissions