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The Slow Burn

Ben Short gave up an advertising job in London to become a charcoal burner and hedge-layer in Dorset. He isn’t a craftsman, he insists, more of a semi-skilled labourer devoted to The Old Way. ‘I didn’t know what I wanted to do,’ he says, ‘but I knew I wanted to be useful.’

A rare glimpse inside the HQ of porcelain masters Nymphenburg

At Nymphenburg’s Munich headquarters, the fine line between art and craft is blended in a way that only the stillest of hands can achieve, armed with 300 years of acquired skill in porcelain manufacture – but always with the attitude of an open and enquiring mind. ‘You always have to learn,’ says master craftsman Anton Hörl…

How Christina Kim built her cult brand dosa

Motivated by the need to keep traditional skills alive as new generations move on from their parents’ vocations, Christina Kim has built her own business into an internationally-respected brand – all thanks to a special talent: ‘I can see and mimic,’ she says…

Marks of Success

For designer Ilse Crawford, working with Bosnian furniture company Zanat on a unique project to celebrate native Konjic woodcarving offered the chance to explore how hands-on craft is remaking itself in the wake of digital. ‘I think the physical world needs to be better,’ she says. ‘It needs to step up…’

Taking a punt with rush weaver Felicity Irons

Felicity Irons is one of the last of the English rush weavers, keeping alive a craft that remains unchanged since Anglo Saxon times, using crops she harvests herself from a punt on the river Ouse. How did she learn this ancient art? ‘I taught myself from a book…’

The Glassblowers of Saint-Louis

In the tiny French village of Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche, a centuries-old performance takes place every day, as the craftspeople at Saint-Louis crystal work in eight-hour shifts to produce some of the most exquisite glassware in the world. Come and join the dance…

Foraging with Toast’s Jessica Seaton

The local landscape has always informed Jessica Seaton’s work; be it Toast, the fashion brand she co-founded with her husband Jamie, or foraging for ingredients in West Wales – which is where we found her, listening to trees…

Laura Ellen Bacon: meet the willow queen

In this exclusive extract from Issue 15, we discover how the acclaimed artist has been fashioning elaborate sculptural forms out of natural material ever since creating complex treehouses as a child. ‘There’s lots of muscle involved’, she explains…

Dreaming high with Cameron Balloons

Founded in Bristol in the 1970s, Cameron Balloons have earned their reputation as the best hot-air balloon company in the world. They may have come a long way from the early days of stitching canopies in their own flat, but the principle remains the same, as founder Don Cameron explains: ‘Heat air and it expands…’ 

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