Wednesday, January 2, 2013

craftsmanship


What is craftsmanship? Definition: Craftsmanship n : skill in an occupation or trade.

Buddy is from a family of craftsmen, his father and grandfather both builders, carpenters. They passed on the skill and pride in one's work. And passed on one of the family mottos - if you are going to do something, do it right. Once Buddy finished his carpenter apprenticeship back in the 1970s he worked with all areas of craftsmen - carpenters, masons, iron workers, electricians, plumbers. Back in the day, if you needed help, you could call the union hall and promptly qualified trained craftsmen would show up and do the job. They would be shown the blueprints and pointed in the direction of what needed to be done and at the end of the day it would be a finished project. Not so any more.

Now the subcontractors that are hired in the different fields are a far cry from craftsmen. Most do not speak English, cannot read blueprints, some even show up without any tools. They have to be shown every step of the process, and then watched like hawks to prevent mistakes and valuable time delays.

Frustrated to say the least to deal with these folks, Buddy was on one of many trips to get supplies for these 'subcontractors' (they can't afford to buy supplies, do not have any credit…etc.), when he arrived at the local brickyard, he was reminded of craftsmanship. Jenkins Brick in Chattanooga has these beautiful examples of masonry on display. It was good to see the finished product of real masons, real craftsmen. It lightened his day for just a little while, until he got back to the job to see what had gone wrong in his absence.


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