Slow → articles in Craftsmanship

NOMOS Glashütte DUW 3001

It took around three years to develop - and it became ready just in time for the Baselworld show: NOMOS Glashütte presents the so called DUW 3001, a super impressive new standard caliber from its Glashütte watchmaking workshops. At only 3.2 millimeters, this motor is incredibly flat - flatter than almost anything else that selfwinds and is produced in series in the watch industry - and also extremely accurate. The few other automatic calibers available are either less accurate or extremely expensive. But NOMOS Glashütte will remain in its established price category. Nearly all the parts in DUW 3001 are placed between the base plate and the three-quarter plate.The ratchet wheel, for example, is now placed entirely under the three-quarter plate - and so needed to be made flatter than before. To avoid friction between the wafer-thin parts, a special new material was used; it has excellent, low friction properties, is extremely even, and is easy to form and harden. So impressive! [ Continue reading ]


Some weeks ago, one of our favorite online retail specialists when it comes to the traditional crafts - OEN - shared this highly inspirational peek into the Hornevarefabrikken workshop in Bøvlingbjerg, Denmark. Founded in 1935, Hornvarefabrikken – which translates to The Hornware Factory – was set up by Peter Husted, a craftsman and visionary with great ambitions. He designed and made many of the spoons and tableware that are still sold by Hornvarefabrikken today. In 2007 designer Sara Brunn Buch acquired Hornvarefabrikken under the condition that she continued the tradition of first-rate craftsmanship. Still operating in the far West of Denmark, the company persists in creating immaculate hornware made by hand in a small set of workshops, valuing traditional craftsmanship in its core. Recently they even named their new collection - Tradition - after this exact philosophy consisting of tableware, accessories, interior and jewellery items, which are all produced in their incredible workshop, opened to us for a fascinating visit through OEN. [ Continue reading ]

Il Capo

After yesterday's feature we continue to stay in the fascinating Carrara area, with its marble quarries where men and machines dig the mountains, this time moving to Monte Bettogli. Last year in October, Nowness shared this excerpt of the highly inspirational documentary “Il Capo” (The Chief) by the italian visionary Yuri Ancarani. It continues to be one of the best things we've seen in a long time, portraying a maestro quarry manager at work. The extraordinary craftsmen coordinates or even conducts his quarrymen and heavy-duty machines, using a language consisting solely of gestures and signs. Conducting his dangerous and sublime orchestra against the backdrop of the almost surreal landscapes and peaks of the Apuane Alps, The Chief works in total noise, which create a paradoxical silence. The result is an utmost poetic video, finding extraordinary beauty in an extraordinary craft. [ Continue reading ]

Laboratory Perfumes

Inspired by the incredible flora of the British countryside, the London-based Laboratory Perfumes have been creating clean, pure and modern fragrances, evocative of nature since 2012. While the overall created aesthetic of the brand reflects a love of simplicity, the fragrances are extremely complex and have an evolutionary life on the skin, with elegant glass bottles and candle beaker echo the origins of the traditional perfumier’s laboratory. The original aim behind Laboratory Perfumes was to create a range of perfumes which evoke a strong sense of place, with all three of the original fragrances sharing an association with the English coast and surrounding countryside. If there would be a particular place, it could be the heritage coast of East Anglia, Pembrokeshire or maybe (but this is likely a more personal sentiment) even Ireland's Mourne Mountains. We love the nice touch of the laboratory beaker and scientific calibrations, which recreate the nostalgia of the science laboratory and result in an unexpected contrast between the fragrances inspired by nature and the laboratory. In our eyes this created a fascinating contrast in the perception of the beautiful products, with this year introducing an all new scent promising a lot for the future. [ Continue reading ]


We are very inspired by LTAF ORIGIN. A design and craft research project by Jorinde Meline Barke, creator of label J-M-B JEWELRY, and Frank Michels, co-initiator at the great Berlin-based industrial design studio GECKELER MICHELS. The outcome of the project is a set of four different jewelry pieces implemented in an ancient indian lost-wax casting technique called Dhokra. During preliminary research, anthropological literature led to Dr. Jaidev Baghels’ workshop in Kondagaon — in the city of Chhattisgarh, India — a renowned hotspot for Dhokra. The jewelry pieces were crafted on site under Frank Michels' assistance with both primitive and thoroughly fascinating means. Dr. Jaidev Baghels’ son Buphendra Baghel played a decisive role with leading the making and his team of skilled workers. The seemingly simple process turned out to be a complex and almost alchemistic affair, reminiscent of the Bronze Age’s enormous power of technical and social revolution. Into operation came materials such as sulfur yellow beeswax and black industrial paraffin way, river bed mudd, cow dung and earth from termite’s nests. Remains from used brass vessels were being recycled, and two hens were sacrificed in order to arouse a succesful casting operation. [ Continue reading ]

Calming Park — Black Edition

We have been obsessed with the finer scented candles from all over the globe for some years now, with more and more traditional fragrance specialists entering into the growing field, creating more and more elegant options to choose from. Since our little trip to Copenhagen, just before Christmas, we can add another gem to our favorites: Calming Park's Black Edition candles, which we found at the ever-inspirational Storm boutique. The capsule collection of three candles is a collaboration between the Grasse, Swiss-based perfume candle house which was founded by Olivier Rohrbach in 2007 and Danish creative studio Homework. It is no secret that we are still in our Black fase, although there is an obsession shift coming up very soon, nevertheless making the appeal of the elegantly designed collection very likely not coming as a surprise. The candles show a minimal elegant aesthetic, with the three fragrances of the collection given the three-letter names OUD, NOW and HYT. This beautiful collaboration between Homework and Calming Park is based on their shared passion for beautiful products and designs, which we in response can only applaud, hoping for more of these inspirational joint operations. [ Continue reading ]

Jocks&Nerds x Shinola

Recently quarterly men's style magazine Jocks&Nerds started an inspirational online project together with Detroit-based brand Shinola whom have recently opened their first store in London. The brand offers a broad field of products, from watches, leatherwear, bicycles to accessories for you pets and apparel, with everything being produced by skillful craftsman from the United States. The collaboration between Jocks&Nerds fits seamlessly within the philosophy of Shinola as it presents a select group of American craftsmen, but with the twist that they are all based in Britain. A modelmaker, a chef, a tailor, a brewer and today the final chapter is opened, presenting master distiller Jared Brown. Raised in upstate New York and now London-based, Brown works for the independent spirits distillery Sipsmith, where he is a master gin distiller and mixologist. He also used to run the pop up bar at the beautiful Langham hotel. The perfect closing of a beautiful collection of inspirational stories. [ Continue reading ]


Recently we were introduced to an extraordinary new premium members-only webstore named Dymant. The initiative brings together beauty and utility, tradition and innovation, know-how and design, heritage and future. Each creation is made following the idea of 'temps juste': the time needed to achieve perfection. As a result, every object offered requires many hours of patient and precise work, which can't be rushed. Everything one finds in the elegant Dymant environment is the product of passion and the expertise of gesture mastered by talented craftsmen such as a cabinetmaker, a jeweler, engraver, lace-maker, glass blower. All limited-edition creations, combining traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. On top of that, the fine products are reserved for Dymant’s private club members only, which are introduced by invitation only. When you become a member, you can welcome five persons to the club, making it potentially the perfect destination for incredible products, just for you and your personal circle. [ Continue reading ]

Tom Strala

We have been writing about the work of Swiss designer Tom Strala as early as 2009, when we discovered his extraordinary Pompidu lamp. Tom studied architecture at the ETH Zürich and obtained his Masters in Architecture with distinction in 2001. From the early stages Strala has been working in his studio. Since 2002 he runs his own showroom based in Swiss’ largest city Zürich, located in the well-known Seefeld area. Since 2008 Strala is registered as limited company and is continuously intensifying its local and international activities within the world of art and architecture. Today Strala is recognized as design pioneer questioning established values and nurturing new ones. Strala’s spirit is one of a seeker, constantly challenging himself to dive deeper into understanding, exploring from different perspectives only to unveil what lies behind surfaces and to get closer to the bottom of things, whether it's the material or forms he works with. The results are minimal, robust designs always with elegant touches and lines, which we highly admire. [ Continue reading ]

The Office Blend

We have written about the incredible Athens-based webstore named Daphnis and Chloe when we found out about it in July of this year. The elegant and exquisite project was founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou who divides her time between between Athens, Milan and Barcelona. The webstore which was funded through Kickstarter focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Last week Evangelia and her team released an all new offering in the form of their caffeine-free alternative to normal tea which they named ‚The Office Blend’. Next to the new premium tea, which comes in a colorful all new container, the store has released this new packaging for all its herbs ensuring the best possible use for their fine herbs in the area where it matters most: the kitchen. [ Continue reading ]

Barbera Design

Inspirational Melbourne-based Barbera Design was established by Australian designer Daniel Barbera in 2004, to create Australian-made furniture. High quality, unique, but above all timeless products, primarily aimed at Oceania and South-East Asia. Since the inception of his studio, Daniel and his team have been working with world class leading architects, specifying batch production products from their range, while also being able to offer custom solutions with existing products or bespoke pieces. Barbera’s product ethos works around logical design outcomes, and is process orientated working with old industrial processes fused with modern technology and craftsmen, to deliver elegant quality furniture which we really like. [ Continue reading ]

Kokeshi dolls by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Yesterday during Tokyo Designers Week designer Ronan Bouroullec and Japanese architect Kengo Kuma presented their collaboration for the East Japan Project which the latter started after the Fukushina disaster in 2011. The inspirational project aims to get the artisans of the region back on their feet by creating lifestyle products that are manufactured by the local craftsmen. One of those traditional objects combining aesthetics with craftsmanship are kokeshi dolls, which we’ve been collection for quite some years now. Inspired by the extraordinary dolls Ronan and his brother Erwan Bouroullec designed a series of kokeshi dolls which are exclusively produced for the East Japan Project. The Bouroullec brother’s interpretation moved away for the super enlarged head and has a more human shape, with its torso separated in two elements, connected by a hinge which allows them to bend at the hip area, resulting in a more modern, moveable, but nevertheless familiar kokeshi doll. Such an elegant interpretation of one of our favorite Japanese traditional objects. [ Continue reading ]

Atelier Haussmann

Atelier Haussmann is a Berlin-based studio founded by brothers Rainer and Andreas Haussmann, who started their shared endeavor in 1990. Simultaneously with the foundation of the studio the brothers created the brand Mobile Metallic, and under the two flags they create both interior designs and exclusive interior products out of iron which are made to last a lifetime. The products of Atelier Haussmann evoke the sentiment of remembrance. The iron stool in a workshop, the steel tube bed, the bench in the locker room. Many pieces are based on designs from the past, reinterpreted for contemporary times. Through the combination of citation, the return to traditional production techniques and new ideas Atelier Haussmann developed its own aesthetic, keeping away from fast fashion phenomena, with a clear focus on products made with the highest quality possible, always remaining with a timeless presence. [ Continue reading ]

ro Bags

The beautiful leather brand ro was founded in New York City in 1999 by architect Gene Miao and apparel designer Yvonne Roe. With the brand they wanted to reflect the unique energy and character of the East Village in Manhattan, while actively adapting to the expectations of metropolitan life. Through its clean silhouettes and quality workmanship, ro soon became available at prestigious stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys in Tokyo, among others. Despite this success changes would occur in the company over the years, with both founders leaving separately. Gene left in 2005 and established 1:1, an architecture and interior design practice in Hong Kong. But in 2012, Gene was invited to rejoin ro as the design director. After witnessing the wasteful demolition of building and interior sites in his work for 1:1, Gene has developed a keen environmental awareness. The architect-designer now identifies both raw materials and former fixtures to reclaim and recycle into reborn furniture. Similarly, ro handbags that become visibly worn from use can be refurbished, retouched and restored into timeless fashion items. [ Continue reading ]

Editor’s Index

Editor's Index is an ever-expanding independent studio project with a focus on artisanal aprons, started in 2010 by the very talented Kimmy Eliot Fung, who at the very start only possessed primitive seamstress skills. Hobbled from a few school classes and her mother's excellent but fluctuating influence. The first apron Kimmy created was as a nameless endeavor for a printmaker, which eventually was used and loved for four years, marking the quality of the products from the beginning. Later approaches for aprons were received in a similar fashion: working friends, and even Kimmy herself, looking for something useful, aesthetically appealing and industrious. Working in wonderful places with beautiful interiors and carefully crafted details asks for something paralleling this grace and actually keeping clean and functional: the clear focus of Editor's Index, which Kimmy has slowly been expanding since. [ Continue reading ]

BOS Ice Tea

We really like South African BOS, employing potent African mythology and rich symbolism to articulate its message and brand of premium ice teas. The BOS brand; its packaging, which feature these familiar traditional African emblems like the lion, sirius and the celestial wolf; and the original range of ice teas (which has been extended by now) were conceived by its founder Grant Rushmere. In 2009, Rooibos farmer and entrepreneur Richard Bowsher joined Grant as a co-founder of the business. Together they established the business and launched BOS unto the South African market in June 2010, with the brand spreading worldwide since. And although a very significant growth over the last few years the company still has its core goals close to its heart: to become a globally successful brand and beverages business; which is ethically managed (from farm to table), and is inspiring to its customers, employees and business partners. [ Continue reading ]


When the concept for the inspiring fragrance innovator Commodity came up, the goal was to offer something new, or in a sense bringing back the traditional personalized, reminiscent of the French and English aristocracy, way of finding your personal fragrance, rather then smelling like everybody else. After a year of preparation a Kickstarter campaign was started in April 2013 and with a final backing that far exceeded the goal that was set a new exciting company was born. Over a year now, Commodity has online been offering premium scents without the usual markup, nicely tailored to your style and preferences, delivered all the way to your door, leaving that sincere mark that was intended on a rather generic industry, dominated by big luxury brands and marketing instead of intrinsic products. [ Continue reading ]

Daphnis and Chloe

Recently we came across the inspiring Athens-based Kickstarter funded webstore named Daphnis and Chloe, founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou, which focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Local varieties of Mediterranean herbs are sourced from the areas of Greece where they naturally perform better, making their products of the highest quality. In the seasonings and infusions one finds at Daphnis and Chloe, city cooks can smell and taste the genuine bounty that can only be encountered in the natural state of things, without having to visit the remote islands and valleys where each herb has chosen to grow. Around these exquisite products a distinct aesthetic was created online and in the packaging, making Daphnis and Chloe by far the most elegant choice when looking for the finest herbs and spices. [ Continue reading ]

Octovo x Tilley Surfboards

For the second installment in their Off Map series in which they partner with brands and craftsmen, accessory label Octovo has collaborated with Southern Oregon-based Tilley Surfboards of Jason Tilley. This resulted in an extraordinary series of five custom board designs. Constructed out of hand-shaped foam combined with custom-milled wooden skins, each board has its own beauty, showing both color and the natural beauty of the wood. The boards feature a leash cup made of titanium or bronze and come in a tailored bag made out of UV and water-resistant material. The bags are padded and reinforced at the nose and tail with leather covers for added protection resulting in a utmost elegant collection bringing together craftsmanship and aesthetics. [ Continue reading ]

J. Panther Luggage Co. RollTote

It's been a while coming, but good ideas sometimes need time, and the latest by the J. Panther Luggage Co. is again of our highest liking. Their all new 3-way carry RollTote brings modern functionality and refinement, to the classic, utilitarian roll-top backpack. To the standard ruc mode two additional, flexible carry options were added: removable, fully adjustable leather shoulder straps attach via ‘O’ ring for ruc carry, with the option to re-attach one of these straps across the top of the bag for tote-style use. A leather side handle, meanwhile, offers the third option of hand carry. Precise positioning of straps and handle ensures optimum weight distribution and comfort for all physiques; like the reinforced base these are crafted from premium Horween leather that is highly durable and ages beautifully. The RollTote comes in the colors Black, Olive and Sand in J. Panther's signature 21oz lightly waxed, water-resistant canvas promising the RollTote to see you through the heaviest storm. [ Continue reading ]

32 Drinks for 32 Nations

We love the concept of Edward Godden and Joseph Lewis's The Travelling Gin Co. And whether you are a football fan or not, which is kind of hard not to be in this period of time, the two Brits now present a new concept hoping everyone joining in embracing the wonderful international flavors highlighted by this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. The more Edward and Joseph explore and experiment in creating cocktails with their Travelling Gin Co. project, the more fascinated they become by the wide array of ingredients that are available in the craft of cocktail making which they translated into a collection of 32 drinks for the 32 Nations competing on the World Cup. [ Continue reading ]

Love Me Los Angeles

Founded by wine-expert Katharina Riess, Florian Breimesser and Moritz Firchow in 2012, despite living 10.000 kilometer apart, Love Me Los Angeles is not just your average distinguished winery. The brand which was created goes beyond a lot of brands in the field and expresses the shared values of the founders and the universal spirit of seizing a dream and making it happen. A declared passion for locally manufactured and authentic products of highest quality by the three partners led to the release of Love Me Los Angeles's first edition, the Pinot Noir 2009, which is limited to a number of 500 bottles urging its consumer to seize the moment as well, before its gone. The ever-inspiring Deutsche & Japaner translated the philosophy of Riess, Breimesser and Firchow perfectly on a material level, bringing ideas to craft, as they collaborated with the highly talented Sergey Shapiro on the lettering, making the project extremely inspiring on different levels. [ Continue reading ]

Look over the Watchmakers’ Shoulders

We have slowly been moving into the fascinating world of hand-made watches over the last two years, and this 'Look over the Watchmaker's Shoulders' by German watchmaker NOMOS Glashütte inhabits everything we love about the beautiful craft. Since 2005 NOMOS has been building all its movements and watches, among which are the beautiful Tangente, Orion and Zürich models, in-house in its facilities in Glashütte, Saxony which is located in the South of Germany. The year 1845 marks an important year for that city, as it was the moment when Ferdinand Adolph Lange settled in Glashütte as the first master watchmaker, following a call to the Royal Saxon government, after which he received 7000 'Taler' start-up funding and began training the first watchmaker. Since then the watches and fine mechanical industry has been the economic backbone of the city. Some of the more renowned watch company operating from Glashütte at the moment are A. Lange & Söhne, Bruno Söhnle Uhrenatelier Glashütte and ofcourse NOMOS Glashütte, who has given this beautiful insight into its Chronometrie. [ Continue reading ]

Svbscription V8

We really appreciated the last parcel of luxury subscription service Svbscription. What was already the eighth parcel stood for timelessness, quality and a respect for function: all things that iconic pieces have in common. A parcel of classics, focussed on enhancing the style and home of each recipient. The entranceway, coffee table, bar and closet were all considered within the curation. Creating classics meant challenging the Svbscription collaborators to push their own practice in new directions. The brief was to revere the old, but create something new. This resulted in the fact that Australian industrial design duo Daniel Emma designed a set of marble coasters cut from the finest Italian and Spanish marble. Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert, the French glass artist best known for one-off large-scale sculptures, crafted individually hand blown whiskey glasses. Bespoke tailor Paul Marlow made an elegant tie, bow tie and scarf, and The Paris Review provided some dignified reading material. In our eyes a great set of modern classics was created living up to the high standard Svbscription has already set for itself. [ Continue reading ]