As the importance of manual work has declined, we’ve seen an erosion of an entire culture of skills, and ways of thinking, that once brought creativity, meaning, and a visceral sense of satisfaction to the everyday lives of millions.
In our flagship program, Craftsmanship Quarterly, we focus on individuals who are moving in the opposite direction. As you will see from our stories, their quests adhere to standards of excellence that have sustained us for centuries: patience, an eye for detail, the willingness to place quality before profit, and faith in the enduring connection between functionality and beauty.
We think that value system matters today more than ever. As the U.S. has risen to become the world’s dominant economic model, it has also become its leading throwaway society. And our primary export, if anything, has been a consumer economy based on planned obsolescence. These developments have turned the fundamental concept of quality into an idea that now seems out of reach for most of the world’s population. We believe we can reverse this trend.
Craftsmanship can provide people with sustainable jobs—work that is meaningful both emotionally and economically. To this end, The Craftsmanship Initiative pays everyone who contributes to our offerings and programs – our writers, photographers, videographers, and editors; and the designers, web developers, and social media gurus who make sure we live up to our promise.
In the coming year, we will be staging events, offering awards, and arranging partnerships with other organizations that offer apprenticeships, scholarships, and other opportunities that blend the arts with science and industry.