Tag Archives: craft

Coffee and craft

Julian Baggini writes in a thoughtful essay that high-end restaurants in the United Kingdom have thrown out the idea of “artisan” espresso and bought Nespresso machines, which use factory-sealed capsules of precision-ground coffee and can be operated with the push … Continue reading

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Craft and ornament in baking

One of the arguments I’m making in my book has to do with the movement in American baking from simple and unadorned to fancy and visually enticing, and how that shift went hand in hand with the decline of craft … Continue reading

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The solar woodshop, explained

These days it’s all green this and renewable that, solar houses and electric cars and trains that run on cow farts. Well, look, my woodshop runs on solar energy, too. My daughter drew this diagram to show you all how … Continue reading

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The Thanksgiving issue: Gratitude and craft

Time to get serious, now. Thanksgiving is only a day away, and if you haven’t started your preparations yet, you’d best get cracking. I don’t mean brining the turkey or kneading bread dough: I mean being thankful. The point of … Continue reading

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Of pancakes and elbow grease

One Sunday morning last winter I made pancakes, and then I made them again the next Sunday, and my daughter decided that twice was a tradition. Even the dogs started expecting pancakes. I go out to get the paper, I … Continue reading

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Two stools

Since I’ve written a couple of times about working on a shaving horse, I suppose I should post some examples of what I’ve been able to do on it. So far, two stools, functional and good-enough looking, and good projects … Continue reading

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Keep home economics in the home

In today’s New York Times, Helen Zoe Veit argues that America’s public schools ought to revive the teaching of home economics. That simply isn’t going to happen, not given the state of public school funding, the priorities of education reformers, … Continue reading

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The thirty-dollar shaving horse

Until my first day doing living history I’d never used a shaving horse before, never used a drawknife or a spokeshave. I’d always thought that someday I might like to take a chairmaking class, just for fun, but that it … Continue reading

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Old timey

A couple of weeks ago I spent my first day volunteering as a costumed museum interpreter, which is not something I ever saw myself doing. I’d worked with the site director and staff before, and figured that, as an out-of-work … Continue reading

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The eighty-twenty rule of traditional craft

I have been building a tool carrier this week, a wooden box with splayed sides and a handle like every carpenter had a hundred years ago, long enough for my hand saws and my jointer plane, designed for easy carrying. … Continue reading

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