The Intangible Quality of Craftsmanship

Anyone who knows me understands that I can absolutely swoon over a beautifully crafted item. When an item is made with love and attention to detail you can feel it, even if it is mass produced.

This spring I visited Knifewear in Calgary’s Inglewood district to buy hubby Steve some old fashioned straight blades for his antique razor. I was enthralled. (I adore shops and restaurants that dedicate themselves to doing one thing really well) This shop is full of works of art, Japanese knives made by hand, by families who have passed on their craft for sometimes hundreds of years.

I walked out with a hand forged carving knife. It is a mini work of art, an expression of form following function. Be-damned the price, I was in love!

This is the beauty that followed me home

A few weeks ago Knifewear had the craftsmen, including 76(?) year old Kato san, of Masakage Knifes travel to Calgary to demonstrate their craft at Inglewood’s Sunfest street festival. We simply had to go.

It was soooo cool to see this team of blacksmiths create a knife from its raw materials. These devoted men want nothing more that to create a knife that people will love and appreciate, and you can feel it.

To me, this is one of the best kinds of predecessor chi, the kind that allows you to feel the devotion that has gone in to the creation of an item, the many years developing mastery. There is an intangible quality that lingers long after the designer or artist has finished his or her work.

To create something , inspire someone or contribute to something of lasting value – I think that is a wish that many of us share, maybe even all of us deep down.

At least I do.

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