Gifts Made to Last
The wafts of consumerism in the air during the holidays are almost impossible to avoid. But there are honorable ways to embrace them, through gifts designed to last a lifetime, and sometimes longer. Welcome to our Winter issue, which features three domains—wool, glass, and fountain pens—where quality stands the test of time. We also give you a rare woodworker’s tale, and our first young stars of craftsmanship.
While the fashion industry continues to produce more and more clothing made from synthetics, with all their harmful effects, we’ve ignored the wonders of wool. The material is natural, durable, and endlessly renewable; more important, its creators (the sheep) can help regenerate the soil, along with the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. Fortunately, a wool revival seems to be underway.
By JUDITH D. SCHWARTZ
Gorgeous pens have always symbolized the art of writing at its finest—the quintessential combination of beauty, tradition, and skill. But did you ever think of the fountain pen as a tool of environmental consciousness? Our author certainly does. Considering the fountain pen’s myriad varieties, and the powers of vintage pens in particular, he also shops very selectively, cleans his pens regularly, and searches for (and sometimes even makes) the perfect ink.
By TIM REDMOND
Many artisans struggle to pay the bills, hoping for a little good press along the way. Ann Morhauser started with all of those odds, and then some, in a tiny studio near Santa Cruz, CA. Today, her unique glassware is featured in stores across the country—and in The Smithsonian. How did she get here?
Written by PEGGY TOWNSEND
Photography by SHMUEL THALER
Other Topics In This Issue
In today’s increasingly automated world, why bother toiling with hand tools and sawdust? And what makes someone a master craftsman, or craftswoman? In a new book, Gary Rogowski—a master furniture maker and the founder of Northwest Woodworking Studio, in Portland, Oregon—ruminates on the four decades he has spent “at the bench,” the “magic” in old tools, and the principles of mastery and creative focus, not matter what your calling happens to be.
By GARY ROGOWSKI
As we inch closer to another summer, a tinkerer’s mind is likely to go looking for the chance (and the time) to build that rare, handmade item that he or she has always fantasized about. To inspire such glorious flights of fancy, last spring we created a guide—the first of its kind—to the most respected…
By NATALIE JONES