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Can Japan’s Akiya Movement Rebuild Rural Communities?

Story by KIMBERLY HUGHES Photography by SOLVEIG BOERGEN
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July 9, 2020

While rural Japan may not be the first place one envisions as a production site for medieval and Renaissance-era instruments from Europe and Central Asia, this was precisely the craft of master instrument-builder Kōhaku Matsumoto, founder of the...

Mending: An Ancient Craft for Modern Times

By RUTH TERRY
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May 1, 2020

Mending was trending long before the Covid-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders changed the way we go about our days. A resurgence of so-called “domestic” handicrafts, reclaimed by feminists in the late 90s and elevated by visual artists from...

In Your Words: Making Matters, More than Ever

By CRAFTSMANSHIP EDITORS
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April 15, 2020

As part of our Spring issue theme, “Sheltering at Home Creatively”, we asked our Craftsmanship community to tell us: How has the coronavirus crisis affected your life and livelihood? Has it changed your values or priorities? Taken...

Film’s New Generation of Experimentalists

By DAVID MUNRO
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March 11, 2020

In a recent article I wrote for Craftsmanship Quarterly, “Real Film Strikes Back”, I tell the story of analog film’s surprising comeback in a motion picture industry that has become almost entirely digitized. Yet unbeknownst to most of us,...

The Democratization of Craft

By TODD OPPENHEIMER
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October 17, 2019

Earlier this month, some 400 devotees of the arts and crafts spent three days in Philadelphia exploring the meaning of their obsessions, and the possibilities of spreading the faith. The crowd was gathered by the American Craft Council, an...

The Intelligent Hand

By Todd Oppenheimer
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June 6, 2019

For many anthropologists, their work involves delving into obscure corners of humanity’s past; for Trevor Marchand, a Canadian-born anthropology professor in England, the field offered him a way to look into the work of living master artisans,...

Mexican Craftsmanship and Frida Kahlo

By JOANELL SERRA
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May 2, 2019

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we want to spotlight one of Mexico’s most iconic artists, Frida Kahlo. Although known primarily as a painter, as well as a partner and muse for her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, Kahlo also…...

A Crucible for Tomorrow’s Trades

By TODD OPPENHEIMER
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April 18, 2019

The nation’s largest non-profit facility dedicated to education in the industrial arts runs out of a seemingly simple warehouse in West Oakland, California. Fittingly called The Crucible, the venture was launched in January of 1999 by a mixed...

Fewer, Better Things

By GAYNOR STRACHAN CHUN
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January 24, 2019

How much do you know about the objects you surround yourself with in your everyday life? For most of us, the answer is probably not much. Since the inception of the industrial revolution we have gradually become disconnected from our…...

Crafting a More Human Future

By ERLA ZWINGLE
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October 17, 2018

Exhibition “HOMO FABER” The intriguing title of this monster exhibition of European craftsmen and women, shown in Venice, Italy, during the final weeks of September, 2018, is not only clever, it’s also extremely efficient; faber translates...

Finding Your Ikigai in Craftsmanship

By ALAIN HAYES
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September 19, 2018

The Japanese have a term for what we as human beings search for in life and it’s called Ikigai, or “the meaning of life.” Many people struggle to know exactly what their purpose is, which is why it’s important to…...

Craftsmanship and Community

By JENNIFER BOWERS
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August 28, 2018

Connecting with like-minded makers both online and off The work of a craftsperson is precise, detailed and focused. It can also be solitary and isolating. As a hand engraver, most of my time is spent alone at my workbench, quietly…...

An Inside Peek into Small Farm Life

By AMY ADAMS
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June 27, 2018

To say that “fiber farmer” Tammy White is a busy woman would be an understatement. And to only address her as a farmer would certainly not encompass the many hats she wears. Add to the list: natural dyer, shepherdess, homesteader,…...

My Adventures with Gold Leaf

By CHARLIE PLANT
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June 13, 2018

When I was younger, I worked as a union painter in Los Angeles (District Council 36, Painters and Allied Trades), and in the early 1980s, I had the opportunity to work on a Bel-Air mansion that belonged to descendants of…...

Catching Color in Food Waste

By AMY ADAMS
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June 1, 2018

Onion skins, avocado pits, beet root tops and used coffee grinds — all items many people think have no other use than the compost pile. But food waste can actually have a much longer shelf life, in the form of…...

Felipe Ortega, The Clay Raven

By DEBORAH BUSEMEYER
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March 10, 2018

The world recently lost a great talent. For those who were lucky enough to know him, Felipe Ortega’s passing runs deep, even more so because this craftsman was one of only a few master teachers left who handcraft micaceous-rich clay…...

The Health Benefits of Working with Your Hands

By GAYNOR STRACHAN CHUN
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February 6, 2018

If you’ve seen the cult classic Office Space, you’ll recall that the film’s lead character, Peter Gibbons, loathes his paper-pushing job. With a bleak future filled with endless “TPS” reports, an overbearing boss, and depressing cubicle walls,...

The Vanishing Generation of Italian Shoemakers

By TRACY LALASZ FINN
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October 30, 2017

The Sustainability of an Important Craft It is commonly accepted if you are making high-end luxury shoes, the shoes are made in Italy regardless of where the brand is based, with few exceptions. Post-World War II, Italy flourished as a…...

New Life in the Scrap Heap

By WILL CALLAN
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October 26, 2017

Three VW Restorers Find Beauty in All the Unexpected Places Amid mounting turmoil over Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, the company has made an announcement that should help to re-polish its old, culture-defining image. At the Frankfurt...

Why Nothing Writes Like a Fountain Pen

By TIM REDMOND
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October 7, 2017

Thirty-two years ago, when I was a young writer struggling to pay the rent and eat, I walked into an art supply store in San Francisco and put down $120 for a pen. My friends thought I was nuts: that…...

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