One hears the word “artisan” a lot these days, but it’s remarkably rare to see an intricately crafted product like, say, eyeglasses, being put together by a single person in a single space. So we were understandably intrigued to find a custom frames shop that puts together frames from scratch in a small space on the Upper East Side, with the help of a lens grinder, finishing wheel, drill press, an occasional lens-tinting setup and countless other bits of industrial gadgetry.
Any time a shop has an on-site welder, we tend to take notice.
We stopped by Dedegumo recently, a Japanese shop currently honing its wares on the Lower East Side, and saw some pretty spectacular sights. The biggest surprise is that they make all their merchandise in the story, making it half-shop and half-factory tour. And if for some reason you've never seen the guts of a watch factory before, that makes for quite an education.
Usually we want our liquors to be as artisanal as possible. We want them stored in musty oak barrels in obscure parts of Europe, crafted lovingly by inarticulate old men with beards, and delivered to us in packaging that reflects the whole beautifully anachronistic process.
But we can’t all be artisans...and “scientist” isn’t bad as a backup. Elements of Islay's whisky line bucks the usual warm design aesthetic in favor of chemical-looking beakers and table-of-elements labeling. Of course, the contents are more or less the same barrel-aged concoction, but you’d never guess it from looking.