The Kayak’s Cultural Journey
For millennia, Indigenous peoples across the world have built and used wooden skin boats to fish and hunt, for sport and travel, even for warfare. Skin kayaks are the unique product of Arctic peoples, but non-Indigenous admirers of the craft are making them, too. Does that matter?
Written by SIMON MORRIS
The American Folk School Movement and ‘Slow Economics’
Rather than looking to big corporate employers like Walmart for economic stability, could more rural communities in the U.S. welcome a slower growing, more sustainable economic partner? Editor’s note: This story was originally published in our Winter 2022 issue. This version includes updated statistics and other factual information. (Top photo courtesy of John C. Campbell…
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
Berea College Students Craft a Bright Future, Tuition-Free
As U.S. student debt balloons to $1.75 trillion nationally, calls for loan forgiveness and low-cost or free college tuition programs are getting louder. Sound impossible? Kentucky’s Berea College has been tuition-free since 1892 — and offers an education in craftsmanship to boot. photo by Justin Skeens Editor’s note: This story was originally published in our…
Watch “Jack Mauch Making a Door with Hand-Roasted Veneer”
In this 4-minute video by Jesse Beecher, watch craftsman Jack Mauch make a wooden door, hand-roasted slat by slat.
Jack Mauch: A New Renaissance Man
Craftsman Jack Mauch, still in his 30s, is 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.
Written by NATALIE JONES
The Play Gap
In Providence, Rhode Island, Janice McDonnell started one of the unlikeliest of revolutions. On seven empty lots in the inner city, she set up a new kind of playground—places where kids could build anything they want, break anything they want. Her larger goals? To fight the disappearance of free play brought on by the relentless testing that’s become the norm in today’s schools—and to spread playful opportunities to all children, not just those from wealthy white families.
Written by TODD OPPENHEIMER
Listen to “The Play Gap”
In the inner city neighborhoods of Providence, Rhode Island, Janice O’Donnell set up playgrounds where kids could build anything they want, and break anything they want. She has been stunned by what everyone has learned in the process.
Watch “The Future Is Handmade”
A Dutch archaeologist finds artisans and thought leaders who are redefining craft, skill and, ultimately, the real meaning of a knowledge economy. A Craftsmanship mini-documentary.