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Craftsmanship Initiative

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As the importance of manual work has declined, we’ve seen an erosion of an entire culture of skills, and a way of thinking about quality, that once brought creativity, meaning, and a visceral sense of satisfaction to the everyday lives of millions.  At The Craftsmanship Initiative, we focus on how the time-honored principles of craftsmanship can play a role in solving 21st Century challenges, and how the arts and sciences can inform the new era of innovation and sustainability the world desperately needs.

Throughout history, a work of craftsmanship has always been defined by precision, integrity of purpose, and durability. Today, those principles matter more than ever, as we struggle with a consumer culture built around throw-away products, and the stresses this has put on our environment and our economies. While most of us see craftsmanship in acclaimed works such as a finished Stradivarius violin, craftsmanship’s principles of excellence and durability can also be found in disappearing traditional arts; in ecologically sound innovations in manufacturing, and how we manage our dwindling natural resources; and in sustainably produced food, clothing, and other consumer products that once earned their name in economic parlance: “durable goods.”

In keeping with these values, all of us here at The Craftsmanship Initiative strive to meet the highest standards in everything we do. This includes developing skilled writers, photographers, and filmmakers who can dig deeply into any subject, find the timeless stories that lie inside them, and then share these tales in compelling ways. Our mission is truly captured in our tagline: “Create a World Built to Last.”

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Check out the latest issue of Craftsmanship Quarterly now!

For thousands of years, wood has been a mainstay for humankind’s creations—for our tools and homes, the beds we sleep in and the chairs we sit on; for early weapons and, to this day, musical instruments; for our gardens and fences and our works of art. Sometimes we’ve honored this magical material, which assumes massive size and strength from nothing but a seed that’s fed by dirt, water, and sun. And sometimes we’ve abused it. This issue, on “The Magic of Wood” we hope, will do justice to all of wood’s twists and turns.

Photos by Shawn Linehan and Todd Oppenheimer