March 24, 2007

amsterdamse-gevelsresized.jpg   Amsterdam house fronts

I was looking at some featureless modern buildings in the city and comparing them to  historic shop fronts and houses. It wasn’t so very long ago that buildings were designed with decoration as an inherent part of the whole, rather than something stuck on later. You can see, in the old details- brick laying, relief sculptures, window frames etc, a sense of pride in craftsmanship. This always communicates itself to me as some kind of connection to tradition. I get a feel for the actual hands that did the work back in the 1700 or 1800’s. There is time, care and story contained in craft. The buildings come alive for me because I can connect to the people that made them through my senses. My eyes are delighted by the visual beauty and my hands can vicariously feel how it must have been to work with the materials. And I am nourished by the lineage of craft being passed from generation to generation.

There was an age when beauty, detail and tenderness were valued above expediency and cost.

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