Thinking with Craft is not about woodworking or ceramics—though it can be. It’s about learning to observe with focus, build skill, and experiment in order to solve problems for which there is no book, template, or operational excellence department.
Find below a selection of my favorite quotes applying Craft principles in the modern world. I’ll post more quotes from leaders, thinkers, and master craftsmen and women here, so check back. If you are new to the idea of Craft-thinking, I invite you to look at the Look To Craftsmen Project overview and read my introduction to Craft article.
I wanted to be considered a good craftsman. I wanted my dresses to be constructed like buildings, molded to the curves of the female form, stylizing its shape. Christian Dior, a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.
“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” Martin Luther, German professor of theology, composer, priest, and monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.
“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” Johannes Brahms, German composer and pianist of the Romantic period.
“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.” Richard Sennett, Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. Author of The Craftsman.
“How can we make sure we wind up behind the right door when the going gets tough? The answer is: craftsmanship.” Robert C. Martin, American software engineer and author. He is a co-author of the Agile Manifesto and the Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship.
“I'm against the picture of the artist as a starry-eyed visionary not really in control or knowing what he does. I'd almost prefer the word 'craftsman'. He's like one of those old-fashioned ship builders who conceived the build of the boat in their mind and after that touched every single piece that went into the boat.” William Golding, British novelist, playwright, and poet. Best known for his novel Lord of the Flies, he won a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Real craftsmanship, regardless of the skill involved, reflects real caring, and real caring reflects our attitude about ourselves, about our fellowmen, and about life. Spencer W. Kimball, American business, civic, and religious leader, and was the twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It's the disease of thinking that a having a great idea is really 90% of the work. And if you just tell people, 'here's this great idea,' then of course they can go off and make it happen. The problem with that is that there's a tremendous amount of craftsmanship between a having a great idea and having a great product. Steve Jobs, American entrepreneur, business magnate, inventor, and industrial designer.
What the church should be telling the worker is that the first demand religion makes on him is that he should be a good workman. If he is a carpenter he should be a competent carpenter. Church by all means on Sundays-but what is the use of church if at the very center of life a man defrauds his neighbor and insults God by poor craftsmanship. Dwight D. Eisenhower, American Army general and statesman who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
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