The Value of Craftsmanship

March 30, 2018

Photo clay being prepped for throwing, photo taken by Elements of Light Photography

(Photo: Elements of Light Photography) 

It is amazing, really, to watch as something is created out of raw materials. Whether it is a homemade pie, or an oil painting, or a piece of handmade pottery, the idea is the same: take raw “ingredients”, combine them with skill according to your design, and out emerges a finished product wholly unlike what you started with.

Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken by the wind. - Johannes Brahms

Ideas are easy. It seems that the human race is hardwired to want to innovate, create, and design. In this era of technology we have so many resources - we can even 3D print food for goodness sake! There is great progress being made every day towards automation. Technological boundaries are being pushed, and it is amazing to see where it is going.    
(Photo: Elements of Light Photography)   
Still, there is a deep-set appreciation for good craftsmanship that sticks with us. All things being equal, who wouldn’t choose a homemade pie, made with love and skill from real ingredients, to a prepackaged one from the grocery store? Even if you don’t care for the style of a particular oil painting or handmade piece of furniture, you still appreciate the time and skill that went into creating it.  
After all, there is something satisfying to experiencing good craftsmanship. It reminds us of straightforward values such as simplicity, hard work, artisanship, functionality, quality.  
Technology has given us the ability to have whatever we would like at our fingertips in a very short period of time. True craftsmanship, on the other hand, does not come quickly. It only emerges after long hours of learning and perfecting skills. It is not easy or quick, but takes perseverance, frustration, excitement, patience, and passion for the task.          
(Photo: Elements of Light Photography) 
I for one, am grateful every day for our team. For the time they invest in becoming better at their part of the pottery creation process. Whether it be hand throwing our pottery pieces, trimming pots, loading the kiln, carving an intricate scene in a serving tray, fixing on a mug handle, or glazing, each step of the process requires expertise. Skills gained over time and through personal effort.     
Our roots are in craftsmanship and hard-earned skills. Let’s not forget to appreciate those qualities, the people who exemplify them, and the beautiful things that are created because of them.    
Art, whatever form it takes, requires hard work, craftsmanship and creativity. - F. Sionil Jose

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.