Monthly Archives: February 2013


Staplers are all too often saddled with the trappings of the mundane. We think of them—inaccurately, I’d now argue—as standardized tools for monotonous tasks.

Desk Stapler Patent, 1944

Image courtesy of History of the Heart.

I turned to Chad Lemke, stapler enthusiast and collector, to learn about the rich history and design quirks of paper staplers. Although he eschews the word “expert,” since 2007, Lemke has maintained Stapler of the Weeka site that “examines the memories and histories associated with” a single stapler from his collection each week. The site has been on hiatus for the past year, since as Lemke says “my one-year-old gets most of my waking attention these days,” but, as a childhood collector or erasers, I was delighted that he sat down with me via email to share a little of the vast world of staplers.


Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Saber Fazer

Portuguese Basket Makers, Rosa and Manuel

Rosa, Basket Maker

Alice Bernardo is the author of Saber Fazer, a documental project started in 2010, with the goal of preserving the artisanal and semi-industrial production tradition in Portugal. “I understood that a lot of the knowledge these makers held wasn’t being passed on to anyone,” Alice said, “and it was going to be lost very soon.”

Alice has been featured on her own TEDx talk for this evolving project. She took a break from her travels in Brazil to talk with me about why the stories of these makers in particular seemed so necessary to preserve. The photos here are all by Alice, with more published on her blog.


Tagged , | 6 Comments

Irish Linen

Tea cloth made with Irish Linen

Tea time with an Irish linen napkin.


Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Rabbit Hunting

Rohan Anderson is a modern-day hunter-gatherer and all around DIY-er. He provides food for his family purely from what he can grow in his garden, hunt in the forests and streams of Australia, or trade from his neighbors. Here, he takes us out on a typical day looking for the evening meal in the middle of a Southern Hemisphere heat wave.

Fresh Rabbit with Sage and Thyme

Bacon-wrapped rabbit, the bounty of the hunt.

The cool breeze snuck in through the old fly screen window and broke my deep slumber. It had been a very hot few days here in Australia. Sometime in the night a cool change had come in from the south, and it was very much welcome. It’s been a hot summer, dry too with a handful of local bush fires and dangerously fast grassfires. Thankfully the old school house has got away unscathed with most of the fires being far away enough not to be a concern. But it is a sign that things are dry. 


Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments