I've stated it before: I'm a total workshop rat. There's something about spaces where skilled work gets done that invigorates my spirit. At various points throughout my life, I've wandered into blacksmith shops—on my great uncle's farm in southern Ohio, at a permanent exhibit on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, at the dead end of a street on the outskirts of my college town in West Virginia—and each time I've quieted with reverence, among the tongs and hammers and slack tubs, as if walking in the glow of stained glass windows.
Short of actually hanging around the shop, smelling the hot metal and hearing the clank of a hammer on an anvil, I get my forge fix by following metalsmiths on Instagram. Here are thirty of ManMade's favorite accounts that we totally recommend.
I confess, I'm a shop rat. It doesn't matter what craft—shoemaking, blacksmithing, coffee roasting, even those little watch repair caves with the observation window in jewelry stores at the mall—if there are four walls, some tools, and skilled hands, I'm all over it like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm.
Other than drawing and writing, I've committed to the handicraft of artisan printing, slinging ink in the letterpress and screen printing arena at my main job. But when I can, I soak up other skills on a hobbyist level to round out my skillset, to apply lessons from other disciplines into my chosen craft, and to just have fun making stuff without the pressure of harnessing it to make a living.
Woodworking is one of those pools that I'm just now starting to wade into, and since I have no idea what I'm doing, I love watching the real deal to see how it's really done. To that end, I've curated the following list of my favorite woodworking accounts on Instagram.
This holiday season, I wanted to give my friends and family a customized gift with some personality. So, using nothing but our own photos and a few crafty tools, I came up with this coaster project which is super fun, super inexpensive, plenty easy, and you can dial it in perfectly for each person on your list - just raid their Instagram or social media accounts!
Let's get to it!
Fun fact of the day: a whole heap of National Parks (and National Monuments, Recreation Areas, and the like) each have their own regularly updated Instagram accounts. If you think about it, it makes sense; what these spaces have to offer - nonstop visual inspiration, scenic landscapes, education, and a cure for your wanderlust - work excellently for the format. It's exactly the kind of stuff you want to see for a little midday motivation.
This year, the US National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so we're sharing our favorite National Parks and related accounts to help you find the perfect spot for your next adventure.
Many of us love to travel and it's always fun to see the local sights. Surprisingly though, the favorite sights are not what you'd expect. Since everyone has a camera in their pockets with the ability share their favorite places through social media, Busbud (a travel site for booking bus tickets) recently went through Instagram's location hashtags to find the most instagrammed places in the US.
Ecuador-based graphic designer Javier Pérez uses Instagram's simple image-sharing format to wonderful creative effect, looking at the shapes of common household objects and using simple black lines to bring them to life.
David Schwen, a Minneapolis-based designer and art director, has been experimenting with a new theme on his Instagram feed, featuring commonly paired ingredients as Pantone swatches.
My e-buddy Jason Hudson is a Toronto-based photographer, all-around interesting guy, and the best Instagram user I know. His photos are engaging, just frequent enough, and always manage to look like, well, Jason's Instagram photos. And his ninety-six thousand followers confirm - he knows what he's talking about.
Jason is offering some of his tips and best practices in his Instagrammar School series (get it?), on his blog.
Instagram is a half iPhone app/half photo sharing way to spice up your mobile phone pics with Lomo-like filters, vintage colors, vignettes, etc. Mostly, at least according to my Twitter feed, people use it to "age" their pictures of their dogs and kids or themselves looking off to the side thirty or forty years, but in the hands of the right people (as with most things), it's a pretty great artistic tool.