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Let Tinkerbell Tinker

As the economy’s reliance on innovation grows, the commercial offerings of toys for girls remains, well, somewhat less than innovative. Fortunately, a few women who are educators, engineers, and entrepreneurs are starting to figure this problem out by reviving the time-honored principles of tinkering. But how could we have gotten so off track? One writer goes searching for the answer.


An Artisanal Tour of Michoacán — with 18 Towns Devoted to Ancient Crafts

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find the indigenous artists outside of Pátzcuaro without a guide. We went with Jaime Hernández Balderas, from animecha tours, He is a native of Pátzcuaro, knowledgeable about the history and crafts, and speaks excellent English. Expect to pay about 2000 pesos a day for a guide ($120). Local…

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.


An Artisanal Gift Guide

Welcome to Craftsmanship’s inaugural gift guide, where we list the best (or at least the most unusual) items that we could find during our first year exploring the artisan world. Our discoveries include fine kitchen knives, cooking pottery, guitars, harmonicas, alcoholic drinks, and, of course, some real children’s toys.


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 Delightful History of the Turkish Guvec

Just as “tagine” may refer to both a specific Moroccan cooking vessel and the type of food prepared in it, so the Turkish word “guvec” describes a pot and also a dish. The famous guvec pot of  Turkey has dozens of different names in Balkan countries, but whatever they call it, they are talking about…

The Laws of Thermo-Culinary Dynamics

When thinking about how pots made from clay or metal differ, it’s helpful to begin with their differing capacities for conducting heat.  Consider this: Clay conducts heat at a rate of .15 to 1.8 Watts for each meter of thickness in the material. Iron conducts heat at a rate of 80 Watts per meter. That…

The Magic of the French Daubière.

Bulbous pots are ideal for cooking all sorts of meats, for turning tough cuts buttery soft. The French daubière, instantly recognizable by its tall, potbellied shape and distinctive lid, is designed so that the ingredients can be packed inside with only a small amount of liquid and then set over low heat to braise. The…

View “The Making of an Ortega Pot”


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