“The journal is an artifact, proof of your work for future generations.
It is a work which must speak for itself.”
— The Anonymous Craftsperson
A long standing practice observed for centuries in workshops of every type across the world, is the use of the craftsman’s journal by individual craftspeople, and the workshop journal used as a collaborative communication tool for the workshop as a whole, and serving as a reference point or ‘benchmark’ for all craftspeople in the workshop to compare their work, pose questions, share insights, experiences, tool tips and techniques with other practitioners.
Following these same traditions…
When see you the word ‘craftsmanship’, does it automatically conjure an old-world image of an artisan at work with their hands, fashioning wood, or some material into a fine piece of furniture or a musical instrument?
Or perhaps you are a software coder passing around the #softwarecraftsmanship tag in the latest idea stream. But for most of us, unless you are involved in an industry where the word is still in use, craftsmanship is a word that does not often enter our conscious thought stream.
Perhaps it is replaced by close synonyms like know-how, expertise, skill, or mastery. They are…
In the practice of Life-as-a-Craft, we learn about The Four Phases of Life that constitute the average eighty+ year period of our lifetime on earth.
Each Phase has its own particular goals and work to be accomplished before crossing over to the next Phase and its work.
The Journeywork years in life-as-a-craft begin with a ‘passage’ from the Apprenticeship or learning phase generally recognized as the time when one leaves the environment wherein structured education is the primary activity, and journeys outward to the unstructured world of working and earning a living by one’s training.
“The one who follows the crowd, will usually get no further than the crowd.
The one who walks alone, is likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.”
— Albert Einstein
It is not uncommon to be part of ‘the crowd’ from time-to-time during our lives. We are all members of groups and clubs, villages, shires, and cultures. From these crowds large and small, we draw cultural ingredients that mix into the identities that define us as people.
Many people become quite skilled at gathering and mixing the ingredients they source from the crowds they belong…
I use the term personal fulfillment in the title of this article because in the end, it is what we are all striving to achieve everyday. That is, the successful completion of our life mission, however we envision it, producing the sensation of achievement in our hearts and minds. We want to feel fulfilled.
When we achieve something we have set out to do, we feel a sense of personal power and worth. Call it pride, self-esteem or self-satisfaction as you like. Feelings are powerful. They drive us.
It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the emotion expressed…
According to the Greek philosopher Plato, a craft is defined by its goal, or knowing what the intended result is to be, as explained in a written account by the craftsperson.
The account was then used as a work plan to guide skillful practice, and achieve the desired outcome of the project. This exercise was considered central in developing one’s clarity of thought to make a masterpiece.
What separated the skilled artisan from the craftsman in the ancient Greek view of craftsmanship, was the craftsman’s ability to articulate the goal of the work to be done vs. just the mechanical…
It happened one day in the kitchen when our six-year-old daughter asked one of those big life questions like, “where do babies come from?” or something equally precocious.
Like all smart fathers, I quickly pulled a quote from a Disney character, and replied with a convincing smile.
“Give me a break Dad”, was the bullet I got back. “I’m not a little kid anymore. I’m six!”
There she stood. Waiting for a real answer which I did not have at the time. It stuck in my gut.
I realized this little human being in the kitchen was waking up, and…
The first thing we notice about a masterpiece is its power of attraction. The ‘work’ itself draws your attention to it.
No matter what material the masterpiece is created from, including the written word, the finished work has a presence that speaks for itself.
Over the centuries, this ‘quality of presence’ of a masterpiece, is described as the direct result of the ‘perfection of execution’ by the maker, achieved through superior craftsmanship.
Going back centuries to the Greek view of craftsmanship, a key attribute that separated the skilled artisan from the craftsperson was the craftsperson’s ability to articulate the goal…
Managing life by intuition (aka) ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ is a common experience for people all over the world.
Every day, hundreds of millions of people have one or more ‘close encounters with life’.
Close encounters are situations that we do not expect, or experiences for which we have no previous frame of reference. Circumstances that we find ourselves unprepared for, and very uncomfortable in. Like that ‘close encounter’ last summer at the lake when a UFO landed and took you on board!🛸
The truth is a great many of life’s encounters reveal our lack of training…