The Future is Handmade - The Craftsmanship Initiative
Our Friend Todd Oppenheimer, editor of the Craftsmanship Quarterly, sent us a link to "The “Future is Handmade,” a new short documentary which explores the core of human creativity and what it means in a larger cultural context. This beautifully shot video, produced by Maikel Kuijpers, encourages the viewer to a greater understanding of the place of hand work, skill, and dedication to craft in our digital world.
The narrators question the common perception that working with ones hands is a lesser pursuit. “We really must expand our understanding of what knowledge is,” remarks one commentator. An intimate, immediate, specific, and physical relationship with materials we work with requires years of attention and is presented as a value worth elevating and sustaining, certainly a value we see reflected in hand-crafted fountain pens such as those offered by Nakaya and Eboya, among others.
“Ultimately, craftsmanship raises real questions about the structure of capitalism…and the real meaning of the knowledge economy,” says Richard Sennett, a professor of sociology, implying that the value of work and craft can be is overlooked in a world where we have little understanding of how things are made. “User friendly means we don’t really understand what we are using.”
On the other hand, mastery takes years, often one must sacrifice oneself to the acquisition of skill and knowledge however long that takes. Knowledge means that one is able to understand and perform varied skilled tasks. This video raises the right kind of questions, about what we need and what we want, and the effect that has on the world we inhabit and on ourselves.