TR design diatribe – thoughtful craftsmanship

I usually keep my posts short and to the point. I deviate in the interest of discussing the topic of how design and craftsmanship are related, and ‘misunderestimated’ in society today.
Thoughtfully crafted. This is what is missing in most products today. In recent years the mastery of crafts has been overlooked, homogenized, downsized, and exported. The knowledge of how to make beautiful and useful things today has been almost completely lost in North America. The crafts have been deemed unworthy pursuits in favor of service industry professions, that ultimately produce nothing. How can an entire country cease to continue to produce things of value? Have Americans forgot what the foundation of the country was built on? Does the allure of disposable price points trump the value of something thoughtfully crafted? I think not.
I just came across this video of Steve Opperman from Temple Bags. What a breath of fresh air, which is ironic as it’s only showing dated tools of the trade from the crafted era…

Fancy tools and technology don’t replace a craft, they should only serve to extend it. The ‘state of the ART’ still implies that art should be at the forefront of technological progression. To design at a level that creates functional art, requires a mastery of craft. Mastery of a craft requires the skilled manipulation of materials. Skilled manipulation of materials only comes from many many hours of passionately working hands-on. It’s so simple.. so why is it so complicated?

Culturally, why would we not want to work with our hands to create things of value? Is it more fun to drive a desk, push paper, or work feverishly on a computer all day? I think not. Is it worth losing the ability to create and produce just to procure the lowest possible labor cost? I think not.

Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.

You get what you pay for, and we all collectively pay the consequences of our choices with the net result to our respective national economies. If you are willing to support thoughtful craftsmanship, more companies will be -able- to provide it. You ‘vote’ for your values every time you throw down the platinum card.

‘I think not, therefor I am’.


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