Cover art for podcast Craftsmanship Quarterly

Craftsmanship Quarterly

31 EpisodesProduced by Craftsmanship InitiativeWebsite

Welcome to our podcast! We are a nonprofit, multimedia digital magazine focusing on in-depth profiles of intriguing artisans and innovators across the globe — the movers and makers who are creating a world built to last. To support this project, please consider making a donation — it's tax-deductibl… read more

31 Episodes | 2019 - 2021

The Architecture of Trust

February 25th, 2021


With only a quick glance at today’s overheated political climate—the balkanized geography between red and blue states, the bombastic former …

Women Who Embroider the Air

February 24th, 2021


On a small island near Venice, the fine art of hand-sewn lace somehow remains alive. Our correspondent visits with the master craftswomen of Burano to learn their history, their secrets, and the prospects for their …

The New Water Alchemists

February 9th, 2021


Animals, plants, soil, and air have long collaborated to regulate our climate by stimulating “the water cycle.” They have also helped control natural …

A Black Entrepreneur Finds Her “Vegan Soul” — in Idaho

February 4th, 2021


When Mae Gaines moved from Los Angeles, CA, to Boise, Idaho, she expected her life would be different. What she didn't anticipate was the response …

The Return of the Harmonica

January 25th, 2021


In the 1970s, Hohner, the world’s largest harmonica manufacturer, changed its flagship model, and in the process its signature sound. A few musicians and harp customizers waged a quiet rebellion. And they won.

The …

The Norwegian Sweater Detective

January 7th, 2021


In a postcard-perfect valley in southern Norway, Annemor Sundbø nurtures her life’s work: old garments, paintings, and other clues to the myths and …

The World’s Greatest Goldbeater

December 31st, 2020


Marino Menegazzo hammers gold leaf by hand into sheets 200 times thinner than a human hair. He works in the same studio where Titian, one of Italy’s …

The VW Doctor Is In

December 24th, 2020


In a corrugated tin shed that somehow survived California’s massive fires in Sonoma Valley, Gary Freeman labors to keep old VW Beetles and vans—the …

The Rawhide Artist

December 17th, 2020


Bill Black has poured his life into refining a simple piece of handmade horse gear called a hackamore. Although the device is rarely used anymore, it can teach a horse to work cattle with unusual brilliance, and beauty.

The Secret to Vintage Jeans

December 10th, 2020


On December 31, 2017, the doors closed on North Carolina’s White Oak plant — the first, and now last, big textile mill in the U.S. to make true, …

Real Film Strikes Back

December 3rd, 2020


Against all odds, and despite the best efforts of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, old-fashioned, analog, motion-picture film is suddenly making a …

Mexico's Master Guitar Makers

November 30th, 2020


The now iconic white guitar made famous by the Disney film, “Coco,” was created in Paracho, a small Mexican town where almost every shop makes guitars. Underneath the new icon lies centuries of craftsmanship.

Mexico's …

Do the Most Interesting Musical Pipes Come from Ireland?

November 26th, 2020


While Scotland is branded by its famous Highland bagpipes, Ireland has long made a very different kind that plays a much wider range of music. Meet the indefatigable, obsessive masters of Irish uilleann pipes.

Do the …

The Toolbelt Masters

November 6th, 2020


With gumption, insight, and brilliant use of social media, a few guys in Virginia built an operation that makes what could be the world’s finest …

Japan’s Gorgeous, Precarious Fishing Poles

October 29th, 2020


While Japanese master craftsmen command up to $100,000 for turning bamboo into a fishing pole, aspiring younger makers can barely find anyone to take …

The Cigar Box Guitar Maker

September 24th, 2020


When a promising rock musician tired of the road and the pressure, he gave up music and got a job at a hardware store. Then one day, he had a revelation....

The Cigar Box Guitar Maker, written by Nancy LeBrun, …

The Healing Power of Bello

August 20th, 2020


On the Northeastern coast of Italy, an unusual drug treatment community uses craftsmanship to rehabilitate some of Europe’s most intractable drug addicts. San Patrignano — or "SanPa" — was founded more than 40 years ago …

The Power of the Scribe

July 2nd, 2020


Spiritual faith has long been shaped by the lettering on a religion’s sacred texts. This is particularly the case with Judaism, so we visited three …

Artisanal Homemade Bread, Made Simple

May 29th, 2020


Confined to our homes during the Covid-19 quarantine, many of us have realized this is an ideal time to start baking our own bread. The idea has spread so fast that stores are running out of flour and yeast. But fear …

The Human Cost of Recycled Cotton

April 23rd, 2020


Everyone in the fashion world wants to find a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way to make cotton clothes — or a benign (and comfy) alternative. Some are on the brink of succeeding. But almost no one …

The Bug Whisperer

February 27th, 2020


Mark Sturges doesn’t advertise. Clients have to find him by word of mouth, but find him they do. He’s become a master of an agricultural art as old …

Straw Bale: The Ultra-Ecological House

January 31st, 2020


As our environmental challenges mount — from devastating wildfires to hurricanes and floods — one solution, largely ignored thus far, may lie in …

The Bonsai Kid

November 13th, 2019


A young Oregonian believes that he can create a uniquely American form of the Japanese bonsai tree. And he is literally betting the farm on the idea that if he builds it, they will come.

The Bonsai Kid, written by Nancy …

When Indigenous Women Win

September 20th, 2019


In the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, a band of determined indigenous women led the overthrow of a criminal cartel. Their victory revived the town’s traditional livelihood, and ushered in a model form of …

The Jewelry Archaeologist

August 29th, 2019


Through years of painstaking, often combative detective work, Hugo Kohl rescued an era of early American jewelry manufacturing technology that was on …

How Far Can Beer Science Go?

August 15th, 2019


Where else would you expect to find a band of techno-scientific craft beer geeks, except in the industrial side of San Francisco, ground zero for …

The Watchman of Lausanne

July 26th, 2019


For more than six centuries, a lone figure—part guard, part human angel—has circled the bell tower every night in the Cathedral of Lausanne, calling out the hour. For the last 28 years, it’s been Renato Häusler’s turn. …

The Secrets of an Italian Gelato Master

June 28th, 2019


Gelato, it turns out, is a very different creature from ice cream. And there are reasons that the best gelato tastes so creamy yet somehow still light—and indescribably perfect. In honor of summer, we delve into the …

The Art of the Joke

May 24th, 2019


When you watch masterful stand-up comics perform, they seem just naturally hilarious. Don’t kid yourself; this is hard work — a craft like making …

Eco-Fashion's Animal Rights Delusion

February 8th, 2019


In this exploration of the hidden stories behind materials such as wool and rayon, silk and polyester, and vegan leather, Alden Wicker — a frequent …

The Drought Fighter

January 31st, 2019


Could a small, controversial farmer in California have found the most effective way to grow food in a warming world? With only minimal irrigation, …

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