Friday, April 23, 2010

Moral implications of craftsmanship

We tend to think of organized religions as the source of human morality, and yet, the crafting of an object is an expression of moral structure that likely predates any commandment or moral precept. Objects are made with care or they are not. Objects are made with an eye toward useful beauty, or they are not. Objects are made to last, or they are not. If we were truly concerned about building a society in which people care for each other, there is no better way than to engage our children in craftsmanship.

I have been reading Fred Taylor's book How to be a Furniture Detective, and find it to be a useful tool for anyone wishing to begin an in depth examination of the objects in their own home. You may find that some things were made with real integrity, and by examining them, you may discover the moral implications of craftsmanship. Some people really do care about themselves, and others, that care being expressed through their own hands.

In the photo above, you see the box I've been working on for burial of my mother's ashes. In the photo below, the box is assembled and ready for finish. A plywood bottom will be screwed in place, sealing it after the box of ashes is installed within.

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