This is something about which I have a major bee in my bonnet – fair warning.
Craftsmanship matters. Becoming good at something, producing things that are well-made and/or beautiful, it’s important. Like any other thing that you learn, it can’t be taken away from you. But more so, it’s just intrinsically important to who we are as human beings – we were made in the image of the Creator, and part of being a reflection of Him is a desire in ourselves to create.
Too often – in fact, nearly always these days, you see people want to make something without taking the time to learn how to do it properly. They’ll do a cheap mock up and call it good, and consider you the next thing to a genius because you did it the right way. This drives me INSANE.
Yes, I’m a good seamstress. I’ve spent years learning to sew and practicing. I also aggressively pursue projects that stretch my skills and require me to learn. (I’d rather be dead than unable to learn anything ever again). But there is nothing about me that makes me skilled, no intrinsic bit of my nature, excepting my fondness for color, that makes me any better than anyone else.
As a matter of fact, I had to overcome my intrinsic sloppiness and impatience in order to learn to do the things that *have* to be done right, right. (I am still not very good at cutting). Had I a different nature, those lessons would have been far more easily learned.
But I care about quality. I care about beauty. I care about a thing done well. So I strive.
I had the treat of spending my month Saturday morning with the ASG ladies. A room full of women with skills. Serious skills.
In contrast, there’s this nonsense that Els found at the library. What an insult. How on earth do you expect to earn respect by producing trash? Useless items destined for the landfill? It’s a waste of good materials. And it’s ridiculous – how is that feminist? How on EARTH do you compare that to the work of skilled craftsmen and not hang your head in shame? You don’t.
If you want respect, do things well. If you want to pursue beauty, pursue it avidly. Half-measures don’t get you anywhere. Yes, of course there is such a thing as a learning process… but that’s a far cry from crafting for the sake of “crafting”.
Craftsmanship, true craftsmanship, scratches an itch built into the human soul. Go for that, and accept no substitutes.
-gets off her soapbox-