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View “The Master Watchmaker”

As our timepieces have become increasingly digital (and their functions increasingly invisible), we’ve almost forgotten that these devices were once handmade masterpieces—with miniature gears, chains, springs, and balance wheels that kept time with amazing precision. Today, most watchmakers don’t even know how to repair these old mechanical wonders. Jean-Pierre Bourroux is a notable exception. A…

The Intricate World of Mechanical Watches: a Resource List

As with most pursuits that draw devoted hobbyists (including plenty of obsessive ones), fine mechanical watches have spawned a large and passionate subculture. A little Googling will lead you to myriad websites, magazines, conferences, and other gathering grounds for those who want to follow—and, when they can afford it, purchase—timepieces that represent the height of…

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?

Photography by SHMUEL THALER

Pablita Velarde’s Legacy: The Pueblo Artisans of the Southwest

Among the different Indigenous cultures represented by the Southwest’s Native American tribes, some of the richest history of craftsmanship has been, and still is, practiced by the Pueblo Indians. For some of these artisans, the inspiration for carrying on came from an early artistic pioneer: a rebel painter named Pablita Velarde.

Photography by KITTY LEAKEN

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?

Metalsmith Forges Opportunities for Black Women Artists

Within an arts ecosystem that often marginalizes people of color, Karen Smith found a nontraditional path to becoming a metal artist. Now she’s inspiring women like her do the same. Karen Smith’s website bio opens with a deceptively straightforward tagline: “I am a Black woman artist.” This declaration feels radical, not because of any explicit…

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.

Written by ALISON MAIN

Listen to “The Jewelry Archaeologist”

Through years of painstaking, often combative detective work, Hugo Kohl rescued an era of early American jewelry manufacturing technology that was on the brink of extinction. And what Kohl makes with these old machines turns out to be superior, in many ways, to the finest modern jewelry.

2019 Craftsmanship Magazine Gift Guide

The word artisanal has become so shopworn that it’s almost devoid of meaning. (To wit: we once saw a pizza outlet on the outskirts of a small town in northern France that was fashioned in the style of an ATM-kiosk under the following sign: “Artisanal Pizza.”) In stark contrast to this sorry state of affairs, we would like to suggest a few items for holiday shopping made by some of the masters we profiled in 2019.


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