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Ann Morhauser, The Glass Builder

Many artisans struggle to pay the bills, hoping for a little good press along the way. Ann Morhauser started with all of those odds, and then some, in a tiny studio near Santa Cruz, CA. Today, her unique glassware is featured in stores across the country—and in The Smithsonian. How did she get here?

Written by PEGGY TOWNSEND
Photography by SHMUEL THALER

Watch “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 Craftsmanship mini-documentary.

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

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 “Is Digital Craftsmanship an Oxymoron?”

On a funky old pier along San Francisco’s waterfront, Autodesk, a world leader in digital tools for makers, runs a futuristic prototype shop that may be redefining the meaning of craftsmanship.

Tomorrow’s Craftsmen and Craftswomen

On the first warm Friday night of spring, the last place you’d expect teenagers to gather is at a middle school. But a group of expert high-school glassblowers in Tacoma, Washington, does just that every week—they work in the hot shop run by Hilltop Artists, a local nonprofit. Hilltop maintains a fully functional glass-blowing shop…

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

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