Back in May, Slate published an article decrying the trend in craft beers to be overly hoppy (at least according to the tastes of the author). The next day, a rebuttal was crafted (pun intended) and posted the the Bear Flavored beer blog. The main point of contention in the counterpoint article is that more hops does not always mean more bitterness. Additionally, even if some beers were highly bitter, then why complain if some people enjoy them?
Shoemaking (the job of a cordwainer) is a very particular blend of artistry and science. Here are some masters at work: Emiko Matsuda at Foster & Son; artisans at Saint Crispin's; and at Paul Parkman. [more inside]
Begin Again: On Endings in Nonfiction by E. V. De Cleyre [Ploughshares.org]
Talking, or writing, about endings is hard—whether it’s the end of a marriage, the end of a life, or the end of a book (lest one spoil the conclusion). Life rarely offers sudden and definitive endings or epiphanic conclusions. Rather, events leading up to the end seem to be a slow unfolding, occasionally bleeding into a new beginning. For writers of nonfiction, dealing with actual occurrences often means there is no definitive end, and even if there were (such as a death), there comes the aftermath—the grief, the coping, the rebuilding.
A college near Oslo is offering students a one-year course in traditional Viking skills and crafts. The students learn how wood and metal crafts, including sword forging, as well as skills such as roof thatching and traditional bread baking. The school is part of the Norwegian folkehøgskule, or “folk college”, system, in which many students spend a year between school and university learning life skills at a local college.
Sasha Petraske, founder of the legendary bar Milk & Honey, and considered by many to be the Godfather of modern cocktail & bartender culture, has died. He was 42. Sasha was one of the featured interviews for the documentary Hey Bartender. At 9:00pm Eastern Monday August 31st, bartenders and friends of Sasha the world over will be having daiquiris in his memory. [more inside]
Stian Korntved Ruud is nearing the end of a yearlong project in which he designs and crafts a unique wooden spoon every day. He's using hand tools exclusively. You can follow the results and see a little of the process on instagram. Via core77.
Process of Yuzen - the creation of a kimono.
Many people use the Midori Traveler's Notebook system as an organizer, planner, GTD tool; other people use it as a scrapbook-style journal (or journal-style scrapbook?). Because it is so simple, it's pretty easy to make your own. [more inside]
Do you have good eyesight and a steady hand? How about a grown-up dot-to-dot picture to pass the time? Thomas Pavitte is the author of not only the 1000 Dot to Dot Portrait book but the 1000 Dot to Dot Cities Book (video), the 1000 Dot to Dot Animals Book (video), and various others including the Mona Lisa. (free download)
I tend to spend months on a piece here and there, but once this one got in my blood, I couldn’t stop. It all started with the Cyberdemon by Reaper Miniatures my friend Chris Fields gave be back in 2004. After doing a paint job on it back then I wanted to build an environment for the little evil cyborg.-Icons of Doom
annotating Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah's profile of Dave Chappelle, "If He Hollers Let Him Go" [more inside]
While Prohibition may have withered the American drinker’s palate and understanding & sent the most talented drink-slingers into exile, cocktails are back, and better than ever! And who are the people that have brought the all-but-dead art of America’s contribution to world drinks culture (and the profession & craft of the Bartender) back to stunning, exuberant life? Hey Bartender! [more inside]
A putter is a 'putter together of scissors.' This short documentary by Shaun Bloodworth follows the work of Cliff Denton, who works at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, one of the last remaining hand manufacturers of scissors. More from the BBC, with Eric Stones, the other Master Puttertogetherer at the factory.
For 37 years, Bothwell, a small town in Tasmania, has hosted an international competition to determine who can hand spin the longest 2-ply thread using 10 grams of wool. [more inside]
"With over 200 breweries, Oregon is often considered the craft beer capital of America. Beer geeks and casual drinkers across the country can also thank the state’s farmers for their brews: hops, the essential ingredient that gives beer its bitter flavor, is a rare crop throughout the U.S. but not in Oregon. Last year, Oregon State University established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA), the first archive in the U.S., dedicated to preserving and telling the intertwined story of hop and beer production and the craft brewing movement. They're posting materials from their collection to Tumblr, Flickr and Zotero.
Creative writing professor Hanif Kureishi says such courses are 'a waste of time' [The Guardian]
Buddha of Suburbia author, who teaches subject at Kingston University, added that many of his students could 'write sentences' but not tell stories.
“We did our first show in a bar...all of a sudden, the whole room was quiet. And then we got everyone to sit on the floor cross-legged to watch our crankies.” [more inside]
TopoQuilts These customized quilts bring together the line work of topographical maps along with the tradition and elegance of widecloth cotton quilts. These heirloom quality quilts reference the topography of specific landscapes and places which often hold a specific memory or meaning to the person who has commissioned the work.
A nicely crafted video showing the construction of a treadle lathe, a foot-powered device for woodturning. The builder uses only hand tools and traditional methods; even the drill press is hand-cranked. Useful for those interested in constructing such a thing, mesmerizing for those who enjoy "how it's made"-type videos.
A few years ago Charles Guan was a teacher's assistant in MIT's 2.007 introductory design and manufacturing class. To help out his fellow students he made a guide to building robots quickly and efficiently. Now he has expanded the original guide, retitled it How to Build your Everything Really Really Fast (HTBYERRF) and published it on Instructables, available for anyone wishing to progress from the "zip ties and duct tape" stage of building things.
Brooklyn-based Tools for Working Wood are in the process of weekly reprinting every single issue of Work: An Illustrated Magazine of Practice and Theory on their blog, having just finished the first year. The original magazine's first issue was published March 23rd, 1889, and the blog is republishing 123 years after the original. [more inside]
Cut feather shadowboxes: feather art by Chris Maynard.
Paul Stankard is a virtuoso with glass. Unlike most of his contemporaries in the studio glass movement, Stankard started as a tradesman, a scientific glassmaker, and his work is not blown, but instead is flameworked. He creates miniature botanicals—at first, exact representations of existing flowers, and now, credible but imaginary plants, complete with human roots. His work, and his day to day life, is influenced a great deal by Walt Whitman. Stankard says, "I'm not wise enough, not educated enough to experience Whitman at his absolute fullest; I have to work at it." And he works at it through glass.
Looking for a project for the winter? Have some spare room and hand tools? Why not build a boat? [more inside]
The Toolchest Site does what it says on the tin. Possibly the most mind blowing tool chest on the site is this masterful 1/12 scale reproduction based on the Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg, done by celebrated miniaturist William Robertson. Everything works like the original, down to the lock and the included tools like the plane and the folding rule.
35 years ago today, Voyager 1 transmitted three images which NASA processed into a single frame of Earth and its moon. [more inside]
Masters of handcrafts, showing how they work in beautiful short-form videos. Flamenco guitar luthier. Carpenter. Potter. Letterpress printer. Furniture maker.
Much more at Those Who Make and whycraft.com. Post intended as something of a sequel to this, previously.
Much more at Those Who Make and whycraft.com. Post intended as something of a sequel to this, previously.
Decompressed is a podcast in which comics writer and former Rock Paper Shotgun journalist Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Thor, Phonogram) talks to artists and writers about the process involved in writing a single issue of a comic. Decompressed 6 broke format and is instead a discussion with Mark Waid and Matt Fraction about scripting comics using the "Marvel Method", or "plot first" - in which the artist draws the comic from a story outline and dialogue is added later, rather than the writer supplying a panel by panel script. For a while out of favour even at Marvel, the method is seeing a resurgance. The podcast page contains visual aids, and embedded version of the podcast, the script of DEFENDERS #9 complete with B&W art and additional links, including links to Warren Ellis’ 3-part tutorial on writing comics (1, 2, 3). Jamie McKelvie and a vultue put in guest appearances. Further example comicbook scripts are available at the Comic Book Script Archive (previously).
Ebru, turkish for "marbeling", and is hypnotizing to watch. It is a process that puts colored paint on the surface of water, and then transferring it to paper. It is probably most common for us now in its use in bookbinding, showing as early as the 17th century in Europe, and it's still being done routinely today in the US Government Printing Office. The art is much older, dating back to 10th century Turkey. It had a resurgence in the 60's as a psychedelic hippie art form. It's easy to learn but can take years to master. [more inside]
Friendship bracelets! A photo tutorial for chevrons and another photo tutorial for basic stripes, chevrons, & diamonds. More basics with simple patterns & advanced. The BeyondBracelets thorough video tutorials (& on her blog is a bracelets 101 to gradually progress your skills). For complicated patterns check out these, and also these (with alphabet patterns & instructions), and also this crowdsourced free pattern-sharing site (patterns & tutorials), and finally this dollar-a-pattern pay site. If you're not interested in bracelets you can use the same idea for tangle-free headphones or wrapping tech cords & cables. (previously: lanyards)
Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show (demo reel) is a DIY webshow featuring 10-year-old Sylvia and her various science, tech, and craft projects. She will be on the cover of Make Magazine's Summer 2012 "School's Out! Best Summer Ever" issue. [more inside]
Craftsmen and women, some of them the last of their breed, making their art by hand and profiled in beautiful short-form videos: Knifemaker. Ornamental glass artist (previously). Master printer . Swordguard maker (previously). Beekeeper and honey maker. Stone lettercarvers. Carmaker. More, and related, at This Is Made By Hand, FolkStreams.net and (less related, but still wonderful) eGarage.
Here comes Alan Measles - WW2 hero turned benign dictator turned Godhead. Guru, muse, art critic, raconteur. In his capacity as minor deity he resides in a hand-tooled Louis Vuitton traveling shrine, and embarks on a pilgrimage to Bavaria to make peace with the Germans, in his custom-built personal conveyance. In his entourage are his devoted minion and bodyguard, and some other bloke named Alan. In London this weekend? Pay your respects to Alan's stunt-doubles in the Kenilworth AM1, and purchase Measles memorabilia from the gift shop. [more inside]
Kokeshi Dolls originated in North-East Japan as wooden toys for children. They began being produced towards the end of the Edo period (1603~1868) by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle. [more inside]
Portrait of a Handmade Artisan: Korehira Watanabe The Sword Maker (one of a number of films by Etsy) [more inside]
In Tonsberg, Norway, they are building a Viking Ship. By hand, using the same tools and processes the vikings used. [more inside]
30 years later, Neil Peart breathlessly recounts, track by track, the making of Rush's seminal album Moving Pictures.