Following the pathway of pursuit towards MASTERY, the making of my pictures is becoming increasingly CRAFT driven.
It is in this regard that I am continually striving to hone my skills, through the organisation of repeated practice over extended periods of time.
The process of making
This text is very much inspired by Richard Sennett’s book: “THE CRAFTSMAN”. There are a number of gems to be found in the author’s observations, thinking, and ideas.
These four quotations particularly resonate: “making is thinking”; “people who make things usually don’t understand what they are doing”; “people learn more about themselves through the things that they make”; and “a craftsman possesses the desire to do a job well, for its own sake”.
THE INCREMENTAL ACQUISITION OF SKILL
I am increasingly engaged in the discipline of following rules. These include structuring the design of pictures, and setting terms of reference for execution. This method of working becomes more complex as new rules evolve, and are embraced and explored as I continue my journey.
Much of my picture making is slow and quite deliberate, as I travel along plateaus of repetitive practice. Through a process of incremental acquisition, I am finding that my skills are gradually maturing. I see that these characteristics collectively assist in enabling me to gradually move forward.
In the briefest summary, Richard Sennett argues that the following key attributes make for who he describes as: “THE GOOD CRAFTSMAN”.
- understands the importance of the preparatory sketch
- recognises positive values in contingency and constraint
- does not pursue a single problem relentlessly
- avoids perfectionism and self-conscious demonstration
- learns when it is time to stop [when further work might degrade]
- takes discreet pride, and is unceasingly self-motivated.
In addition, Sennett argues that there are three words that form the foundation, or perhaps essence of CRAFTSMANSHIP. They are:
LOCALIZE - QUESTION - OPEN UP