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18 May 2005 @ 09:53 am
A really good article - The Hand At The Heart Of The Craft  
Why bother making anything by hand today? Why bother when cutting-edge technology is moving toward the complete automation of manufacturing? Why bother when you can buy so many inexpensive and efficient things that function so well? Why bother with all this messy, laborious and highly demanding work? Isn't it stupidly nostalgic and obsolete, or nearly so? Shouldn't we let handwork die a quiet death and get on with our 21st-century lives?

I'm officially making this a discussion topic. Go, read, come back and share your thoughts. This is powerful stuff.

Other excerpts:

"When craft is practiced at a high level - when a person discovers that handwork conforms to her own set of capabilities and intelligences, when that person find a motivation strong enough to carry her through the difficult years of apprenticeship, when her work regularly induces a flow state of mind and when she finally develops a powerful identification with her work - the only word adequate to the emotion is passion."

"Handwork communicates. By itself, without an overlay of artistic intent, the first thing handwork communicates is that a skillful person was there. Handwork also communicates sincerity."

I pity those who have no such skill, no such intelligence, no such feeling, no such passion. Those who merely tinker through life. They are missing so much.

-the redhead-
Corvus cornixfourth_moon on May 26th, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC)
That article is great - I printed it and read it once, but I think I'll have to read it again to get most of the information out of it.

The information about the connections between the evolution of brain, upright walking and hand are fascinating, especially since I don't think it's saying to much that doing demanding, detailed, skilled work with our hands is one of the things which made us humans, that is, (potentially) intelligent people.

I was impressed about the scope of knowledge the author showed - about how the brain works (at least by today's state of knowledge), human evolution, psychological issues and so forth.

I don't really think that there are people who have no such skill and intelligence. I think most, if not all people have some talent, for crafts, music, language, sports or some area. If somebody doesn't show such a talent it's not really because it isn't there, but because it didn't develop - which I think is a lot more sad.

On another note:
I made a suggestion in spinningfiber as to collecting answers to frequent questions ("What do I need to start out", "how do I prepare a fleece for spinning" and so on) in the memories to create a FAQ. What do you think about it?