Craft | A Continuous Lean.

Modern Craft Project | To Foster the People

Feb 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Craft, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

ACL SPONSORED POST-lt green copy


“By the work one knows the workman.” Jean de La Fontaine

Part of the motivation for starting ACL in the beginning was to celebrate the small-batch independent people that are working with their hands to design and make beautiful product. By identifying craft a key narrative of this site, I wanted to do my part to support the little guy that is investing everything he has to make a living with his own two hands.

I recognized that well-made things are the physical embodiment of hard work, time and expertise. These are attributes that deserved respect and, I thought, appreciation on a bigger scale. I also came to understand that, in the modern world of the super-fast-consumption-crazy Internet with everything warranting Next Day Air and the like, the small-batch slow made things that take time are actually worth the wait. This curiosity about what goes into things and how they are made continues to drive the site to this day.

The Art of Bicycles at Copenhagen’s Cykelmageren.

Sep 18th, 2012 | Categories: Copenhagen, Craft, Cycling | by Michael Williams

To say that bicycles are ubiquitous in Copenhagen would be an understatement —bicycles there are a way of life. Over the past few years I have followed a few Copenhagen -based cycling centric blogs and their images helped to further provoke my own relationship with cycling. One thing everyone says in Copenhagen (and Amsterdam for that matter) is that people get their bikes stolen very frequently —most say it happens with regularity once a year. Living in NYC, this is something I can certainly appreciate, and fear.

All of this bicycle thievery makes the idea of spending a lot of money on a bicycle a frightening proposition, but it hasn’t slowed down Copenhagen’s Cykelmageren even the slightest bit.

The Greatest Brand Book Ever Made.

Sep 13th, 2012 | Categories: Books, Craft, Paris | by Michael Williams

Normally the watch companies are the ones who release the finest books documenting the history and heritage of their brands. Though it wasn’t until recently when confronted with the history of iconic french trunk maker Goyard that I realized just how exceptional a company archive book can be.

In releasing the book, Goyard partnered with the storied Parisian publisher Devambez to release 233 editions, which will each set you back a healthy sum of 6000€ (not including shipping or VAT tax or any customization that you do to the case). The 233 number is symbolic because it is the address of the original Goyard store on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. Each book is painstakingly made by hand by the finest artisans in France and comes in its own individually numbered, fully custom Goyard case.

Made by Hand | Federico Polidori

Jun 13th, 2012 | Categories: Craft, Made in Italy | by Michael Williams

Tucked into an easy-to-miss shop near the Pantheon in Rome is leather goods maker Federico Polidori. Inside you will find a small selection of hand made items for purchase, but what Polidori really specializes in are beautiful custom made bags, holsters and all sorts of other high quality leather items. The shop is more workshop than retail space, with Federico’s workbench taking up a good amount of space in the main room. When I walked in I was instantly captivated by the product and started to bug the man with questions. He was gracious and patient with my questions, and my very limited grasp of the Italian language.

While it wasn’t easy for Federico or his wife Roberta to understand me, it was easy to see that the bags, wallets, belts and other items they make are very high quality. Leaving without buying something would have been criminal.

Made in Brooklyn | The Violin Maker

Mar 6th, 2012 | Categories: Craft, Made in New York, Video | by Michael Williams

Amazing to see such a succinct convergence of art and craft in one little four minute video. Filmmaker Dustin Cohen pays a visit to violin maker Sam Zygmuntowicz’s studio in Brooklyn to explore the precise art of making fine musical instruments. The film is the first part of the promising Made in Brooklyn series. I find it remarkable the commitment that Mr. Zygmuntowicz has to his clients and to the ongoing service to all of the violins that he has created, specifically staying in New York to support them.

Violin making is a fairly obscure talent, but one that is definitely worthy of awe by musicians and non-musicians alike.  I look forward to seeing and learning more from Made in Brooklyn.