Thursday, July 19, 2012

the honesty of craftsmanship...

"It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity. It would be well if all of us were good handicraftmen in some kind, and the dishonour of manual labor done away with altogether." ― John Ruskin
I have been reading Art and Labor by Eileen Boris, which chronicles the impact of Ruskin, Morris, and the arts and crafts movement on life and labor in the US. We now seem to have largely forgotten the connection between craftsmanship and the development of both economic success and moral character within society. That connection was known and widely accepted in the early days of the arts and crafts movement in the US. Organizations like the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, and Hull House in Chicago, promoted craft activities for all as the means of building a more viable, successful and peaceful social structure. These days, the rich seem to have the notion that they have no responsibility to the poor... which leads me to ask, "Has there ever been a craftsman running for office in the US ashamed to reveal his income tax records to the American people?"

Today I will continue preparing materials for my class next week at ESSA, building small cabinets.

Make, fix and create...

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