The British Crafts Blog

It’s not about the money

Posted in Book development, Heritage Crafts, Mastercrafts by britishcrafts on February 2, 2010

From Stephen Bateman: 
 
Reading through responses and comments on facebook last week, I was struck by how important the sense of satisfaction and reward are from physical exertion amongst those pursuing a rural craft. Robin Wood and Adrian de Montfort both spoke about the gratification they gained from physical effort and contrasted this with “office folk, (…) sweating it out at the gym” which, evoked, for me, the sentiment expressed so well by Monty in a recent interview where he says: “manual work today is channeled into gyms – people going nowhere fast.” Wow, those words are powerful!
 
It seems an overriding sense of satisfaction in rural crafts is derived from achievement. Crafting something out of nothing and fashioning it into a tangible, well-made and lasting article is what gives purpose, integrity and satisfaction to a craftsman’s work. Colin Broadbent, on facebook last week, gave a wonderful insight into this when he testified that: “seeing a project through from start to finish allows me to sit down tired at the end of the day but with a smile on my face… (and) I earn much (…) less working for myself, but the job satisfaction is priceless.”
Again I see a parallel with Monty’s own admission that “while (a craft) may not be particularly well-paid, the personal rewards in terms of a sense of satisfaction are something you just can’t buy” and “to make a chair from a tree that’s growing – it’s enough to change your life.”  
 
I am sure there is much more we could say to nourish this topic of discussion and I look forward to your testimonials – I am sure we will get some perspectives on this from the commentary in the show, both from the mentors but also from the apprentices – keep your ideas coming, I am eager to hear your stories.

Stephen

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