The industrious hands of the modern hipster are hard at work in San Diego.

Dear DJ:

I’ve heard that hipsters are ushering in a new era of craftsmanship. Is this true? If so, where can I see hip handicrafts? And what, if any, crafts do you dabble in?

— Anita

Coming as he often does from a middle-class background, the contemporary urban hipster yearns for an idealized version of a more honest, simpler past; one in which skilled craftsmen produced more meaningful goods than the mass-produced crap of a post-industrial society. The hipster, generations removed from a life of hard labor, would return to the grueling days of his forebears. I once tried to establish a workable system for wine → wine corks → artisan cork boards, but I had to choose between sufficient sobriety to work my craft and drinking wine to produce corks enough for my purposes. A friend suggested I reclaim corks from bars and restaurants, but where’s the fun in that?

The industrious hands of the modern hipster are hard at work in San Diego. The Reader recently ran a story about a young Hillcrest couple — he bearded, she with an asymmetrical haircut — who wanted to offer the world a better bar-spoon, lovingly handcrafted with the sensibilities of modern art in mind.

I know an ex-barista who works for a skateboard company by day and hand-tools leather goods in his garage workshop by night. I believe he has yet to make a business of it, however. Call him a “gentleman laborer,” perhaps.

Enter most hipster-owned businesses and you’ll find some sort of handicrafts on display, whether hand-tooled lamps (complete with Edison bulbs!) at your local coffee shop or artisanal hand soaps at a small gallery. Hipster handicrafts are all around you.

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