Craftsmanship is an increasingly prevalent term in our technology-driven age. Millennials who have grown up in a digital world are looking to the analogue to counter digital exhaustion as they reach for a good old-fashioned pen and paper over a tablet and a paperback over a Kindle. But what does craftsmanship actually mean in the twenty-first century and where does it fit in?
Craftsmanship evokes ideas of reassuring familiarity, a warmth found in natural materials worked by hand, carefully considered design and good, old-fashioned hard graft. It is a reassuring touchpoint in an increasingly frenetic world where digital evolution takes centre stage and progress takes the form of dehumanising processes to accelerate us headlong into a post-modern age.
Craftsmanship brings meaning; a lifelong skill that is constantly evolving and imbues every creation with a unique character. The approach and process are as important as the outcome. The investment of time and development of knowledge incumbent in these products connects us to them; the understanding of the nuances of the material that has gone into their creation - the care, skill and time woven through the end result. They become an antidote to a difficult world that embraces a seemingly endless cybernated evolution.
We learn resourcefulness, respect, pride and resilience through the act of making; increasingly important life skills that can be invaluable to navigate through the uncertain twenty-first-century landscape. The Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century saw a brighter future through embracing working collectively, taking pride in the act of creation and returning to materials readily provided by the natural world. Perhaps we still might too?