So today, I stumbled across this article…..
If you read the article, you may have noticed the section on “Artisan’s Revenge” or some such. It is an interesting and hopeful notion that there may still be a seat at the socio-economic table for professional woodwrights like me.
Happily, I have discovered others out there, both in the blogosphere and through school, that share the same hope. Folks who mirror a number of the same ideas that you can read about in several blogs like Paul Sellers blog
Love him, or leave him, Mr. Sellers, among others, present an encouraging case for the future of the artisan in the modern economy. He calls it “lifestyle Woodworking”
It’s interesting to me that the very nature of modern economics has forced a development of an entrepreneurial spirit. Not yet fully developed perhaps, but alive and kicking.
This is, according to the Atlantic article pinned above, due to several factors.
In my view the term “job security” no longer has the same definition as before.
With a significant percentage of the workforce being what would traditionally be referred to as “under employed” there is a significant swell of outside-the-box creativity both in job hunting and defining employment, as well as folks creating as a means of employment.
Whether it be because traditional full-time jobs have been fractured into part time positions, or because workers string “gigs” together to pay the bills, one thing holds the potential as a happy byproduct of “underemployment” ….. Time available to create!
So, to take the lemon of unemployment or underemployment and make lemon cello out of it, there seems to be fertile ground and willingness to rediscover artisanship as a viable means to support one’s self.
This is encouraging. Part of me mourned my decision to pursue what many considered a dying art/trade.
Still, because I love it, and because I’m actually good at it, I soldiered on, always hoping that the demand for handmade, high quality, “things” made from wood, would experience another revival.
It seems I am not alone. Nor are artists who paint, nor blacksmiths(something I am determined to learn to do), or writers, or people willing to collaborate in developing new ways of doing business independent of established economic norms.
It might just be that folks are tiring of being defined by how large their house is.
It might just be that we, as a species, might be on the brink of redefining the level of satisfaction we derive from our work. We may be at a place where, when freed up to create, we find that it is satisfying to “live to work”.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a place in our lives where we had food, shelter, family/friends, and something we did that satisfied us as our job?
Maybe not so far fetched.
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