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James Krenov craft wisdom, 6: The fine craftsman doesn’t need a mega public

May 27, 2011

Completing the series of  quotes on the craft life from ‘A Cabinet Maker’s Notebook’:

I’ve never believed that a really good craftsman is intended for a tremendous public…the craftsman lives in a condition where the size of his public is almost in inverse proportion to the quality of his work…(or) the total content of the work that he does.

And he really hasn’t that much use for a hundred or two hundred people banging on his door, wanting things, because finally, this craftsman is the one who does the work himself, and gives people something very personal and therefore not accessible to everyone.

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2 Responses to “James Krenov craft wisdom, 6: The fine craftsman doesn’t need a mega public”


  1. This is pure wisdom! thanks for sharing. i sometimes call myself a recluse and i regard my studio as a cloister. a very personal space where i create and am most myself. one of the reasons why i was interested to sell online was that i don’t want to sell face to face with a customer, especially when i don’t know the person. see? i am a recluse,:):):)

    • szoutewelle Says:

      I understand this too, alpha. But my previous experience was that I liked the face to face meeting with people who appreciated my work. And for me, selling to someone I’ve never seen kind of takes away the completion of the creative cycle of handing over a part of myself, to become a part of someone else’s life.

      But I think I agree with you about studio as sacred space, there are very few people I’d want to have in there. My shop is luckily right at the front of the house, just inside the front door. Studio is deep in the center of the house, up on the second floor.


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