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Occupy Your Bathroom

One man’s quiet fight to save your face, your bank account, and the environment from an endless case of shaving rash.

Spring 2021, Winter 2016

Occupy Your Bathroom

Every few years, some new razor system hits the market pledging to save your face and your pocketbook. Virtually all of them miss the boat, because the golden age of shaving occurred 50 years ago. The good news is that all that vintage gear is still available, and a few entrepreneurs are now making beautiful modern versions. A visit with the American craftsmen who are making what might be the best of those razors.

Story and Photography by TODD OPPENHEIMER

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.

Summer 2015, Spring 2021

The Return of the Harmonica

In the 1970s, Hohner, the world’s largest harmonica manufacturer, changed its flagship model, and in the process its signature sound. A few musicians and harp customizers waged a quiet rebellion. And they won.

By BEN MARKS

America’s Harmonica Stars

Ask almost any contemporary harmonica player who his heroes are, and Sonny Terry is usually the first name you’ll hear. A blind musician from the southeastern United States, Sonny Terry was already a force on the folk scene of the…

Spring 2021, Fall 2017

The Jewelry Archaeologist

In the middle of the Shenandoah Valley, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Hugo Kohl has pulled off what might be the ultimate act of sustainability—at least regarding jewelry. Through years of painstaking, costly, often fruitless detective work, he rescued an era of early American jewelry manufacturing technology that was on the brink of extinction. Now Kohl is one of the few people in the world making a class of vintage jewelry that is truly authentic. And he swears that the system in his shop is the only way to do capitalism.

By ALISON MAIN

New Mexico’s Modern Saint-Makers

The carving and painting of santos, or devotional art, is one of the oldest living folk art traditions in the U.S., dating back some 400 years. As Semana Santa (Holy Week) marks the holiest of days for millions of Christians…

Spring 2021, Winter 2016

The Kitchen Bladesmith

When Bob Kramer decided it was time to make his own cutlery, he had no idea that his career turn would take him deep into the secret lives of knives. Now he’s established a reputation as one of the most revered bladesmiths in the world—playing David to the Goliath cutlery manufacturers of Germany and Japan.

Story by TODD OPPENHEIMER
Photography by MICHAEL MATISSE and MARTY NAKAYAMA

What do you do with a meteorite? Make a knife…

Once upon a time, around 2014, Bob Kramer, a Master Bladesmith who had made his name by hand-forging some of the world’s finest kitchen knives, was itching for a new frontier. He wanted a project that had some local origins;…

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