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Listen to “The Power of the Scribe”

Spiritual faith has long been shaped by the lettering on a religion’s sacred texts. This is particularly the case with Judaism, so we visited three Hebrew scribes — in Jerusalem, New York City, and the liberal enclave of Berkeley, California — to understand why such laborious traditions continue.

Fountain Pen Resources

As with many subjects that draw perfectionists and collectors, the fountain pen world offers a variety of superb resources for finding great pens, understanding their fine points (excuse the pun), and fixing old pens that need some TLC. Here are some of the more prominent resources. Richard’s Pens – for decades, Richard Binder has served…

The Perfect Pen

Gorgeous pens have always symbolized the art of writing at its finest—the quintessential combination of beauty, tradition, and skill. But did you ever think of the fountain pen as a tool of environmental consciousness? Our author certainly does. Considering the fountain pen’s myriad varieties, and the powers of vintage pens in particular, he also shops very selectively, cleans his pens regularly, and searches for (and sometimes even makes) the perfect ink.

By TIM REDMOND

Basic Pen Care: Tips, Tools, and Techniques—even for making your own ink!

If your pen skips—a very common problem—it might just be clogged. Fountain pens need to be clean to work right, and fountain pen ink will eventually dry and clog the very tiny capillary channels that funnel the ink to the nib. So cleaning your pen regularly is a good idea. And this task doesn’t have…

The Power of the Scribe

For centuries, spiritual faith has been shaped in part by how its scribes form the letters of their sacred texts. This is particularly the case with Judaism. We visit with three scribes in three very different corners of Jewish faith—Jerusalem; New York City’s Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn; and the liberal enclave of Berkeley, California—to understand why people still go to all this trouble. Along the way, we walk across the religious aisle to the Muslim world to see what happens to the Urdu language of India and Pakistan when its script gets computerized.

By BRYCE T. BAUER
With LYNN HOLSTEIN, TODD OPPENHEIMER, and ALI ETERAZ

The Mind of a Cartoonist

A dive into the twisted, obsessive, goofy world of Ken Krimstein, who draws cartoons for a range of magazines, including The New Yorker. What does this art form tell us about the nature of humor, and cartooning’s lure?

By LORI ROTENBERK

The Search For The Perfect Leather Bag

Boutiques selling hip shoulder bags seem to be all the rage these days. Some look rustic enough to take into the woods, some more suited to the streets of Manhattan. With all these offerings, how does an eager consumer judge quality? Herewith, a visit with four contrasting American leathercrafting shops. And a little story about Marv Obenauf, a former firefighter turned master artisan of leather dressings.

Story by TODD OPPENHEIMER
Photography by ROMAIN BLANQUART, SCOTT CHERNIS, SHAWN LINEHAN, and courtesy of L.P. STREIFEL

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