In Japan, an aging population, declining birthrate, and a concentrating of jobs in the major cities, has left rural areas across the Japanese countryside littered with abandoned houses—known as akiya, or “empty homes.” Now, a movement is on the rise to repurpose and enliven them with artistry and craft.
Many cultures have enjoyed the playful freedom that one feels after donning a mask. But no place has taken it to greater extremes, both elegant and diabolical, than Venice. A tour of the world of Venetian masks, and the annual Carnival mega-party they have inspired.
Written by ERLA ZWINGLE
Photography by RICCARDO ROITER RIGONI and ERLA ZWINGLE
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.” Could Shafer’s relentless eclecticism offer a model for a second…
Michael Montenegro is driven to put the products of his imagination into tangible, active forms. After he builds them—often in life-size form, with a rag-tag collage of materials—he becomes them, lives inside them, then delivers them to us with a zany vigor.
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.
Written by DANIEL GIBSON
Photography by KITTY LEAKEN
Brian Boggs is a fine furniture maker in Asheville, N.C., and he just can’t seem to leave a good idea alone. The result has been a lifetime of tinkering and experimentation, leading to a line of innovative woodworking tools, and some of the world’s finest, and most comfortable, hardwood chairs.
By JANINE LATUS
Photography by MICHAEL OPPENHEIM
Jack Mauch was so eager to begin his life’s work as a craftsman that he didn’t even wait to finish high school, preferring to carve out his own path. And by age 32, he was already creating breathtaking examples of craftsmanship, in everything from furniture-making to ceramics to metalwork.
In today’s automated world, why bother toiling with hand tools and sawdust? In his new book, Gary Rogowski—a master furniture maker in Portland, Oregon—ruminates about lessons he’s learned “at the bench,” and the quest for mastery and creative focus, no matter what your calling.
In Appalachian Ohio, craftsmanship is a vital piece of the growing support system for recovery—philosophically, economically, and on a very personal scale. Editor’s Note: On March 1, 2022, in his State of the Union speech, U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to spend $40 billion on new health services for the millions of Americans suffering from…