In his continued bid to take over much of the world's media channels, Anthony Bourdain has partnered with the producers of Balvenie Scotch Whisky on an online program that is truly exceptional. In the process of producing the first batch of episodes, he met with some of the most extraordinary craftspeople in the United States (and ended up walking away with some Bob Kramer knives that certainly left our mouths agape.)
If you want to watch between 7 and 16 minutes of well-produced, craft-heavy, and inspirational material, this series is for you. And lucky us, a new batch of videos just dropped in the last month or so. So if you've already caught up with the initial episodes, there's more to watch.
While much of the series focuses on the careful skills of dedicated craftspeople, there are a few standout moments, like the ingenious lathe stand-in contrived by one of the makers at SJC Drums. Instead of investing in an oversized lathe that would work for the drums that they are making at SJC, Louie Scalzo built what is basically a gigantic hand crank to turn the drum over a spinning router bit to create a perfectly round shell. The move is so ingenious, it transcends the realm of “hacks” and constitutes the crafting of a new kind of tool itself.
A final note of warning–be careful about watching these videos. There's nothing in them that is NSFW, per se, but I can't watch much of any of these without wanting to get my hands dirty and jump into some kind of project. So, watcher beware. And happy making.