The life of a mariner is one given over to wanderlust—the quest for adventure, crossing unseen horizons to secure precious goods—only to bring them back to their home port. This same love of adventure and curiosity defines the brotherhood of Rick and Michael Mast. They share a fiercely independent spirit, leaping into the unknown and trusting that they’ll find the answer through endurance and dedication to their craft.
They began their voyage in their apartment, using a homemade machine to process cacao beans. Over time they cultivated their creation, sourcing beans from family farms in Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Each bar is handmade with incredible reverence for the process and history of chocolate. They are bound in ornamental papers and golden foil like a collection of rare books. Each bar offers its own story of flavors, and no two are exactly alike.
The Mast Brothers are now planning to navigate the mighty Atlantic, sailing to the Dominican Republic in search of beans and a deeper connection with the folks who grow them. Before they begin the next chapter, The Scout spent time with Rick and Michael documenting their story.
Brothers Chris and Kirk Bray have been producing leather goods for the last ten years. They launched Billykirk from Los Angeles in 1999, learning their craft from a third generation leather maker. A simple leather strap kick started the business, a decade later their collection has flourished into other offerings that consists of bags, belts, shoes, wallets, hats and other accessories. Since expanding and moving their operation to the East, they've employed a group of Amish leather makers to produce much of their line, while wrapping up production in their studio. We visited the brothers over the summer to observe their operation first hand and to discover the beauty behind the process. Photo by Rose Callahan
Olive and Sinclair is a bean to bar chocolate maker based in Nashville Tennessee owned by Scott Witherow. Video by Josh Anderson. Editing by Josh Anderson and Ben Baxley. Motion Graphic by Ben Baxley. Music by Beirut "My Wife"
For Autumn/Winter 2011, Shwood has joined forces with fellow Oregon-based company Pendleton Woolen Mills on a limited run of Shwood’s “Canby” frame style. Crafted from Oregon-grown Cherry wood, the frames feature laser engraved temples adorned with Pendleton’s iconic “Chief Joseph” pattern. Taking the collaboration a step further, Pendleton manufactured a matching carrying pouch woven from a limited batch of wool, exclusive to the project. With both parties dedicated to domestic manufacturing, the project pays tribute to the state of Oregon and the heritage manufacturing techniques that make the products great.
Based in Portland, Oregon Shwood creates handcrafted wooden eyewear using fine exotic hardwoods.
Shwood’s in-house manufacturing process merges precision technology with classic skilled craftsmanship to create a timeless art form. Every step from veneering and precision lens cutting, to shaping and finishing is conducted in our own Portland-based workshop to promise an entirely handcrafted eyewear piece. View the collection at shwoodshop.com