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May 13th 2009

    The definitions of craft that I prefer, relate 'things made', to the skill and the personality of the individuals who make them.

    History often judges Luddites as those who stood in the way of progress.  The 1811 Luddite riot against the textile mills in Nottingham England, some interpret as a necessary adjustment in an inevitable progression, and the clothes I wear today are more affordable because the riot was without any lasting effect.

    The Luddites themselves were craftsmen.  They sought to preserve their craft, because it was their living, and it was as craftsmen they identified themselves when placed into a relationship with others.

    

    Industrial production quickly out paces craft in an economics where price determines.  Individuals become 'human resources'.  And to humanize this circumstance the sentences are "We care about our employees", "Packed with pride by Mandy", "Bringing good things to life", and other such utterances that increasingly in my mind serve as new definitions of the old word 'servitude'.

    These days the word craft has confusing connotations.  In some places it is mixed up with the word 'art'.  In some places it is mixed up with the word 'handy' or 'collectible' or 'Krafty'.  In other places it is sometimes sneered at.  

    But if 'craft' retains a relationship between 'things made', personality and the individual maker, then it keeps alive the admirable force 'creative is'.

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(Spinning Jenny) (New Hampshire Guild USA) (Southern Highlands Guild USA) (KY Guild USA) (Somerset Guild UK)