In the northern Romanian region of Maramureș, roadside crucifixes are part of the countryside landscape and a symbol of people’s spiritual views. Traditionally, they were handcrafted locally and so they were also visual displays of local art. But local handcrafting skills are quickly disappearing and their preservation hardly encouraged. And so the locals switch to representations of Jesus mass produced somewhere in the world. The new plastic Jesus does not reflect the old spirit of the villages but a new trend instead, a mix of consumerist practicality and kitsch. In an ongoing series, photographer Vasile Dorolti tries to capture these People and Crosses, before they disappear. [more inside]
I AM INTO THIS. Who are the Cambridge Satchel Company and why should we care? The company started in 2008, and they sell old-style 1950s/60s era British school satchels. Originally meant for kids (the founder states, "I honestly thought that it would be schoolchildren and parents buying my bags!"), the satchels have become a more modest and budget-friendly alternative to designer bags. As a small startup company, they relied on enthusiastic word-of-mouth from the internet to bolster their profits; Deane states,"I think online was the only way that we could really engage and get traction really quickly" (warning: autoplaying video). This is the perfect storm of internet obsession: you click the link, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. [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.
Vantiki is the work of Hawaiian artist Henrik Van Ryzin. His specialty is hand-crafted, one of a kind Tiki Mugs, each with their own special twist. [more inside]