Wednesday, July 28, 2010

goods of conscience, fabric of community

This month's American Craft Magazine features an article about Father Andrew More O'Connor's fashion design. His work has won accolades from Vogue. His company, "Goods of Conscience" provides a model for the 21st century, as it utilizes fabric made in Guatemala with workshops in the Bronx and an overriding concern with individuality, "that the hand of the maker is there in the artifact." Making is the foundation of "social fabric", a term Father O'Connor has trademarked, though, I will continue to use it freely on my own without the guilt or remorse associated with Catholicism. While social fabric seems a thing forgotten in our googlicious age of instant information, quick returns (or losses) on the dollar and instant messaging, we human beings are at our best when woven, warp and woof into the tactile fabric of community. Facebook is not enough. We are also able to facilitate the growth of others, in both intelligence and character when we help to set their hands to making beautiful and useful objects.

Today in the wood shop, I will be returning my hands to a bit of chip carving, a bit of oiling small cabinets, and a bit of hinge installation as I finish my small spice cabinets. I will also begin work on a couple small shaker wall cabinets in white oak and cherry.


  1. Anonymous5:14 AM

    Somehow, $295 for a shirt, no matter how socially conscious, seems a little steep.


  2. $295 is a bit steep for me, too. One might think of it as a tactile receipt for a contribution to charity.

    New York Banking execs and the like need to make that kind of contribution to remedy the stink of their success, like "he's a creep, but at least he's shopping in the right places."

  3. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Why is it that people who think they're doing good for others also think they can pass judgement on everyone? "the stink of their success"??? Isn't that a bit harsh? I find $295. harsh.