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Blog

Craft Frenzy, Runaway Apprentices and Capitalism

jarrod dahl

Wow, it's been awhile....I'm caught in a whirlwind of activity and writing here has been a very hard thing to do. It's not that I have not wanted to, it's just been really hard to sit and write.

I've been turning bowls like mad and I'm really digging it! This year we have two Christmas shows to attend. One was last weekend and the next this coming weekend. This will be the last big push for making money this year. I've slowly jettisoned all of what I view as tangential woodworking like toboggans, snowshoes, even most birch bark work and concentrate on bowl turning and spoon carving exclusively. It feels weird to admit that I might be maturing as a craftsman and settling in on just two genres. So sitting at these shows with only bowls and spoons feels a bit weird. Last weekend I did pretty good, let's hope this next weekend will be good too. I have bowls and spoons.

I feel that my writing here is leaning to more rambling and the thought provoking (at least I think so) subjects and ideas. I find that I am less afraid to share my opinions.  So that is fair warning for the next part.

I have a few big picture subjects that are mulling around in my mind as of late. One is how our view of our own work changes over time as we gain more experience. Ever look back at some of your first work and say "what the hell was I thinking when I thought that was good" yeah that's what I've been thinking about. It's a funny thing in a way and this leads to the next subject.

Recently I've bumped into two young craftsmen that seem to fully believe that their work is truly spectacular and of course have all the answers as to the how's and why's. It's hard to be tight lipped....and smile. I call these types 'runaway apprentices'. Back in medieval times we could hunt these guys down and force them back into our shops to complete their apprenticeships and carry on with proper tempering to the skill and experience. Today anyone is free to make and sell what ever they want. Sold as 'art' or what have you......

Speaking of guilds.....

Here is some info on guilds I find very interesting. As you read you will come to understand that the rise of capitalism and the fall of the guilds are connected. I really am not happy with the modern industrial systems we have today, full blown capitalism. Cheap shit, made by slave labor in foreign lands with minimal quality materials to make the most on the investments of the shareholders. Capitalism. So was it really any worse than today? I have a hard time believing it was.

Here are a few photos of our recent work.