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Spring 2021, Fall 2018

The Wootz Hunter

Sometime in the 1800s, long after the Persians had beaten back the Crusaders, the technique for making the mighty swords that won those battles was mysteriously lost. In the centuries that followed, Europe’s best metallurgists repeatedly tried to revive this craft, with no luck. Then, in the 1980s, a lone horseshoer in Florida named Al Pendray started tinkering with steel recipes. A Craftsmanship mini-documentary

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

Congressman John Lewis’ Artistic Side

This Sunday, Feb. 21st, is the late Congressman John Lewis’ first birthday since his death last year from cancer. He would have been 81. Those who mark the occasion are likely to reflect on Lewis’ long record on civil rights: After growing up in poverty in rural Alabama, Lewis became a disciple of Martin Luther…

Spring 2018

A New Renaissance Man

When we went looking for the next member of our new and growing family—“Craftsmanship’s Young Turks”—Jack Mauch was an easy choice. At the age of 32, he’s already creating breathtaking examples of craftsmanship in everything from furniture-making to ceramics and metalwork. If this kind of range is what it takes to become a master artisan in today’s world, God help the rest of us mere mortals.

By NATALIE JONES

Summer 2016

From bicycles to “pedal steel” guitars: One maker’s quirky frontiers

Ross Shafer made his mark creating a popular brand of mountain bikes, called Salsa, and a line of small but crucial bicycle parts that no one had brought to the market before. Now he’s making what might be the world’s most beautiful “pedal steel guitar.” Might Shafer’s relentless eclecticism offer a model for a kind of second Renaissance?

By OWEN EDWARDS
Primary photography by MIKKEL AALAND

Summer 2016

The best bicycle seats on the planet: A factory tour

Anyone who knows bicycles knows Brooks—the legendary, iconic British company that has been making simple, old-fashioned leather bicycle saddles since 1882. In the ensuing years, many have tried to improve on these seats with new designs and new materials. Yet the consensus remains: Nothing can beat a Brooks, which celebrates the brand’s 150th anniversary this year. So of course we had to go see how these saddles get made.

Story by GRACE RUBENSTEIN and JAMES DALY
Photography by JAMES DALY
Videos by GRACE RUBENSTEIN

Summer 2015

The Cigar Box Guitar Maker

When a promising rock musician tired of the road and the pressure, he gave up music and got a job at a hardware store. Then one day, he had a revelation.

Story by NANCY LEBRUN
Photography by STEPHEN KRAMER

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