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]

Rummage 2017: Your guide to the two-day pop-up craft market

Minnesota is a land of makers. In the Twin Cities and all across the state, small, independent businesses are making handcrafted goods that serve as an alternative to mass-produced products. This weekend Minnesotans can have the chance to visit 70 of these craft shops all in one place: the West End Market at the Minnesota … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Cabinets full of unexpected surprises at Mark Laub Studios

It takes a series of careful maneuvers to uncover what’s hidden within the cabinet resting near Mark Laub’s front door. First he pulls open a set of connected wooden leaves that surround a stained glass dome. Then, he spins around a glass carousel to reveal a set of arched doors. Finally, he slides out a … [ Read more]

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Make a Game of It: Passionate designers are using Kickstarter to fund a board game revolution

Patrick Leder of Leder Games, a St. Paul–based micro-publisher of board games, was at a loss. He was working on a new game and trying to figure out the best way to make, and play, the tiles that would form the game map. He searched online for examples from other board games, and something caught … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: The curious creations of Benjamin Currie

It’s hard to shake the desire to “solve” art. We’ve all been there—faced with an eye-catching work, buzzing with color, line, and form, we squint and ponder, grasping for the nearest gallery guide or explanation, trying to figure out what it all means. The reality is that art is not the Sunday morning crossword. It’s … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Award-winning seed art by Liz Schreiber

Instead of vibrant vessels of oil paint, colorful jars of grain line the shelves of Liz Schreiber’s Minneapolis home. In every corner of the upstairs studio are jars, canisters, and glass containers large and small—all filled with hundreds of thousands of seeds. Corn kernels and soybeans. Split peas. Green millet. Beautifully black and glossy wild … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Two-wheeled transformations at Peacock Groove

Before Erik Noren started building bikes worth thousands of dollars, he paid someone $40 to steal one for him. He painted the two-wheeler blue, and then dunked his hands in purple paint and splashed it across the frame. At the time he was 18 years old. He only rode occasionally in high school and didn’t … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: The art of fire, glass, and noble gas at Skyline Neon

There’s a good chance Matt Thompson has worn out the nerve endings on his fingertips. Despite handling molten hot glass nearly every day, he refuses to wear gloves. After decades, his hands are battle worn from blisters, cuts, and third degree burns. Still, that doesn’t stop the neon sign maker from grabbing a glass tube … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Fresh views on camping at Vistabule Teardrop Trailers

There’s a timeless nostalgia and sense of adventure in the very shape of a teardrop camping trailer. The petite, two-person campers weigh around 1,200 pounds and can be hauled by most station wagons or small trucks. They were popularized in the 1930s, but the internet age renewed them into fashion. Now a handful of entrepreneurs … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: On the cutting edge with Eversharp

One might think the center of the Twin Cities culinary scene is anchored firmly on Nicollet Avenue or one of its downtown counterparts. But there’s a brick storefront with a simple red awning and a single glass door—nestled between industrial buildings in Northeast Minneapolis—that might rival any restaurant for its impact on local eats. Eversharp … [ Read more]

Do It Yourself, Together: How maker spaces & tool libraries are building community

A squat, unassuming building of beige-painted brick and exposed cinder block sits tucked behind some of the great restaurants of Northeast Minneapolis’ Central Avenue. A red, hexagonal sign reads “MPLS Make” in white letters. It’s 4pm on a Thursday. A sign on the back door reads: “KNOCK LOUD! We’re rocking music and power tools  in … [ Read more]

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How To Build Your Own Wooden Toolbox and 12-Pack Carrier

Photos by Kevin Kramer, The Growler Skill level: Moderate Total time: 3 hours over a few days Materials One 1” x 6” x 8’ oak board Six 1¼” pocket screws Kreg Pocket-Hole System Wood glue 6” length of ½” black gas pipe (1) 4½” length of ½” black gas pipe (2) ½” black gas pipe … [ Read more]