There is always a bit of nervous energy when doing the first post for a blog and with a topic like craftsmanship; even more so. It comes up inevitably when working in any trade or craft for that matter. Our goal is to always be working on it. Building from our basic skills and then moving just beyond that line outside our comfort zone. As a team we are always looking at our current prototypes and discussing ways to improve the design. Asking questions like “Can we change this to use less material and not sacrifice strength in the joinery?” In many ways this bleeds into every aspect of our development; from R&D, construction, esthetics and all the way to the “waste” at the end of the process.
An over reaching arc that runs throughout our shop is that the craftsmanship did not start with us. Building a barn is no small feat and takes a varied skill set. After the barn is constructed it continues throughout the life of the building. An owner will always add or subtract something; adding various tool holders. Now this might sound simple, but I have found that many people who work with their hands are always looking for something to do with them; improving if they can on the original. In doing so, this makes things more functional; it may also unconsciously add a degree of artfulness. At the end of the day when all the works done, the craftsman is always improving; even if it’s just on the basics.