The Future is Handmade

“Masters don’t need to say they’re the masters—it’s obvious in the work.” 

Maikel Kuijpers studies craftsmanship.  This is my kind of thinking and one of the reasons I became so infatuated with material culture when I was a young anthropology student.  People who make for themselves, when that is the only option, don’t just create something that is “good enough,” or as a one-off when their livelihood depends on it.   Popular culture often equates primitive cultures as simple and easy whereas we know for a fact that our ancestors were highly-skilled crafters with expert knowledge in their given pursuits.

There are many highly skilled occupations, not just those involving hand crafting.  Many skills involve organization, thinking, or analysis and little hands-on, but that is something different.  What this is about is mind-body connection; learning and understanding deeply.

I know this isn’t just about primitive technology but has a real relevance to the things I’m interested in.  If you haven’t already, check out this short documentary (it’s 12 minutes well spent) and let me know what you think.  The film features interviews with several of the world’s leading experts on craftsmanship, and you get to look at the workmanship of a tailor, violin maker, ceramicist, winemaker, and even a barber.

There is an excellent article about Maikel Kuijpers on the Craftsmanship Quarterly blog liked below where I fist saw this film posted.

Enjoy, and do good things with purpose.

The Breheimen Bronze Age Bow – 1300 BC

Breheimen Bronze Age Bow 2

On 7 September 2011, an advanced constructed and complete bow was found at the edge of the Åndfonne glacier in Breheimen mountain range. The C14 dating shows that Norway’s oldest and best preserved bow is 3300 years old. 

The 131 centimeters long bow was discovered by archaeologists in connection with the last check before summer fieldwork was completed. The bow was found at the ice edge about 1700 meters above sea level. This shows how important it is that archaeologists are present just when the ice is melting.

Findings of complete bows are very rare, and it turned out even rarer after the results of the C14 dating returned from the laboratory in the U.S.: The bow turned out to be 3300 years old – dating back to about 1300 BC – in other words from the early Bronze Age.

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Breheimen Bronze Age Bow 1

It is the oldest bow ever found in…

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