If you relied solely on media to shape your idea of the modern artisan, you’d likely conjure an image of a beard/ waxed mustache, a bow tie, and an affinity for bespoke, small batch whisky served over clunky ice cubes. But the resurgence of craftsmanship on a large scale has more to do with a set of values than it does with an unfettered desire to affect pretensions.
Modern artisans are basically free-range manufacturers, happily whistling while they work in studios and smithies. Their commitment to raw, authentic, handmade products has strengthened local economies and put exciting, unbranded goods in the marketplace. And, it’s a transparent model. You know who made your products, where they made them, and how to get in touch with them if you need to. Good luck trying to get in touch with the factory worker at the Thai Ikea plant who boxed that Skarsta desk you can’t assemble.
Below are 10 artisans and makers, creating pieces of utility and beauty. These printers, woodworkers, and tilemakers have built up Instagram accounts that are not only enjoyable to look at, they’re also super inspiring. Plus this is how small batch business happens: Just slide right into the DMs! But be forewarned, not a single one of them wears a bow tie.
Luke Snyder and David Van Wyk craft one-of-a-kind knives, hand-forged from scrap carbon steel repurposed from machine shops, used auto parts, and scrap yards. The handles of these kitchen implements use natural materials, like reclaimed antlers and burled wood.
The pair both grew up in the company of craftspeople. Snyder spent hours working in a coal forge and blacksmith shop with his dad, and Van Wyk was raised in a family full of woodworkers. Keep an eye out on their Instagram for their “Legacy Knives,” custom orders that incorporate customer supplied materials — lace from a wedding dress and a grandmother’s rolling pin were each incorporated into heirloom-quality knives.