Monday, 26 February 2018


The Atlantic takes a preview at what sounds like a pretty engrossing analysis of the evolution and subsequent associations we've bestowed on the concept of craft.  

Craeft by archaeologist and television personality Alexander Langlands explores how in spirit and practise the term, synonymous with manual labour, has stripped down of much of its former esteem of refinement, skill and finished that were co-opted by manufactured goods—though this too shares the same sense of being hand-made. When the Industrial Revolution brought in masses from the countryside, social theorists encouraged workers take up crafts, constructive hobbies, in their off-duty hours out of an abundance of caution that day-labourers and shift-workers had too much unstructured leisure time—a modern, occupational affliction that comes out of automation and mass-production. Without the need to learn a technical skill to maintain hearth and home and with the associated respect and deference lost, the idea of plying one’s craft was disdained as something frivolous and as a prestige project. Meanwhile crafts have become more like kits to be assembled rather than reflecting on the material and means of making and using things.