Because we could all support artisans as entrepreneurs, the Web could help us all :

It’s been called the “Etsy Economy”: the growing number of artisans and craftspeople who support themselves via Internet storefronts. From handmade kids’ costumes to personalized jewelry to custom cutting boards, online artisan marketplaces are allowing old-fashioned craftsmanship to flourish.

See, the past generation perfected mass production and distribution of goods, be it a car, fridge, bike or your phone. But in that process they managed to separate the product from the story. And a product’s story is its genesis; where it came from, who made it, and why it was made that way. My former professor, and the founder of IDEO, David Kelley once told me “that if a product were a jet, than its fuel is the story.” What happens though when you lose the fuel?

As much as companies would like you to think that that phone you’re holding shows up at your doorstep untouched by human hands the truth is that it takes a huge amount of time, effort, and skill to product these objects. And when you stop understanding this, like we have now, you start getting wasteful. You no longer respect the product and you no longer have pride of ownership so it’s easy to discard or throw away when it gets dinted, broken, or a new one comes along.

ATOMIK INSIGHT from Brandon Morrison

As one of Japan’s last remaining swordsmiths, Korehira Watanabe has honed his craft for 40 years while attempting to recreate the mythical Koto sword.

Beauty through Bamboo