4 December

Favorite Things GIfts for others or yourself

Most of my favorite things are old and obsolete, but there are a few things in production today that I think are worth every penny.

Please do your best this season to buy direct from producers, support local makers and small-scale retailers.

Pez, a photographer, videographer, DJ, and TangoForge student and friend is also an amazing illustrator. Check out his tango art prints, t-shirts, and bandoneon-themed facemasks at Blame it on the Bandoneon.

My most recent discovery is this fabulous nut cracker. At the tiny Swedish design firm Drosselmeyer, “Erik von Schoultz has developed his own ingenious design process. It is based on finding a solution that requires the least amount of parts. Crafting objects by hand and exploring the relationship between body and tool are also part of the process.”

Another tiny Swedish design company, Svørn, makes the gorgeous Arcus Carabiner key ring. You can currently place an order for next year’s production run.

For the kitchen, I seem to have special trouble finding well-composed kettles. Fortunately Stelton has iterated on Eric Magnussen’s E77 thermo carafe with an electric kettle, water filter, and even a french press.

Are you already in love with your kitchen knives? Do you know someone who cuts everything with a steak knife? You don’t need one of those expensive knife “sets”. I carry two knives with me around the world, a santoku and a paring knife from the Kai Shun Classic line. They are beautiful to feel or regard. (order in US or EU). Handmade knives are also a very special thing to own. See Boothill Blades and Blok, then google until you find an artisan whose style and price you like.

Potholders are usually a sensual cringe zone, but suede ones will change your relationship to the oven and other hot things. Available from March or Suede Creek. 

If you’ve never used a fountain pen, the Kaweco Sport series is an affordable, reliable starting place to honor your writing and make even grocery lists feel special. I’ve been using two Sports while traveling for the past year and am impressed to report not a single clogging problem, which is common with other, even much more expensive, brands. I recommend a medium nib and Waterman ink.

And for something really fun, get a new perspective on time with Tokyoflash.