On the day I announced the re-acquisition of Best Made, my good friend Matt Beaudin emailed me: "But how wonderful is it that we can, most always, fix these things? We just have to try. We can mend tools. Things. Relationships with old friends, family... We put work in and we can fix things... And now you can fix Best Made."

Until I got Matt's note, it hadn't occurred to me — or maybe I didn't want to admit — that Best Made might be in need of fixing (or that it was somehow broken). If you had asked, I'd say I was tasked to relaunch or rebuild Best Made: that sounded more heroic. But the notion of fixing things (think axe restoration or cast iron restoration), was a fundamental theme to the old Best Made. As it turns out, I am now embarked on the ultimate Best Made restoration project. 

I filed Matt's note away. And then last week I came across a short documentary that was in the news and short-listed for an Oscar. The Last Repair Shop tells the tear-jerking story of the four craftspeople who have restored some 80,000 instruments for the Los Angeles school system. Thanks to this program the students, many of them underserved, can have their instruments repaired at no cost. For many reasons this program is vital, and sadly the last of its kind in this country. 

This short film highlights the impact that these restored instruments have had on the students. Access to making music has profoundly changed lives. But perhaps more unexpectedly, the film focuses on the impact that the act of restoration has had on the four characters who have restored the instruments. It begs the question: when we repair something, are we in fact repairing ourselves?

Watch: The Last Repair Shop

The photographs of patches come from an old family tent in Scotland, now in the loving hands of my cousins Angus and Charlie, who run The Free Company