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The Chapel: Inside Ireland’s National Print Museum

Although the modern design world continues its well-documented love affair with the look and feel of letterpress, the once highly regarded trade of printing press operation has largely faded out as a career path, giving way to the relentless growth of digital printing methods. Ireland’s National Print Museum in Dublin was founded in 1996 by…

High-Tech Help for a Low-Tech Craft

John Butler obviously appreciates the old-school handcrafting involved in the age-old trade of making Irish uilleann pipes — a style of bagpipes that are substantially more complex than their Scottish cousins — and he’s not shy about turning to high technology when the need arises. As but one example, in an attempt to streamline the…

Spring 2019

The Re-Bundled Worker

You’ve read the news: Traditional 9-5 jobs are in decline; a patchwork, “gig economy” of contract workers is rushing in to take their place; and colleges can’t keep up with these changes. The resulting chaos creates at least one unaddressed challenge: In a world with fewer shared ladders for advancement, how do tomorrow’s workers build pathways to success?

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

From Guns to Bicycles

Customers at Thomas Crenshaw’s full-service bike shop, Frame Up Bikes in Pleasant Hill, California, know a lot more about Orbea bikes and its global competitors than they do about the legendary bike company’s cooperative business model. “We know Orbea is a co-operative and worker-owned, but most of our customers don’t,” says Crenshaw. “What they care…

Winter 2019

The Wizard of Old Wheels

Just like cars, today’s motorcycles have become dizzying assemblages of electronic connections—invisible to most riders, inscrutable to many mechanics. The more high-tech these machines become, the more there is to love about classic, old bikes. Among the simplest of the pack are the Japanese motorcycles of the 1970s, particularly the Hondas. They’re also among the most loved, and that’s exactly what keeps Dave Stefani in business.

Story by OWEN EDWARDS
Photography by PETER BELANGER and ELI MIKITEN

Spring 2018

Is Digital Craftsmanship an Oxymoron?

Almost hidden on a funky old pier along San Francisco’s waterfront, Autodesk, a world leader in digital tools for makers, is running a prototype shop that seems more like a high-tech playground for grown-ups. In between contracts to make, say, a steel ship propeller with a massive 3-D printer, the company takes in sculptors, engineers, and architects who are pushing the boundaries of their own work. The effect of all this energy is a level of innovation that is expanding—and perhaps redefining—the meaning of craftsmanship.

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

Fall 2017

The VW Doctor Is In

In a corrugated tin shed that somehow survived California’s massive fires in Sonoma Valley, Gary Freeman labors to keep old VW Beetles and vans—the cars that defined the counterculture of the 1960s—chugging along. Some become great “daily drivers” for as little as $15,000; some get auctioned for more than $200,000. It’s all part of one man’s quest for automotive immortality.

By OWEN EDWARDS
Photography by ANDREW SULLIVAN

Spring 2015

The Hidden Wonders of the Musée des Arts et Métiers: Paris’ Museum of Art and Invention

A CRAFTSMANSHIP photo essay.

By GARY ROGOWSKI

Winter 2015

The Lost Prophet of California Agriculture

Al Ruozi, age 97, is a high-school dropout whose primary invention was a machine, largely forgotten by now, that can help farmers save water, improve soil quality, and fight climate change.

Story and photography by CHARLIE SILER

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