8/04/2010

Death of the One of a Kind Artifact

I have spent my life up till now earning a modest wage using my hands. I don't care if you make yo-yo's, knives, smoking pipes, illustrations, or furniture. If it comes from your bench, drawing board, or cave and it is handled by your hands from natural materials of earth origin and you transform the raw into something “usable” or “artful” it is one of a kind. This has been a topic of heated discussion since Robert Henri wrote “The Art Spirit”. He took a lot of heat in the 1920's and his students questioned and pondered many of his excerpts.

Wabi-Sabi refers to natures fingerprint on natural earth born materials. The persona of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, genuineness, and the suggestion of natural processes. Craftsman have made peace with their chosen medium's natural state. My motto has always been~“we cannot control Mother Nature but we can complement her best intentions”. That's complement spelled with an “e”. Ultimately it is this “natural state” that brings a certain genuineness and value to the artifact. The craftsman takes a difficult journey with not a lot of pay days or pay raises. This journey does not prove to be glamorous or even profitable much of the time. It is quite simply a path one takes because they feel a primal need... in the words of Robert Henri “the need to do and make”

The general lack of awareness in America that results from too much digital information obliterating our neocortex is killing Japettos Workshop. The tolerance for “natural processes” in America's marketplace or process in general is foundering like a newly constructed ship with no keel sliding out of drydock. The inevitable has already happened before our eyes. Everybody needs to back away from their Amazon accounts and their overnight shipping expectations and see where this is all leading. If you want the loving fingerprint of a craftsperson on your chosen artifact then pour yourself a glass of Scotch, sit down in an uncomfortable chair, pick up a pen with your comatose bluetooth mouse contorted fingers and write a note on real rag linen paper. Go out of your way to scrounge up some stamps you need to actually lick. Fold the note avoiding a paper cut so you do not bleed out and ruin your melamine end table with arterial spray. Drive your ass down to the post office, smile at the postmaster and hand him your letter. You now have become part of the “natural process”

~Clint Bova