Craft: another view

One of my dearest, oldest friends, Michelle, wrote me a letter.

Not an e-mail, not an SMS, not an instant message, facebook message, flickr mail.

An actual letter, written by hand, in ink, on paper, in an envelope, with stamps and an admonishment to the postmaster please to send this letter by air mail.

In it, she makes the following remark:

As a society we are losing our skills. Skills in the sense of knowledge of crafts requiring a master an an apprentice.

To borrow a phrase from a certain film, I don’t think that Craft is becoming less popular, I think it’s appeal is becoming more selective.

My girlfriend is a goldsmith. Not just a goldsmith, she is a master goldsmith. That means she’s been through extensive training, through an apprenticeship, through a journeyman stage, and after creating, quite literally, a masterpiece, she is now a master goldsmith.

I rate this more highly than my own university degree, which in all honesty I have yet to find a practical application for. Blogging does not count.

Both of these ladies in their own way make a point: this is the age of the shortcut, the modular, hot-key, gameboy, reset and standby button. Real things of lasting virtue take time.

I can only pray that if or when I have children, I can somehow pass on some of this aesthetic, and get them doing something that takes time.

In the meantime, I will write a letter.


About lidlesseye

Mouthing off about photography, and occasionally important things too.

Posted on November 15, 2007, in Culture, Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I completely agree with your statement. Designers these days have gem cutters, stone setters, casters, waxers, and everything else you can imagine. However, to compete in a larger global economy, there is only so much that one person can do. However, I do respect the works of master goldsmiths, gem cutters, etc. They are specialists in their field. With a new generation of people that are no longer interested in holding a job for 30 years, but do ‘what makes them happy’ attitude, we see this generation floating around from job to job, taking whatever location is better and salary more promising. This is a generation of young people more interested in delegating that doing…I know because I am part of this generation. The smartest part of business is not knowing it all, but knowing who the experts in each field are that can be your resources. So, for now, I am glad to be a part of the do what makes you feel good generation, but at the end of the day, THANKFUL there is a master goldsmith here at the gallery on staff!!! Hehehe!

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