Lessons from Ottawa, Part One

Between October 2-4, a group of some of the world’s top experts on indigenous languages met in Ottawa under the auspices of the Foundation for Endangered Languages. Some of the research presented at the conference is of direct and urgent … Read More

The Death of the Traditional Urdu Script

Terrence Sehr just sent me an article by Ali Eteraz on the decline and endangerment of the traditional Urdu script called nastaliq. It’s a great article, and it parallels what has been happening with both Chinese and Arabic–namely, the movement away … Read More

Here At Last: Photos of the Incredible Balinese-Blessing Dining Table

Yes, thanks to the wonderful photography of Tom Way, who even helped me carry the table up the impossibly steep and rickety staircase to his studio, you can finally see the dining table I started more than a year ago. … Read More

Twin Chams

Here’s the latest Endangered Alphabets commission, a highly suitable wedding present. This is a gift for two people, recently married, whose initials are M and B. The carvings are in the wonderfully springy and energetic Cham script from western Vietnam, … Read More

Off to Ottawa

I’ve been icing my knee in the hope it’ll hold out for the five-hour drive to the annual Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL) conference in Ottawa. Presentation on Thursday, amputation on Friday. Seriously, though, I’m looking forward to meeting a … Read More

By the Time We Got to Woodstock

Well, no, not that Woodstock, but Woodstock, Vermont, and the Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival, an annual treat. The day was a great success, with much encouragement, some excellent new connections, some book sales, some carving sales, some commissions, and the … Read More

Beat the Heat, Heal the Knee

With this heat, with me stuck at home recovering from knee replacement surgery, with no air conditioning, things around my living-room are getting perilously close to erupting into inner-city violence. The only solution: find something to carve. This is not … Read More

Smithsonian Wrap-Up

Wow. Even as your intrepid Endangered Alphabets team (Maung Nyeu, our friend and collaborator from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, calligrapher/printer Jamie Kutner, Cindy Barnes, myself, and invisible back-in-Vermont laser-dude Paul Ledak) are recovering from several weeks of intense exertion and … Read More

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