View Full Version : The Death of the Craftsman...?

02-18-2011, 12:25 AM

Is this the demise of artisan-ship as we know it, or simply something that will make manufacturing easier and less costly, without challenging the market on priceless works of craftsmanship overtly?

I'm on the fence with this one, myself. I think that it's fantastic technology that can only push us forward in the world of mass production and economic growth. But at the same time, I look at the book, at Gutenberg and the death of the Guild of Scribes, at the declining lifespan of the automobile, and question whether or not quality will be overtaken by quantity once again. Do we continue to sacrifice character for convenience, or intrinsic, emotional value and meaning for a smaller pricetag?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

02-18-2011, 01:19 PM
Doubtful it will hurt the real craftsmen. It may however hurt the third world sweat shops that pump out cheap imitation stuff. When a person wants a hand carved solid wood desk, they want a REAL wood desk. While you could get a similar looking object, we're not going to get the actual materials. As anyone who's ever heard a Stradivarius, versus a similar violin, it's the materials that make the difference. Heck even in modern musical instruments. Fender American guitars sound better than the cheap POS that you get from Indonesia(not sure where they are made). Until it gets to the point where you can actually create something with exacting materials, you'll always have craftsmen.

This might make some people obsolete. But not all craftsmen.

02-18-2011, 03:59 PM
I also find this sad. I mean, even things like clothes aren't well-made anymore, even if you buy fashions from a relatively expensive store. I bought a top that I really liked on sale from one of these aforementioned stores, and it nearly got ruined in the washing machine! I was so disappointed. The tag instructions didn't even say "hand wash". Here I was with an $80 shirt that I bought for $45--and here I realized I'd completely wasted my money. Peh!

I guess I should have known better than to believe that price guarantees quality. It doesn't--at least, not in each and every case. My garment was cheaply made, in a country where cheap labor and rock-bottom working conditions abound. What I really paid for here, when I bought the shirt, was the brand name and advertising for the store. Who cares if the clothes are pieces of crap that fall apart even after one wash, if you bought them at Uberstore(tm)? I'd give anything to be able to afford a tailor/couturier.

Heck, I'd give anything to FIND one of these CRAFTSMEN nowadays. It seems like most of the tailors only do alterations of stuff that's already manufactured. If I'm going to spend money on clothes, I want them to last.