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Listen to “The Value of Time”

When an American-made quartz watch costs up to $1,500 and its counterparts from other countries, including Switzerland, range from $50 to more than $50,000, what’s the difference between them?

Listen to “Shrine and the Art of Resilience”

Pandemic, political strife, poverty, war. In times of extreme upheaval—global or personal—can the act of art-making ease suffering and strengthen resilience?

Listen to “Jack Mauch: A New Renaissance Man”

Jack Mauch was so eager to begin his life’s work as a craftsman that he didn’t even wait to finish high school, preferring to carve out his own path. And by age 32, he was already creating breathtaking examples of craftsmanship, in everything from furniture-making to ceramics to metalwork.

Listen to “The Revival of Nero’s Wine”

Throughout history vintners used clay vessels to age their wine, until the French discovered the marvels of the oak barrel. Now—for fun, for distinctly different flavors, and to save some fine old trees—a few wineries are giving clay a second chance, Roman style.

Tomorrow’s Library

In a simple, residential neighborhood in San Francisco sits a former church for Christian Scientists. The building’s white exterior and massive columns give it a stately, antiquated look. But behind its doors sit stacks of servers, which contain billions upon billions of web pages, media, and other delights. This is the Internet Archive. In today’s…

Straw Bale Construction: The Ultra-Ecological House

Every few years, discussions about using straw bales as a building material come up again. As our environmental challenges mount—from wildfires to hurricanes—straw bales seem to offer a sustainable answer. And as we in the American West seem to find ourselves in “fire season” earlier with each passing year, it’s time to ask: Has the humble straw bale’s moment finally come?


Listen to “The Glass Builder”

Ann Morhauser started with nothing but debt in a tiny glassware studio in Watsonville, a coastal community in central California. Now her work is in stores across the country—and in the Smithsonian. What is her secret to artisanal success?

Listen to “The New Sign Painters”

The commercial signs of yesteryear, which were all painted by hand, offer a kind of beauty, personality, and longevity that today’s industrial signs have been unable to duplicate. While exploring what’s left of the old sign-painting traditions, we stumbled upon small but lively seeds of revival.

Build Back with Beer (Craft Beer, to be Precise…)

When veteran journalists James and Deborah Fallows spent four years criss-crossing the U.S. looking for what makes small-town revivals succeed, they repeatedly found one near-constant: craft breweries There are various ways to measure the civic success of towns and cities large and small. From economic development initiatives to innovative educational opportunities to inspiring, inviting river…

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