Making this book has been a fantastic journey – and it shows. Welcome to our third edition. This time we curated Makers of the Alps. Makers Bible – The Alps is a story-telling book of crafted brands and their makers. 101 are from the Alps, including an additional hand full of products made to use in the Alps.
Doing a book on Makers of the Alps is for those readers who love the Alps and those who are inspired by the people living there, as well. The Alps are a harsh environment and this has formed a mentality of “less talk, more action”. The curators of this Makers Bible – the book and this blog – intended to avoid stereotypes such as red-and-white-checkered table cloths, antlers and Lederhosen. Today the Alps are an attraction to city dwellers, action seekers and flatlanders. Most people who claim loving the Alps give “its nature” as a reason for their spell.
Makers Bible – The Alps is a book on craftsmanship. Therefore we met crafters and went to cities, villages and hamlets, vineyards, farms and dairies, workshops and ateliers – in short: places that represent human settlement, usually the opposite of intact nature. This is where the Alps gained their actual character and their image, too. A huge proportion of this alpine symphony is ‘romance’ and the rest is based on sincere labor. So are the products we show.
New this time –for those who know our previous books– is that we have looked at buildings, providing shelter. This came naturally since the steep mountainous landscape provokes a harsh and drastic climate. Shelter is key to survival. Given the objective to avoid stereotypes we solely looked at modern architecture. Bureaus like Nickisch Walder who were given the chance to erect a whole camp on the Matterhorn plateau that, after its use was detached completely and without traces, just to be re-used elsewhere. Another architectural firm we curated for this book are Pedevilla architects from South Tyrol. Embedded in their architectural vision are the social context, energy efficiency and the utilization of local building material and labor. These are two of eight firms we had a dialogue with. Thus in this issue architects mingle with crafters.
Also new: The Makers Bible – The Alps can also be used as a guide. We encourage our reader to pack and go to the Alps. To go when no one else goes. Hence, do go not only at the peak of the skiing season or in July and August. Visit makers, stay in exceptional modern build hotels and eat local cuisine at the highest peak of indulgence. No, this is not a guide to Michelin-star restaurants of the Alps (for this, gentle reader you know where to seek advice) or pretentious “Alpengasthöfe” where a Wiener Schnitzel is still at the peak of the menu. Makers Bible – The Alps has curated a few places where a modern Alpine spirit arose, a spirit that blends heritage with sensitive environmental issues that, at a few hundreds or thousands of meters above sea level is even more precious that in the flats.
For this book we asked people who know the Alps much better than we did for advice. We determined ambassadors. Those we approached with single-minded themes that we found define craftsmanship of the Alps: Art & design, represented by Rolf Sachs resident of St. Moritz. Social and professional context, was the topic we talked to Nils Holger Moormann about; Alpine Cuisine was the topic for ambassador Milena Broger, chef at Klösterle in Lech; and then there were the fundamental elements like wood, metal and rock represented by Torben Hansen, artist and smith Robert Condin and Top-Alpinist Stephan Siegrist.
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More about our books? Here you can follow us making our second edition Beetroot & Steel.