Artizen Magazine

Artizen 1-2

An interactive magazine featuring interviews with artisan creators of everything from food and wine to clothing, fine art and jewelry. Live links for directly shopping from the best artisans around the globe.

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With a love of surfing and a desire to craft, Mike Becker used his mechanical and hands-on abilities to create the Natures Shapes label when he was sixteen. The name for the company, Natures Shapes, came naturally to him when he was thinking about how the boards should be created, "Each board should be flawless and become part of nature, or one of nature's shapes," explains Mike when asked how he came up with the name. While the company has grown, the same principals and ideas have not changed. Each employee has a common goal; build the best surfboards using the best materials and without cutting any corners. Artizen contributor, Jeff Schad, was particularly interested in Natures Shapes vintage restorations. Here are his discoveries: Surfboards of bygone eras have so much going for them that contemporary boards do not. They are beautiful, elegant and enduring works of artistry and craftsmanship. Boards built from the late 1950's through the late sixties were individually handcrafted and built to last, as opposed to today's trend of machine-made, high volume production. With the dawn of today's processes much has been lost in the way of surfboardshaper-as-artist. Today the act of board building is so refined that even surfboard makers with some of the deepest experience have given up the old building methods in favor of making more boards, more proficiently (but with less human touch and artistry). So it is refreshing to those who love creative and functional building processes ala old time board builders to see Mike Becker and Ed Fawess of Natures Shapes Surfboards keeping the tradition alive. Mike and Ed are artists in the true sense of the word. The duo has been restoring classic and vintage surfboards for well over ten years, and they perform about eight to ten restorations a year. Certain boards from past eras can fetch upwards of $50,000 in mint original condition, but most boards that survived this long have suffered at the hands of the elements and simple neglect. That is where Mike and Ed come in. They don't do it for the money, because a restored classic will be worth a small fraction of an original mint counterpart; they do it for the love. Surfers and non surfers alike are drawn to the special details that go into a 11

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