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How to make a horn shoehorn

An appreciation of the skill involved in making a shoehorn, by Chris Mason, Factory Manager at Abbeyhorn.


Shoehorns are an invaluable spoon-shaped tool for putting on leather shoes without eroding the structure of the heel of the shoe as well as fraying the edge, and given the expense of a…

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Abbeyhorn & the craft of horn working

Interview with Paul Cleasby, owner of Abbeyhorn; making and trading horn products since the 18th Century.


Working with horn, one of the earliest raw materials crafted by man, is almost as old as Lakeland’s high hills, which are incidentally home to Abbeyhorn, the last remaining horn works in the…

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The craft of Japanese wooden boatbuilding

Continuing the craft of Japanese boatbuilding - Q&A with boatbuilder, writer & researcher, Douglas Brooks.

A very small sabani a type of semi-dugout once used for fishing in Okinawa. Photo by Mr. Hiroyuki Asato.

Boatbuilder first, then writer & researcher is how Douglas Brooks describes himself in a self-effacing modest kind of way, however, his commitment to the curation and continuation of the ancient but fast-disappearing craft…

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Alvar Aalto: The Human Modernist

An overview of the work of Finnish architect and designer, Alvar Aalto.

Portrait of Alvar Aalto in 1970. Photo by Ensio Ilmonen / Lehtikuva via Artek.

In today’s design-saturated world, Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto’s modernist legacy endures as a testament to his great genius. Born ‘Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto’ in 1898 in Kuortane, a small municipality in…

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