Ernest Journal issue 4 - Claire Potter reviews January 08 2016

Mid December saw the arrival of Ernest Journal issue 4 at What You Sow HQ. Our favourite independent magazine, this issue of Ernest tells the beautiful stories of so many adventures, including a glorious exploration of folklore and nature in Greenland. 

Ernest Journal issue 4 is now available to buy now at What You Sow. 

We know that our pal, eco interior architect Claire Potter is a big fan of the magazine too so we asked her to review issue 4 for us. 

If you haven't yet been inspired to pick up a copy, have a read of Claire's review to get a feel for what Ernest is all about. Over to Claire...


"We live in a time where our pace of life is frenetic. For many of us, not a day goes by when we are not checking emails, updating statuses or even just being told by an automated voice that we have unclaimed PPI insurance compensation to claim. Having the ability to unplug, and remind ourselves that there are other ways to live is not only appealing, it is essential for our wellbeing.

Some of us are lucky and have a bit of nature or wilderness on our doorsteps we can walk through, or are able to travel to somewhere where we can truly disconnect and recollect our thoughts. Each year I travel to the south west coast of Scotland to stay with relatives who live on an old estate situated in the last stretch of forest before the sea – a place where the howl of the wind unites with the crash of the waves so you don’t know where each one begins and ends. And not a phone signal to be found.

But these chances to disappear can be few and far between. Ironically, we rarely have time to slow down. But what if we could capture that essence of wildness, craft, adventure and discovery in print? What if we could escape to the far reaches of the world from the comfort of our own armchair? Welcome to Ernest Journal.

The first thing you notice about Ernest is how beautiful it is. It’s smaller than the average format and its chunky thickness is more bookish than many other magazines, with understated typography to allow the cover image – which is always stunning – to really sing.

This quality of imagery goes through each edition of Ernest and accompanies some extraordinary writing. Print issue no 4, which I settled down to read on a stormy afternoon is a real feast for the eyes and mind. And ‘reading’ is a key point here. Most magazines are flicked through, but I have to admit, I sit and read Ernest like a book. From the simply laid out tasters in the contents though the articles to the directory, the flow of Ernest is incredibly well considered. Each issue tells a story wider than the individual parts.

And of course, it is stories which unite us – regardless of where these stories come from or where we are, we can be transported somewhere else. Ernest spins these eclectic tales into journeys of intrigue, empathy and amazement. Split into flowing sections, articles in this latest edition range from the creation of soundscapes for film to the compositions of Scriabin; natural dyes to the short cloudberry harvest season in Norway – Ernest’s subheading of ‘curiosity and adventure’ brought alive.

But it is the central section of the ‘Slow Adventure’ that really draws me in. A change in paper stock from medium weight matt finish to a slight gloss finish signals a tactile difference as your hand turns the page – a shift.

Issue 4’s Slow Adventure travels to Greenland - where the breath-taking front cover image was shot – and we are introduced to native traditions and craft, the landscape, the people and of course, the changes being seen in the ice sheet due to climate change.

Ernest documents the hidden world that we may not see in our speed to go about our daily business, but it is a world more relevant that ever before. It is a world of care and attention, eccentricity and methodology, wildness and adventure – a place that in 2016 I am vowing to spend more slow time. I urge you to do the same and use Ernest as your guide."


Follow Claire Potter on twitter.  

Buy your copy of Ernest Journal issue 4