Black Cat Farmstead: Farm-to-loom art

If you’ve ridden the Metro Green Line in the Twin Cities, you’ve likely seen Andrea Myklebust’s work. The Raymond Avenue, Westgate, and Union Depot light rail stations feature granite, cast bronze, and concrete sculptures carved and forged by Andrea and her husband, Stanton (Stan) Sears. But the bulk of Andrea’s work happens an hour-and-a-half outside … [ Read more]

Big Challenges for Small Dairy: Minnesota farmers seek creative solutions in the face of corporate competition

When I first rang Tom Portner to talk about his dairy farm Port-Haven, he told me to call back in a few minutes—he was in the middle of helping a cow give birth. The third in 24 hours, in fact. “Yesterday I had 24 due, now three of them have calves,” he says when I … [ Read more]

Heirloom Muskie Lures: Supernatural Big Baits

The warehouse complex at 755 Prior Avenue North in St. Paul most famously houses entities like Can Can Wonderland and BlackStack Brewing. But in the northwest corner of the building sits Supernatural Big Baits, where founder and owner Duff Thury has been hand-making some seriously big baits for serious muskie anglers since 2013. Duff is … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Art with depth by Marnie Karger

Lakes are peppered across the land of Minnesota—11,842 reminders that this area was once covered in vast sheets of ice a mile thick, plowing inch by inch, and finally melting into what we see today. These water-filled, earthly scars are named after European explorers, topographical features, identifications by Dakota and Ojibwe tribes. And they are … [ Read more]

Southside Battletrain: Human-powered metal machines

There’s a house in South Minneapolis that stands out from the rest. It could be the tangle of vines cascading down the facade. Or maybe it’s the tricycles, yellow canoe, and velociraptor planted in the front yard. On the porch, you’ll find a gorilla suit and the phrase “run 2 run” spelled out on the … [ Read more]

Tiny houses face big hurdles in the Twin Cities

The tiny house trend is everywhere. Look on Instagram. Check out Pinterest. On HGTV alone, there’s “Tiny House, Big Living,” “Tiny House Builders,” “Tiny House Hunters,” and others. These glamorized, pint-sized homes have gained widespread appeal among those looking to live with less. Going mini is mainstream. Or is it? Many prospective tiny housers face … [ Read more]

Shoes With Soul: Stylish shoe repair at Greenwich Vintage

It’s me!” Tamas “Zen” Pomazi shouts as he enters Papa’s Shoe Repair II in downtown Waconia. The phrase is a signal to Julio Sanchez—owner of Papa’s—that it is, indeed, him and not a customer. Pomazi passes a row of bookcases that separate the service counter and small retail racks near the entrance from the workshop … [ Read more]

Simple, yet soulful: Woodsport

Wood chips fly as Scott McGlasson presses the tip of a sharp metal gouge against a wooden form mounted to a lathe. While the piece spins, bits of white ash shower onto his clothes like confetti and rain down onto the floor in mounds. As the piles of shavings grow, a shape begins to emerge. … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: An artful existence with Fox Meets Bear

As the shell started to break apart, a mess of wet, matted feathers began to show through the opening. Late into the night, Johnna Holmgren sat on a stool in her living room with her gaze fixed on the incubator set up in front of her. After caring for the eggs inside it with her … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Farmers of the future at Urban Organics

An inconspicuous white tube travels along the length of the ceiling, connecting two very different rooms. The first room is a cool 60 degrees and smells slightly fishy. Gray concrete floors and colorless walls make the space appear colder than it is. The neighboring room couldn’t be more different. The air smells sweet and vaguely … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Ellen Schofield & David Rogers

While the lone wolf artist has long been romanticized for his or her singular innate genius, the collaborative duo has also, many times over, recast the shape, innovation, and creative magic of art. Think Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”35969″ align=”right” info_text=”Advertisement” info_text_position=”above” font_color=”#6d6d6d” font_size=”13″ padding=”10″ background_color=”#ffffff” border=”2″ border_color=”#878787″] Now, Ellen … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Piecing it together with Mercury Mosaics

The gleaming edge of what looks like an oversized cookie-cutter plunges into a sheet of clay. Before punching out another tile, a man in a red apron dips the cutter in a bowl of WD-40. This ensures each cut he makes come out as clean as possible. He alternates back and forth between the two … [ Read more]

Pop-up shop ’til you drop with local holiday markets

  With temperatures dropping and snow about to be falling, holiday markets are popping up. There’s a market or two or three hitting every weekend, offering fresh gift ideas from up-and-coming local artists in a relaxed environment (and cocktails or craft beers, to boot) for yourself and those on your list. To help you get … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Caretakers of skin and pollinators at Worker B

The sound of splintering wood disrupts the rhythmic hum of bees flying midair as Liesa Helfen wedges a flat metal tool in between two boxes. The containers crack apart as she wiggles the steel up and down, loosening the propolis, or bee glue, that seals the two together. For tens of thousands of bees, the … [ Read more]

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Many Hands Make Light Work: Coordinating volunteers to accomplish the greater mission

If volunteers are the lifeblood of a nonprofit—essential to accomplishing the organization’s mission—volunteer coordinators are the heart keeping that blood pumping. Part cheerleader, part wrangler, part teacher, and part event host, volunteer coordinators juggle all kinds of people with different skills and motivations for showing up. Whether working with corporate groups doing team building for a … [ Read more]