Smith Journal Volume 30 is out now and all about the money. Inside you’ll read about the eye-catching art of coin carving, take a ride on Indonesia’s mad max-like scooters, learn what it takes to forge a famous painting, visit one of the world’s last professional scissor-makers, embark on a quest to clone a forest, and go undercover with the CIA’s former chief of disguise.
They say crime doesn’t pay. And they’re probably right, because the defaced coin on our latest front cover actually cost the artist behind it money. (At least 50 cents, by our calculations.) It was carved by a fellow named Seth Basista, and while we don’t usually condone illegal activity, we’re prepared to let things slide in this case for two reasons: 1) Skeletor Queen Elizabeth looks kinda cool, and 2) by treating coins as canvases, Seth is keeping alive a centuries-old tradition and folk art. You can read all about the history of so-called ‘hobo nickels’ in Smith Journal volume 30, and much more besides.
Much more like what, you ask? Well, we go hiking with a man who’s trying to clone an entire forest, roll a 20-sided die with the illustrators behind Dungeons & Dragons, meet some tiny animals you’re probably sharing your home with even as you read this, and learn what goes into a $46,000 pair of scissors.
But wait, there’s more: we take a ride on Indonesia’s Mad Max-like scooters, play a video game that’s got scientists rethinking the meaning of life itself, come to terms with the slippery nature of the eel, and pay homage to the soaring genius of the elevator. All that plus the cholesterol-inducing history of the dim sim, fashion advice from the CIA’s former Chief of Disguise, a chat with comedian Maria Bamford and a taxonomical investigation into the humble cornflake.
Smith Journal is a quarterly publication from Australia for discerning gents (and ladies who like reading about discerning gents). It’s heads-up and hands-on. A friendly guide to all things creative, intriguing, genuine and funny – full of stories, people, adventures, interesting conversations and gentlemanly style. The people behind Smith wanted to create something they’d be happy to read themselves. That smart, creative guys could peruse without shame, slap down on the coffee table, whack in their favourite old satchel or display proudly on the toilet reading rack. Something that looked good, but had substance, wit and inspiration. At a time when everything seems like it’s speeding up, Smith Journal is a call to slow down.It’s about remembering, reviving and revamping forgotten traditions, skills and technologies. And backpedalling just enough to appreciate the good stuff in life. Like our readers, we’re not particularly obsessed with being the coolest, the biggest or the first in line. But we are interested in making things that last.