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The Agony and Ecstasy of an Oboe Reed Maker

Of all the wind instrument players in an orchestra, oboists are among the few who have to spend more time making their reeds than playing their music. As the comic monologist Josh Kornbluth has painfully learned, just one of the myriad micro-adjustments that reed makers create will make a world of difference in their music.

By JEFF GREENWALD
Photography by SCOTT CHERNIS

In Praise of The Makers

In his new book “Material: Making and the Art of Transformation”, master furniture maker and designer Nick Kary explores the roots of craft, through stories of makers and their essential materials.

By WILLIAM BRYANT LOGAN
A review of “Material: Making and the Art of Transformation,” by Nick Kary
 (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020)

The Beauty of a Timeless Rowboat

Centuries ago, a fleet of rowboats called Whitehalls plied the waters of the San Francisco Bay, helping the chandlers at their helms ferry goods to and from the giant sailing ships working the city’s port. Today, descendants of those early crafts are being built, rowed, and occasionally put to work on the same waters.

A documentary short by WENDY “PEPPER” SCHUSS
Story by TODD OPPENHEIMER

Prince Charles Redefines Originality

In a small brick building in East London, in a school developed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, students from around the world are giving new life to a set of artistic principles that have been nearly lost. Their work is helping to revive a number of nearly obsolete skills in art, architecture, and manufacturing, with a new tilt toward sustainability.

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

Portugal’s Azulejo Detectives

A small, quiet army of historians, scientists, and restoration experts are putting the pieces of Portugal’s past together again, one gorgeous tile at a time. Their efforts are being helped by a new generation of artists, who are starting to re-invent an art form that has defined Portuguese culture since the 13th century.

Story and Photography by CASEY O’BRIEN

Italy’s Endangered Violin Forest

Since the 16th century, Cremona’s luthiers—including Stradivari himself—have been using an unusually resonant wood from Paneveggio, known as Italy’s “violin forest,” to handcraft the world’s finest string instruments. Then a 2018 storm decimated the forest. A band of experts in Cremona is now rallying to save this iconic tradition. A documentary short.

Film by LUISA GROSSO

2019 Craftsmanship Quarterly 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.

By EDITORS OF CRAFTSMANSHIP QUARTERLY

“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 MINI-DOCUMENTARY presented by The Craftsmanship Initiative in collaboration with The Centre for Global Heritage and Development.

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

Folk Art on Steroids

For 15 years, the world’s folk art makers and enthusiasts have gathered, en masse, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to celebrate the possible when it comes to indigenous craftsmanship. This summer, in just three days, some 21,000 people spent $3.3 million to show that traditional artisans still matter.

Story by DEBORAH BUSEMEYER
Photography by KITTY LEAKEN

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