Craft- \’kraft\ noun- an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skillCraft has been an integral part of my life since as far back as I can remember. Legos, Lincoln Logs, Scale Models, you name it. Making and fixing things has always challenged and relaxed me, even as a kid.
verb- to make or produce with care, skill or ingenuity – Merriam Webster Online (m-w.com)
I eventually moved on to more complex projects. Sheds, Garages, even a church. New kitchens, a bathroom remodel. After High School, I worked for years building single family homes.
I always felt connected to the past and I started an self-education program in Craft. I studied under masters past and present.
Roy Underhill- The Woodwright’s Shop (TV and Books)Alex Bealer- The Art of BlacksmithingEric Sloane- A Reverence for Wood, A Museum of Early American ToolsC. Keith Wilbur- Homebuilding and Woodworking, Indian Handcrafts
I thank my father for his work ethic, my grandfathers for letting me “putter” in their shops, my uncle Frank for his eclectic book collection, and all my other relatives who were always understanding (even when I wanted to be a 19th cen Mountain Man and trap beaver.)
They were all with me, encouraging me as I learned new skills. Timber-framing and Blacksmithing. Even more old-school skills like Flintknapping and Hide Tanning. I fell head over heels for traditional handcrafts. I truly was a Jack-of-All-Trades, Master-of-None.
I currently find myself having traded the “shop” for a cubicle, and the “hearth” for the glow of a
monitor. I craft virtual buildings in an environment of bits and bytes.
I still feel connected to those who create something with their hands, and I truly enjoy watching masters ply their craft.
In tribute to my past, here is a link to the past 5 seasons of the Woodwright’s Shop streaming online. (Sorry iPadders, it's Flash video.)