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The Folk School Movement and ‘Slow Economics’

Rather than looking to big corporate employers for economic stability, could more rural communities welcome a less obvious, slower growing, yet more sustainable economic partner? In the far western tail of North Carolina, the road leading to the John C. Campbell Folk School narrows from a six-lane highway to four lanes, then barely two. It…

Listen to “Let Tinkerbell Tinker”

As the economy’s reliance on innovation grows, the offering of toys for girls remains–well, somewhat less than innovative. Fortunately, a few smart women are starting to solve this problem by reviving the time-honored principles of tinkering, this time for girls.

For Lifelong Artist Kimberly Camp, Art is Life

“There’s no retirement for an artist; it’s your way of living, so there’s no end to it.” ― Henry Moore Following a long, influential career as an arts administrator, Kimberly Camp, 64, seems to be working harder than ever. And enjoying every minute. A profusion of dolls, sculpture, jewelry, clocks, antiques, paintings, and artifacts from…

Prince Charles Redefines Originality

In a small brick building in East London, in a school developed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, students from around the world are giving new life to a set of artistic principles that have been nearly lost. Their work is helping to revive a number of nearly obsolete skills in art, architecture, and manufacturing, with a new tilt toward sustainability.

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

Portugal’s Azulejo Detectives

A small, quiet army of historians, scientists, and restoration experts are putting the pieces of Portugal’s past together again, one gorgeous tile at a time. Their efforts are being helped by a new generation of artists, who are starting to re-invent an art form that has defined Portuguese culture since the 13th century.

Story and Photography by CASEY O’BRIEN

“The Future Is Handmade”

A Dutch archaeologist finds artisans and thought leaders who are redefining craft, skill and, ultimately, the real meaning of a knowledge economy. A MINI-DOCUMENTARY presented by The Craftsmanship Initiative in collaboration with The Centre for Global Heritage and Development.

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

A New Renaissance Man

When we went looking for the next member of our new and growing family—“Craftsmanship’s Young Turks”—Jack Mauch was an easy choice. At the age of 32, he’s already creating breathtaking examples of craftsmanship in everything from furniture-making to ceramics and metalwork. If this kind of range is what it takes to become a master artisan in today’s world, God help the rest of us mere mortals.

By NATALIE JONES

Summer Workshops for the Aspiring Artisan

Across the U.S., scores of schools and other programs offer courses and workshops in everything from boat-building to glass blowing to knife making. But no one has created an informed guide to all these courses—until now. If you’ve always wanted to become a better woodworker, make and smoke your own sausage, or fix your grandfather’s antique violin, here are detailed descriptions of the nine best programs we could find.

By NATALIE JONES
Photos courtesy of the schools

Precious Drops

While many people in arid regions of the world struggle just to find water, others in rain-soaked developing countries face a different challenge: getting water that is safe enough to drink. What will it take to turn their precious water clean—so they can stay healthy, and we can stop spending scarce resources on mountains of plastic water bottles?

By HEATHER BOURBEAU

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