skip to Main Content

Venice and the High Art of the Mask

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.

Story by ERLA ZWINGLE
Photography by RICCARDO ROITER RIGONI and ERLA ZWINGLE

Pablita Velarde’s Legacy: The Pueblo Artisans of the Southwest

Among the different Indigenous cultures represented by the Southwest’s Native American tribes, some of the richest history of craftsmanship has been, and still is, practiced by the Pueblo Indians. For some of these artisans, the inspiration for carrying on came from an early artistic pioneer: a rebel painter named Pablita Velarde.

Written by DANIEL GIBSON
Photography by KITTY LEAKEN

Listen to “The Clay Conjurer”

Felipe Ortega was known for his controversial opinions on culture, as well as his expertise with an unusual form of pottery. He devoted his life to bucking tradition, in more ways than one.

The Clay Conjurer

Felipe Ortega devoted his life to creating the perfect pot of beans—and to teaching people from around the world, regardless of ethnicity, to make micaceous clay pots in the same style he learned from a local tribal Elder. Over the years, Ortega’s journey involved such an unusual combination of the traditional and the nontraditional that it brought some old questions into a new light: Who owns a tradition? Who is allowed to learn and practice it, and for what purpose?

Written by DEBORAH BUSEMEYER
Photography by KITTY LEAKEN

Painting for Eternity

For anyone who appreciates the intricately decorated walls and ceilings found in many Old World houses of worship, some of the finest examples of the form can be found in the mosaics of Ravenna, Italy. This tradition is so central to Ravenna’s culture that the city continues to produce world-renowned mosaic artisans. One, who you will meet in this film, is an innovative artist named Francesca Fabbri.

A Film by LUISA GROSSO

Keepers of Indigenous Tradition

Unlike most Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, many Native American tribes located in the Southwest have retained their ancestral homelands and their sovereign governance through the ages. This has enabled their traditional ways and art forms not only to survive, but also to continue evolving. To understand how this came to pass, our writers peek into the region’s long and colorful history.

BY ROSEMARY DIAZ and DANIEL GIBSON

Listen to “A New Renaissance Man”

Meet Jack Mauch, the newest member of our growing family of “Craftsmanship’s Young Turks.” At age 32, Mauch is already creating breathtaking examples of craftsmanship in everything from furniture-making to ceramics and 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.

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…

Back To Top