Tag "crafts"
Gold Beaters (Sep, 1947)

Gold Beaters


ONE interesting occupation that has not changed an iota since Biblical times is gold-beating. Men still beat gold for decorative purposes, and “hand-beaten” is a byword for quality and endurance.

When the gold beaters get through beating a piece of gold bar about 1/8-inch thick, after more than 24 hours of solid whacking, they have a ribbon of gold leaf yards long and so thin it measures about 1/50,000-inch thick.



Margaret Newman, a well-known New York sculptress, has turned her talents to a new and original field. Using a vegetable garden as a source of color and supply, she has ventured into the field of women’s fashions with amusing mannekins made wholly of fruits and vegetables.

With the help of celery, radishes, grapes, lemons, orange peelings, red and green peppers and carrots, she has created numerous vegetable fashion styles, four of which are shown on this page.

Rancher Sculptures Roots as Hobby (Aug, 1938)

These are actually really cool.

Rancher Sculptures Roots as Hobby

USING the gnarled and twisted roots of juniper shrubs as his medium, W.G. Hodgson, a rancher in Alberta, Canada, has attracted the attention of the artistic world by his ability to sculpture figurines which, by their perfection, express the countless moods of different human types. Strangely enough, the beautiful figurines are sculptured with carving implements made from salvaged parts of old automobile magnetos.



HERBERT WOOD, a former Pennsylvania contractor who went to Arizona to retire, began making furniture and knick-knacks out of the abundant native cactus purely as a hobby. But he soon found himself in possession of a prosperous business, selling his unusual and distinctive articles to tourists. He makes everything from ash trays to dining room sets.

Odd Figures You Can Form with Your Hands (May, 1933)

Odd Figures You Can Form with Your Hands

AMUSING figures, grotesquely resembling human beings, may be made with the fingers and a few simple accessories such as a tuft of cotton, eyes from a discarded doll, and a streak or two of paint. The six poses illustrated here were created by Otto Croy, German artist. With a little ingenuity, almost unlimited variations may easily be devised.

Perfect Bed Built of Tin Cans (Feb, 1934)

Perfect Bed Built of Tin Cans

A BED built of old tin cans, perfect in every detail and capable of supporting 1,000 pounds, has been built by J. G. Smith, an unemployed mechanic of Atlanta, Georgia.

Three hundred and thirty-six tin cans of various sizes were used in constructing the bed. Except for the iron locks by which the head, footboard, and siderails are fitted together, and the iron cross pieces which support the springs, no other material was used. Even the bed lamp hanging from the head of the bed uses a tin can for a shade.

Elanor Roosevelt’s Furniture Factory (Oct, 1931)


The “first lady” of New York State, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, wife of the Governor, runs a furniture factory of her own, when she is not busy presiding as hostess at official parties. Unlike many hobbies, this one of Mrs. Roosevelt’s is said to be a paying business. The factory, an attractive three-story frame structure, is hidden behind trees and shrubbery on Mrs. Roosevelt’s Hyde Park, N. Y., estate. Here a corps of competent craftsmen execute designs under Mrs. Roosevelt’s supervision. Her home is furnished with some of the products of the factory, and others find a ready public market. Mrs. Roosevelt visits the factory when possible.

Hobbyist Builds With Toothpicks (Apr, 1946)

Hobbyist Builds With Toothpicks
Building with toothpicks is the hobby of 14-year-old Martin Roberts who showed his models of a Ferris wheel and the Eiffel Tower at a New York hobby show. For the Ferris wheel he used 27,000 toothpicks.

Chain Whittler (Aug, 1950)

Chain Whittler is A.E. Powell, over 60 years old and a retired Colonel of the British Royal Engineers. Each link is whittled from a single piece of oak, birch, apple wood or mahogany with a small non-folding knife. “Never cut myself,” he says.

Glass Artist (Oct, 1947)

Glass Artist

For centuries the Hammesfahr family has been blowing rods of glass info wee objects of art.


THE place is a Brooklyn workshop, the year, 1947. George Hammesfahr blows gently into the hollow glass rod and a wine-red bubble puffs slowly outward from the middle of the hot, pliable glass. The bubble grows, the deep red mellows into a soft vermilion as it presents a larger surface to the light. Deep inside the bubble a vision starts to take shape, a mind’s eye vision which only George can see. …

The place is a workshop in old Bohemia, back in the middle ages.