Bench & Loom Background

May 15, 2015


O-yoroi - Samurai armor. Click to enlarge.
Just as the Samurai sword is recognized as history’s finest, the Samurai suit of armor could also be considered the best in the world. 

Constructed with the same mastery, exhaustive effort and acute attention to detail as the
daisho (swords), a complete suit of armor was made to allow for maximum protection at minimum weight while providing the highest degree of movement. After all, a true Samurai was to be expert fighting atop a horse and on foot, using a bow, spear, polearm and sword, although over time – during nearly 900 years of the Samurai – specialization evolved.

To balance protection, weight and movement – a concept that today seems elementary but back then was revolutionary – required a process involving hundreds of steps and thousands of hours....

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April 20, 2015


Actor Teddy Sears
Actor Teddy Sears has appeared in quite a few popular television series, such as Law & Order, Raising the Bar, Mad Men, CSI: Miami, The Defenders, Torchwood ,  and so many more, as well as the Tom Ford-directed film A Single Man. But if you ask any woman, all that matters is that he’s the dreamy Dr. Langham in Masters of Sex

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March 25, 2015


This story appeared in the Winter 2010 edition of Ralph Lauren Magazine.

This past September 42 riders from the United States and two from Germany lined-up on vintage motorcycles to race more than 3,000 miles across America. Uncertain of the outcome, they pitted their antiquated rides – all manufactured before 1915 – against the odds as a tribute to two pioneers who, nearly a century earlier, had proved it was possible.

To most people Erwin “Cannonball” Baker is best known for his 1933 lightning-fast drive from Los Angeles to New York City in a motorcar. His feat set a record time of just over two days (53.5 hours), which stood for nearly 40...

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February 21, 2015


Celebrity photographer Timothy White
Timothy White is one of the most talented and prolific celebrity photographers alive. His photographs have graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Esquire and Playboy, for example, in addition to album covers for Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Aretha Franklin. If that weren’t enough, he’s also shot the images for hundreds of movie posters for films we’ve all seen, like Fury, Ocean’s 13, Cowboys & Aliens and Tommy Boy, to name a few, and television, like Mad Men, CSI: NY, Sons of Anarchy, and much more.

His list of subjects includes just about everybody who’s anybody, really, from film, music, fashion and popular culture. (To see for yourself,...

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February 16, 2015


Some of the most beautiful graphic design of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries was produced as sales materials for the niche industry of printing by Ault & Wiborg.

Established in 1878 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the story of Ault & Wiborg is that of the American dream: hope, risk, sacrifice, hard work and accomplishment. 
Ault was an immigrant from Canada and Wiborg the son of a Norwegian immigrant. Both worked their way through various jobs and by way of merit and scruples rose to success.

Ault had worked for a dealer of lampblack (black carbon pigment obtained from oil, tar, resin or the soot of burned fat) and realized an entire business could built and expanded upon the concept of high-quality colorants.

Together with Wiborg, who had formally studied the classics and sciences at a college...

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