When Superheros Need Leather, These ‘Pop Artisans’ Go to Work

LONDON — Not all superheroes wear capes. And none wear satin tights or stretch nylon today. The modern crime fighter favors bespoke leather, often a little kinky, frequently handmade by a pair of ex-club kids. Patrick Whitaker and Keir Malem, both 57, founded Whitaker Malem, their leather specialty label, in 1988. They had begun dating … Read more

Tartan Explodes the Grid

DUNDEE, Scotland — British kings and queens have worn it. Rebels, punk rockers and couture designers embraced or transformed it. And international drag stars like RuPaul and Cheddar Gorgeous strut their stuff in it. It is tartan, the quintessential Scottish crisscross pattern famous for its use in kilts. And while Heritage Crafts, a British charity … Read more

How to Design Your Own Tartan

DUNDEE, Scotland — Most people associate tartans with the kilts and plaid sashes of Scottish clans, but you don’t have to be a clan member to wear authentic tartan. You don’t even have to be Scottish. And you can design your own. Several traditional kiltmakers in Scotland offer a service, for a range of fees, … Read more

A Silversmith Who ‘Wields That Hammer Like a Magic Wand’

MANCHESTER, England — The intricate details of 19th- and 20th-century paintings were early influences for Ndidi Ekubia, who loved to look at paintings as a child in this industrial city. But she ended up with silver as her medium. “I’d go to museums and galleries and look at the work of the Cubists and the … Read more

In Japan, One-Bite Works of Art

KYOTO, Japan — On a recent Saturday morning, Sayoko Sugiyama was busy making some warabi mochi, a soft and chewy confection that is just one of the many delicate traditional Japanese sweets called wagashi. It was a regular workday for Ms. Sugiyama and three of the six part-time workers she employs at Okashimaru, her online … Read more

In London, Paper Flowers Never Die

LONDON — By the time fall rolled around in 2020, Jessie Beaumont had been furloughed from her job as a studio manager and had done “all the usual banana bread and trying to get fit.” “I think I woke up one day and was like ‘Ah, you know, do you know? I should do something … Read more