The New Stone Age
When humans first embarked on their incessant quest for innovations, they began tinkering with little more than the rocks and stones at their feet. The Stone Age endured for more than 2 million years, and the stonework remains of ancient civilizations — from the Megalithic Temples of Malta to Stonehenge to the Great Pyramids — continue to awe and fascinate us today. Throughout the world, stone is still quarried for use in grand monuments, memorials, and much more. In this issue, along with other topics to come, we highlight some modern-day devotees of this timeless, prehistoric material.
As automation spreads, even into the world of fine art, an American sculptor proudly holds the barricades with the tools, techniques, and even the marble source used centuries ago by Michelangelo. Which side will prevail?
By THOMAS COOPER
Deep in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, almost hidden in a steep canyon that bottoms out 8,000 feet above sea level, sits an old mining town that provided marble for some of America’s most famous memorials. Abandoned and revived over and over through the years, the town of Marble is now enjoying another new life, in both industry and the arts.
Written by DENISE MOSS
Photography by DENISE MOSS and TODD OPPENHEIMER
Only a handful of artisans still practice the centuries-old craft of rust printing on fabric. Of those who do, even fewer use the traditional stone mangle, or press, on handwoven, raw hemp fabric, yielding textiles that can last for centuries. The Marchi family printworks, in Italy’s Romagna region, may well be the only place left in the world that still produces authentic, rust-printed textiles that are fully handmade.
Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO
Other Topics In This Issue
OK, so some of them may look silly—brown and fat, with oversized joints. But Craig Calfee, a respected (and highly successful) carbon frame builder, swears by the strength, flexibility, and ecological value of the bamboo bicycle.
Written and photographed by JEFF GREENWALD
In the depths of London, a “toy theatre” born in the 1800s continues to stage regular performances. In their heyday, these productions drew London’s top writers and artists, creating Victorian England’s version of the modern PR campaign. Replicas of these miniature theatres are still for sale.
Written by GARRETT EPPS
A gastro-scientific investigation of why cooks believe food tastes better (note: much better) when it’s cooked in a ceramic pot. Tour guide: Paula Wolfert, the legendary queen of American clay-pot cooking.
Written by TODD OPPENHEIMER
Photography by CLAIRE BLOOMBERG
Many cultures have enjoyed the playful freedom that one feels after donning a mask. But no place has taken it to greater extremes, both elegant and diabolical, than Venice. A tour of the world of Venetian masks, and the annual Carnival mega-party they have inspired.
Written by ERLA ZWINGLE
Photography by RICCARDO ROITER RIGONI and ERLA ZWINGLE
More from this Issue
Written by MELINDA MISURACA
Photography by MELATI CITRAWIREJA
Written by Garrett Epps Narrated by Göran Norquist
Photography by RICCARDO ROITER RIGONI Written by ERLA ZWINGLE
Written by JEFF GREENWALD