What Makes A Craftsman?

Leather Craftswoman Image credit Claudia Coker.

When we hear the word "craftsman" it brings to mind many different images. A master carpenter in his workshop surrounded by tools, a chef putting the finishing touches on a dish before it goes out, a musician tirelessly coaxing harmonious notes out of strings and steel, or a mother deftly assembling her children's favorite breakfast of Mickey Mouse pancakes.

Indeed, craftsmen (and craftswomen) come in many different forms, but they all share one common trait: they are dedicated to good work for its own sake. No matter how practical the activity they do it with passion, care, and attention to detail. They take pride in the result and make 'good art' of even the most ordinary.

A craftsman puts their heart into their work. It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to make master a skill, but it only takes one single heart to make a craftsman. He or she is one who is willing to be vulnerable, to pour their soul into their work and open themselves up to the struggle against failure. Being a craftsman means suffering heartbreak over and over again, but a true artisan patiently perseveres through the struggles and failures until they finally get it right down to the smallest details. A craftsman builds his equity in passion.

The Spirit Of The Artisan

Craftsmanship is an attitude, not a skill. It is a desire that comes from within, dare we say in our Creator's design. Even if you don't view yourself as particularly crafty or creative, you can still have the spirit of an artisan. Cultivate a passion for betterment, pour yourself into whatever it is you are doing, do the job well for its own sake, take pride in the results, and do what is right even when nobody is looking. If you can do that, then you are on the path of a craftsman and following in the footsteps of many a great man and woman who has left a lasting impact on the world and the hearts and minds of those who love them.

In the words of the inimitable Bill Waterson:

"We don't value craftsmanship anymore! All we value is ruthless efficiency, and I say we deny our own humanity that way! Without appreciation for grace and beauty, there's no pleasure in creating things and no pleasure in having them! Our lives are made drearier, rather than richer! How can a person take pride in his work when skill and care are considered luxuries! We're not machines! We have a human need for craftsmanship!"

We are a company founded by craftsmen and craftswomen. We are dedicated to making good art with every product as well as highlighting the Artisans who made it possible. What we make is just as important as how it was made as well as who made it. Through it all, we seek to balance our passion for history and tradition with our drive to innovate, combining old with new and form with long-lasting function.

If this resounds with you, then welcome to the family. We've been waiting for you. :)

What do you craft? Tell us in the comments...

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