The Apprenticeship Ambivalence
Amidst political discussion about expanding apprenticeships in the U.S., two contradictory realities persist. One is a changing landscape, in both school and work, that increasingly needs a sound apprenticeship system; the other is the refusal by many parents to understand why a formal apprenticeship might make more sense for their children—and their finances—than four years of college.
Written by TODD OPPENHEIMER
Listen to “What? A Bamboo Bicycle?”
A bicycle made of bamboo might look a little silly—brown and fat, with swollen joints. But Craig Calfee, a respected pioneer of carbon fiber bicycle frames, swears by their strength, flexibility, and ecological value.
Watch “The Ancient Mangle of Santarcangelo di Romagna”
In a tiny town on Italy’s Northeastern coast, the Marchi family printworks may be the world’s last shop to produce handmade, rust-printed textiles from raw hemp, using a massive stone press dating to the 1600s.
Italy’s Ancient Textile-Printing Mangle
Only a handful of artisans still practice the centuries-old craft of rust printing on fabric. Of those who do, even fewer use the traditional stone mangle, or press, on handwoven, raw hemp fabric, yielding textiles that can last for centuries. The Marchi family printworks, in Italy’s Romagna region, may well be the only place left in the world that still produces authentic, rust-printed textiles that are fully handmade.
Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO
Watch “The Book Doctor”
Master book restorer Pietro Livi couldn’t find the right equipment to save large numbers of Italy’s priceless, flood-damaged texts. So he created a “Renaissance workshop” of experts from a variety of disciplines, and designed his own.
Italy’s Book Doctor
In the city of Bologna, home to the world’s oldest university (as well as some of Italy’s finest cuisine), Pietro Livi has developed an unusual machine shop. Part artisanal and part high-tech, his operation is a kind of Renaissance workshop, built to restore damaged ancient texts to their former glory. And then came Venice’s historic floods of 2019.
By LUISA GROSSO
Listen to “The Soul of French Invention”
An American woodworker’s love affair with “the best” (and perhaps least-known) sculpture museum in Paris—and what the affair taught him.
The Soul of French Invention
Woodworker and author Gary Rogowski makes the case for the Musée des Arts et Métiers as Paris’ best museum, and offers a guide to its extensive holdings.
By GARY ROGOWSKI
Listen to “The Wizard of Old Wheels”
As today’s motorcycles become more high-tech, the simplicity of a vintage bike becomes more appealing. Among the simplest are Japanese models from the 1970s, particularly the Hondas. That’s why people visit Dave Stefani, whose San Francisco shop looks like a mechanical surgery ward.