31 December 2010

Practice

Today's world is centered on immediate results..Everything one does should be done quickly and well.
Things should be learned quickly and easily, such as "speak Japanese without effort"or "learn to paint in 2 days"...
It doesn't work that way, and people who have actually learned things know that even if you can learn some basis of a craft (or a language!) rather quickly, it takes a lot of practice to master it.
"Masterpiece"... This was the name of the object that an apprentice had to produce -after many years of apprenticeship- in order to show that he was able to to become a "master", to stop being an apprentice and start working on his own. _Years_ , not weeks or months...

It's difficult not to lose sight of the importance of practice, in this this world that values only the "quick and easy".
And my wish for the new year, for myself and all the crafters, is never to forget that the time used for doing things again is not wasted time, but time we spend to learn our crafts better, to learn how materials work in a craft, what they can do and what they can't...

I especially like this quote by William Morris:
"(...)never forget the material you are working with, and try always to use it for doing what it can do best: if you feel yourself hampered by the material in which you are working, instead of being helped by it, you have so far not learned your business, any more than a would-be poet has, who complains of the hardship of writing in measure and rhyme. The special limitations of the material should be a pleasure to you, not a hindrance: a designer, therefore, should always thoroughly understand the processes of the special manufacture he is dealing with, or the result will be a mere tour de force. On the other hand, it is the pleasure in understanding the capabilities of a special material, and using them for suggesting (not imitating) natural beauty and incident, that gives the raison d'être of decorative art."
(William Morris,  Textiles, 1893)

1 comment:

Carol said...

Well said Elena.