Artisan Quotes

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An artisan without memories, whose only dream was to die of fatigue in the oblivion and misery of his little gold fishes.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today - and even professional scientists - seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is - in my opinion - the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth. [Correspondance to Robert Thorton in 1944]
Albert Einstein
Even those who consider all this total bullshit have to concede that it's upscale, artisanal bullshit of the highest order.
Mark Leyner
We are all of us, every one, our own works; we present our souls to our Patrons at the ends of our lives as an artisan presents the works of his hands.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Paladin of Souls (World of the Five Gods, #2))
But the floor retained an unparalleled measure of excellence with a decorative array of ceramic tiles precisely laid by an anonymous Muslim artisan with limitless patience, pride, or skill.  He left behind an ornate work of art in a short, squat, non-descript building near the most dangerous piece of real estate on the planet.  Silva often wondered how an architect so careless came to work with a craftsman so precise.  Looking at that floor, she often thought that if everyone applied just a fraction of his dedication to their own work, it might cancel out the hatred driving the destruction.
John Payton Foden (Magenta)
Writing is like pulling teeth. From my dick.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
To create is to reflect the image of God. To create is an act of worship.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Love never comes without wounds; faith never comes without failure.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Under wage labor, the art advances, the artisan declines.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Whether we realize it or not, everything we do is an expression of either how alive our souls are or how much we have allowed ourselves to be deadened over time.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
You can gain experience, if you are careful to avoid empty redundancy. Do not fall into the error of the artisan who boasts of twenty years experience in craft while in fact he has had only one year of experience–twenty times. And never resent the advantage of experience your elders have. Recall that they have paid for this experience in the coin of life, and have emptied a purse that cannot be refilled.
Trevanian (Shibumi)
there were three fountains of wisdom from which every artisan should drink abundantly: books, work and roads. Reading, practising and travelling.
Elif Shafak (The Architect's Apprentice)
True creativity does not come easily; creativity is born of risk and refined from failure.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Storytellers are not priests who commune with an ethereal realm but artisans, like dumpling makers, if somewhat slower.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
There is something deeply satisfying in shaping something with your hands. Proper artificing is like a song made solid. It is an act of creation.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
the only art we can create is that which authentically reflects who we are. Our soul is the material for all we create. Thus, to nurture the artisan soul, essence is far more important than talent.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Artists love without reservation. They give their hearts completely and leave nothing on the table. They are naked and unashamed. They leave no room for pretension. And because they have given all of themselves, they live without regret.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
I am no fun at all. In fact, I am anti-fun. Not as in anti-violence, but as in anti-matter. I am not so much against fun - although I suppose I kind of am - as I am the opposite of fun. I suck the fun out of a room. Or perhaps I'm just a different kind of fun; the kind that leaves on bereft of hope; the kind of fun that ends in tears.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
There is supercomputer somewhere in the Nevada desert whose sole function is to count the number of times that I have said the following, because it is unquantifiable by human minds at this point, but this time it’s really true: I should have stayed home.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
The skilled artisan uses the same iron to make a horseshoe As he does for a polished mirror for the King.
Idries Shah (Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way)
Perhaps the cause of our contemporary pessimism is our tendency to view history as a turbulent stream of conflicts – between individuals in economic life, between groups in politics, between creeds in religion, between states in war. This is the more dramatic side of history; it captures the eye of the historian and the interest of the reader. But if we turn from that Mississippi of strife, hot with hate and dark with blood, to look upon the banks of the stream, we find quieter but more inspiring scenes: women rearing children, men building homes, peasants drawing food from the soil, artisans making the conveniences of life, statesmen sometimes organizing peace instead of war, teachers forming savages into citizens, musicians taming our hearts with harmony and rhythm, scientists patiently accumulating knowledge, philosophers groping for truth, saints suggesting the wisdom of love. History has been too often a picture of the bloody stream. The history of civilization is a record of what happened on the banks.
Will Durant
There is no proof of creativity without action.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
When you're making something, you're in a different state. You go into a deep level of concentration, to the point where you're not self-conscious anymore, it's just flowing out of you.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
If there were no hope of reward and no fear of punishment, would I work less ? I don't believe so. I work to honor the divine gift. Every artisan and artist enters into a covenant with the divine. Have you made yours?
Elif Shafak (The Architect's Apprentice)
I pouted. “Then why did you come this year?” “Because you’ve never been to Vermont, and you wouldn’t shut up about it. Now you’ve been, so we don’t have to come back.” “Don’t try to act all tough. I saw you buy that little porcelain puppy at the artisan fair when you thought I wasn’t looking. And you drag me to that hot cider shop down the road every afternoon.” Crimson stained Alex’s cheeks. “It’s called making lemonade out of lemons,” he growled. “You are asking for it tonight.
Ana Huang (Twisted Love (Twisted, #1))
My fear wasn’t some kind of rare artisanal object; it was just a mass-produced item, available on the shelves of any generic box store.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
you are a bouquet crafted by artisans you are a garden inspired by Eden not one leaf is set by way of accident not one petal curves by way of chance
Shelby Eileen (Soft in the Middle)
There are many things in this world that are an outrage, to be sure, but death at our current life expectancy doesn’t strike me as one of them. Maybe I sound like some Victorian who felt that forty years ought to be enough for any man, but one of the marks of a life well lived has to be reaching a state of finally getting it, of not needing more, and of being able to sign off with something approaching peace of mind.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
It is to us artisans and tradesmen that the salvation of the fatherland is entrusted; but we are not equal to such a task; never, indeed, have we claimed that we were capable of performing it. It is a misunderstanding; and it is proving our ruin.
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis and Other Stories)
The pen may indeed be mightier than the sword, but the wordsmith would do well to welcome the blacksmith back into the fold, so that artisan craftsmanship the world over may fend off the ravages of industrialised homogeneity and bland monoculture.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
When we are freed from the rules and regulations that are so often imposed on us in the name of God, we discover that creativity is the natural result of spirituality. And if this is true, then our soul is the primary material for all artistic expression.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Jesus’s early followers formed a movement of dreamers and visionaries.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Lenny Bruce described flamenco as being an art form wherein a dancer applauds his own ass.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Artisans, say, taxi drivers, prostitutes (a very, very old profession), carpenters, plumbers, tailors, and dentists, have some volatility in their income but they are rather robust to a minor professional Black Swan, one that would bring their income to a complete halt. Their risks are visible. Not so with employees, who have no volatility, but can be surprised to see their income going to zero after a phone call from the personnel department. Employees’ risks are hidden.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
What is your idea of you? Who is it that you have decided to become? If your greatest work of art is the life you live, and ultimately life is a creative act, what life will you choose to leave behind as your masterpiece?
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Tapestries are made by many artisans working together. The contributions of separate workers cannot be discerned in the completed work, and the loose and false threads have been covered over. So it is in our picture of particle physics.
Sheldon L. Glashow
Far too often, when we think we are frightened by mystery, the fact is that we are haunted by history.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
In many guilds artisans struck for higher pay and shorter hours. In an age when social conditions were regarded as fixed, such action was revolutionary.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
For the artisan, craft is an end in itself. For you, the artist, craft is the vehicle for expressing your vision. Craft is the visible edge of art.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
And here we go creating great men out of artisans who happened to have stumbled on a way to improve electrical apparatus or pedal through Sweden on a bicycle! And we solicit great men to write books promoting the cult of other great men! It's really very funny, and worth the price of admission! It will all end up with every village having his own great man - a lawyer, a novelist, and a polar explorer of immense stature! And the world will become wonderfully flat and simple and easy to master . . .
Knut Hamsun
I have come to realize, after over thirty years of studying human creativity, that the great divide is not between those who are artists and those who are not, but between those who understand that they are creative and those who have become convinced that they are not.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
The factory might have given us the millionfold productivity increases that yielded the Industrial Revolution, but it achieved those gains by chaining us to machines, deskilling the artisan and turning him into a cog in the factory, stripped of judgment and dignity and disconnected from the rhythms of his spirit and the world around him.
William Gibson (The Difference Engine)
The life of faith is less about gathering information than it is about expanding imagination. The movement Jesus started was a movement of dreamers and visionaries, not a movement of academics and theologians.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
At last I went to the artisans, for I was conscious that I knew nothing at all, as I may say, and I was sure that they knew many fine things; and in this I was not mistaken, for they did know many things of which I was ignorant, and in this they certainly were wiser than I was. But I observed that even the good artisans fell into the same error as the poets; because they were good workmen they thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom
Plato (Apology)
If we dreamed the same thing every night, it would affect us as much as the objects we see every day. And if an artisan was sure of dreaming for twelve hours every night that he was king, I believe he would be almost as happy as a king who dreamed for twelve hours every night that he was an artisan. ...But because dreams are all different, and there is a variety even within each one, what we see in them affects us much less than what we see when we are awake, because of the continuity. This, however, is not so continuous and even that it does not change too, though less abruptly, except on rare occasions, as on a journey, when we say: 'It seems like a dream.' For life is a dream, but somewhat less changeable.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
It’s hard to tell a great story if we remain stuck in chapter one.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
In the softest little voice he said, “This slave is beneath your attention.” In Akielos, submission was an art, and the slave was the artisan. Now that he was showing his form, you could see that Erasmus was surely the prize pick of the Regent’s gift-slaves. Ridiculous, that he was being dragged around by the neck like an unwilling animal. It was like possessing a finely tuned instrument and using it to smash shells open. Misusing it. He
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1))
Feedback doesn’t tell you about yourself. It tells you about the person giving the feedback. In other words, if someone says your work is gorgeous, that just tells you about *their* taste. If you put out a new product and it doesn’t sell at all, that tells you something about what your audience does and doesn’t want. When we look at praise and criticism as information about the people giving it, we tend to get really curious about the feedback, rather than dejected or defensive.
Tara Mohr (Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead)
We breathe too fast to be able to grasp things in themselves or to expose their fragility. Our panting postulates and distorts them, creates and disfigures them, and binds us to them. I bestir myself, therefore I emit a world as suspect as my speculation which justifies it; I espouse movement, which changes me into a generator of being, into an artisan of fictions, while my cosmogonic verve makes me forget that, led on by the whirlwind of acts, I am nothing but an acolyte of time, an agent of decrepit universes. (...) If we would regain our freedom, we must shake off the burden of sensation, no longer react to the world by our senses, break our bonds. For all sensation is a bond, pleasure as much as pain, joy as much as misery. The only free mind is the one that, pure of all intimacy with beings or objects, plies its own vacuity.
Emil M. Cioran (The Temptation to Exist)
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses. While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
if God refuses to mass-produce but insists on an intimate process that in the end forms each of us into the image of Christ, why would we choose a lesser path for our own lives? The work of the artist begins with the care of his or her own soul.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
I will stipulate to having both French sea salt and a big bottle of extra virgin in my kitchen. And while the presence of both might go some small distance in pigeonholing me demographically, neither one of them makes me a good person. They are mute and useless indicators of the content of my character.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
What if, as an act of worship, creating something meant healing and restoration took place instead of pain and frustration?
Michelle Dennis Evans
In my brief glimpse of what is to come I realize how little I care to witness it. I have seen the future and I'm fairly relieved to say, it looks nothing like me.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Creativity should be an everyday experience. Creativity should be as common as breathing. We breathe, therefore we create.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
I didn't always write for a living, and even back when it was my most fondly held dream to one day be able to do so, writing was difficult. Writing is like pulling teeth. From my dick.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
All of the designers I have met up to this point have been very nice, although upon being introduced to Karl Lagerfeld, he looks me up and down and dismisses me with the not super-kind, "What can you write that hasn't been written already?" He's absolutely right, I have no idea. I can but try. The only thing I can come up with right now is that Lagerfeld's powdered white ponytail has dusted the shoulders of his suit with what looks like dandruff but isn't....seated on a tiny velvet chair, with his large doughy rump dominating the miniature piece of furniture like a loose, flabby, ass-flavored muffin over-risen from its pan, he resembles a Daumier caricature of some corpulent, overfed, inhumane oligarch drawn sitting on a commode, stuffing his greedy throat with the corpses of dead children, while from his other end he shits out huge, malodorous piles of tainted money. How's that for new and groundbreaking, Mr. L.?
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
There is no such thing as a Scientific Mind. Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics. What sort of mind or temperament can all these people be supposed to have in common?
Peter Medawar
Artists and artisans both demonstrate with perfect clarity that a person is least able to appropriate for himself those things which are most peculiarly his. His works leave him as birds do the best in which they were hatched. In this respect an architect's fate is the strangest of all. How often he employs his whole intellect and warmth of feeling in the creation of rooms from which he must exclude himself. Royal halls owe their splendor to him, and he may not share in the enjoyment of their finest effects. In temples he draws the line between himself and the holy of holies; the steps he built to ceremonies that lift up the heady, he may no longer climb; just as the goldsmith worships only from afar the monstrance which he wrought in the fire and set with jewels. With the keys of the palace the architect hands over all it's comforts to the wealthy man, and has not the least part in them. Surely in this way art must little by little grow away from the artist, if the work, like a child provided for, no longer teaches back to touch its father.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Elective Affinities)
The differences between a soldier, an artisan, a man of business, a lawyer, an idler, a student, a statesman, a merchant, a sailor, a poet, a beggar, a priest, are as great, though not so easy to define, as those between the wolf, the lion, the ass, the crow, the shark, the seal, the sheep, etc. Thus social species have always existed, and will always exist, just as there are zoological species.
Honoré de Balzac (Collected Works of Honore de Balzac with the Complete Human Comedy)
One might trouble one's dainty snout with a whiff of the taleggio displayed in an artisanal cheese shop, or take a saucer of jasmine tea and a knuckle of fennel-scented snuff at a counter of buffed Big Nothing granite. But there was a want in these ladies yet, and it was for the rude life of youth.
Kevin Barry (City of Bohane)
During the act of making something, I experience a kind of blissful absence of the self and a loss of time. When I am done, I return to both feeling as restored as if I had been on a trip. I almost never get this feeling any other way. I once spent sixteen hours making 150 wedding invitations by hand and was not for one instance of that time tempted to eat or look at my watch. By contrast, if seated at the computer, I check my email conservatively 30,000 times a day. When I am writing, I must have a snack, call a friend, or abuse myself every ten minutes. I used to think that this was nothing more than the difference between those things we do for love and those we do for money. But that can't be the whole story. I didn't always write for a living, and even back when it was my most fondly held dream to one day be able to do so, writing was always difficult. Writing is like pulling teeth. From my dick.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Your soul may well consist of artists and artisans, crooks and charlatans, writers and wanderers, poets and performers, vagabonds and visionaries, cigar box jugglers and contortionists, sword swallowers, storey-tellers and snake worshippers, fire eaters and fire dancers, human cannonballs, treasure hunters, swashbuckling pirates, pilgrims, Bedouin tribesmen and Gypsies. Everything that’s rash and wild inside of you is striving for freedom. And I’m not asking for this to hit you like an epiphany. It’s not supposed to. But if you read that list of misfits above and gave just the tiniest of nods – even at a deep subliminal level – then you understand
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
I was pressed for time, so all I was able to whip up was deviled eggs with a dollop of Tsar Nicoulai caviar on top, a selection of fruit and artisanal cheeses, and sauteed Dover sole with lemon and capers." Kate's idea of preparing a quick meal was eating Cap'n Crunch out of the box, so this was Christmas dinner by comparison.
Janet Evanovich (The Chase (Fox and O'Hare, #2))
They fold up into you. You fold up into us. We fold up into Him.” This seemed to both intrigue and satisfy the parson, who hummed thoughtfully before he ventured one last question to the amiable artisan. “I see. And might I ask if, anywhere in this ingenious arrangement, any of us ever truly had Free Will?” The lanky angle sounded somehow mournful and apologetic as he answered with a syllable that was apparently the same in English as in his own tongue. “No.” After a well-timed pause as if before the punch line of a joke, he went on to pronounce another angle-word that Michael understood almost immediately. “Dyimoust?” What this meant was “Did you miss it?
Alan Moore (Jerusalem)
He will study the back of Jude's head, because Jude can't face him, and imagine the person he thinks he knows collapsing into rubble, clouds of dust gusting around him, as nearby, teams of artisans try to rebuild him in another material, in another shape, as a different person than the person who had stood for years and years. On and on the stories will go, and in their path will lie squalor: blood and bones and dirt and disease and misery.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Unfortunately, the people who have the greatest influence in our lives rarely understand the power of their words to shape who we become. They never fully understand that what informs us forms us. Words spoken into a soul are like the hands of a potter pressed against wet clay.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
The city was a real city, shifty and sexual. I was lightly jostled by small herds of flushed young sailors looking for action on Forty-Second Street, with it rows of x-rated movie houses, brassy women, glittering souvenir shops, and hot-dog vendors. I wandered through Kino parlors and peered through the windows of the magnificent sprawling Grant’s Raw Bar filled with men in black coats scooping up piles of fresh oysters. The skyscrapers were beautiful. They did not seem like mere corporate shells. They were monuments to the arrogant yet philanthropic spirit of America. The character of each quadrant was invigorating and one felt the flux of its history. The old world and the emerging one served up in the brick and mortar of the artisan and the architects. I walked for hours from park to park. In Washington Square, one could still feel the characters of Henry James and the presence of the author himself … This open atmosphere was something I had not experienced, simple freedom that did not seem oppressive to anyone.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
In Venice, things not always as they first appear. I contemplate this observation from my post on the aft deck of one of Master Fumagalli’s gondolas, taking in the panorama of bridges, domes, bell towers, and quaysides of my native city. I row into the neck of the Grand Canal, and, one by one, the reflection of each colorful façade appears, only to dissipate into wavering, shimmering shards under my oar.
Laura Morelli (The Gondola Maker (Venetian Artisans #2))
Pascal is right to assert that if we had the same dream every night, we would be as engaged by it as we are by the things we see every day. “If an artisan were sure of dreaming every night a full twelve hours that he was king, I believe,” says Pascal, “he would be just as happy as a king who dreamed every night for twelve hours that he was an artisan.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On Truth and Untruth: Selected Writings)
I am seeking to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the “obsolete” hand-loom weaver, the “utopian” artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southcott, from the enormous condescension of posterity. Their crafts and traditions may have been dying. Their hostility to the new industrialism may have been backward-looking. Their communitarian ideals may have been fantasies. Their insurrectionary conspiracies may have been foolhardy. But they lived through these times of acute social disturbance, and we did not. Their aspirations were valid in terms of their own experience…
E.P. Thompson (The Making of the English Working Class)
Beauty, it seemed to Amineh, did not have to be extraordinary to be cherished. Maybe that was its secret, that it lived in the most common expressions of man and nature. The artisan had discovered it in a block of wood, which he had carved into a scene of a young woman sitting at a window. The locals had created it through the colorful geraniums they placed on small protrusions covering every square meter of their adobe walls. Even the animals were not immune. Who could doubt the starlings’ ecstatic flight around the minarets of the mosque was inspired by the symmetry of that aging structure.
Nadine Bjursten (Half a Cup of Sand and Sky)
We have become an army of multiply chemically sensitive, high-maintenance princesses trying to make our way through a world full of irksome peas.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
It takes courage to not only accept our limitations but embrace our potential. To deny our creative nature is to choose a life where we are less and thus responsible for less. We see ourselves as created beings, so we choose to survive. When we see ourselves as creative beings, we must instead create.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
See, the institutions and specialist, experts, you see. Yes, yes, experts, indeed. See, they would have us believe that there is an order to art. An explanation. Humans are odd creatures in that way. Always searching for a formula. Yes, a formula to create an expected norm for unexplainable greatness. A cook book you might say. Yes, a recipe book for life, love, and art. However, my dear, let me tell you. Yes, there is no such thing. Every individual is unique in their own design, as intended by God himself. We classify, yes, always must we classify, for if not, then we would be lost, yes lost now wouldn't we? Classification, order, expectations, but alas, we forget. For what is art, if not the out word expression of an artist. It is the soul of the artisan and if his expectations are met, than who are we to judge whether his work be art or not?
Kent Marrero (The Unsung Love Story (The River, #1))
Frankly, the people who whine the most about how hard their lives are have very rarely experienced much to be disappointed about. They seem to find solace in their most negative memories, using these as a blank check that abdicates them from all personal responsibility. “I am how I am because of the pain of my past. If you had experienced what I have experienced, you would understand my bitterness, my anger, my paralysis, my despair.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
The only perfection available to you without compromise is that of intention and effort. If you endeavor to be the best pencil sharpener you can be, and tailor your actions accordingly, you can be certain all else will be forgiven in the final accounting.
David Rees (How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical and Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants)
Watch and clock faces, fingernails, military instrument panels, gun sights and even children’s toys glowed with radium, hand-painted in factories by young women working for the United States Radium Corporation. The unsuspecting artisans would lick their brushes - ingesting radium particles each time - to keep the tips pointed during the precision work, but years later their teeth and skulls began to disintegrate.
Andrew Leatherbarrow (Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster)
The different shades of crowd, buildings and density amazed her. Hailing from a much less populated town, New York appeared like a fire cracker, a show stopper; as if mocking those who didn’t believe in carnivals, forcing people who lived on streets to dream of the sky rises and simply finding excuses to celebrate and shriek! This was New York, the home to beggars and billionaires, to actors and artisans, to werewolves and humans…
Kanika Bankhad (Beloved Treaty (Beloved #2))
It must be murder to be an aging beauty, a former Tadzio, to see your future as an ignored spectator rushing up to meet you like the hard pavement. What a small sip of gall to be able to time with each passing year the ever-shorter interval in which someone's eyes focus upon you. And then shift away.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Pregnancy had seemed a reasonable excuse for letting her metal-smithing tools languish, but that accounted for only eighteen months of the last twenty-six years. Motherhood wasn't the real problem, though it took him a long time to figure out what was. She needed resistance, the very quality that metal most demonstrably offered up. Suddenly Glynis had no difficulty to overcome, no hard artisan's life with galleries filching half the too-small price of a mokume brooch that had taken three weeks to forge. No, her husband made a good living, and if she slept late and dawdled the afternoon away reading Lustre, American Craft Magazine and Lapidary Journal, the phone bill would still get paid. For that matter, she needed need itself. She could overcome her anguish about embarking on an object that, once completed, might not meet her exacting standards only if she had no choice. In this sense, his helping had hurt her. By providing the financial cushion that should have facilitated making all the metal whathaveyou she liked, he had ruined her life. Wrapped in a slackening bow, ease was a poisonous present.
Lionel Shriver (So Much for That)
Let the trees be consulted before you take any action every time you breathe in thank a tree let tree roots crack parking lots at the world bank headquarters let loggers be druids specially trained and rewarded to sacrifice trees at auspicious times let carpenters be master artisans let lumber be treasured like gold let chain saws be played like saxophones let soldiers on maneuvers plant trees give police and criminals a shovel and a thousand seedlings let businessmen carry pocketfuls of acorns let newlyweds honeymoon in the woods walk don't drive stop reading newspapers stop writing poetry squat under a tree and tell stories.
John Wright
His mother's Femme smelled of plums, flowers and smoky sandalwood. It made him think of the silk and linen dresses that fluttered around her knees on windy days. Her gloves smelled of it, and her shawls. It was his mother's scent only, and he liked that when she left a room it would trail in the air behind her, making him feel safe.
Gabriella Contestabile
Our lives will become our greatest works of art not only when our relationships are a beautiful expression of love, acceptance, and intimacy, but when we have a deep sense of purpose that produces accomplishments that express, for us, success and significance.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
This other man he could never see in his entirety but he seemed an artisan and a worker in metal. The judge enshadowed him where he crouched at his trade but he was a coldforger who worked with hammer and die, perhaps under some indictment and an exile from men's fires, hammering out like his own conjectural destiny all through the night of his becoming some coinage for a dawn that would not be. It is this false moneyer with his gravers and burins who seeks favor with the judge and he is at contriving from cold slag brute in the crucible a face that will pass, an image that will render this residual specie current in the markets where men barter. Of this is the judge judge and the night does not end.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
As religious leaders, we are called to be true "people of dialogue," to cooperate in building peace not as intermediaries but as authentic mediators. Intermediaries seek to give everyone a discount ultimately in order to gain something for themselves. However, the mediator is one who retains nothing for himself but rather spends himself generously until he is consumed, knowing that the only gain is peace. Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls! Let us dialogue and meet one another in order to establish a culture of dialogue in the world, a culture of encounter.
Pope Francis (The Church of Mercy)
an unattached hand, or rather a detached one. It lay there alone — open, palm upwards, clean, capable, solitary. I could not tear my eyes from it. The hand is the artisan of the soul. It is the second member of the human trinity of head and hand and heart. A man has no faculty more human than his hand, none more beautiful nor expressive nor productive. To see this hand lying alone, as though contemptuously cast aside, no longer a part of a man, no longer his help, was to see war in all its wantonness; it was to see the especially brutal savagery of our own technique of rending, and it was to see men at their eternal worst, turning upon one another, tearing one another, clawing at their own innards with the maniacal fury of the pride-possessed.
Robert Leckie (Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific)
Within the universe’s intention and its unique design around relationship, we find that the focal point of the universe, the motive of the universe, is love. God created life so that we could know love. Everything God does is an expression of his love. It is neither trite nor superficial that the Scriptures summarize this in three simple words: “God is love.” It is critical to understand this because, if we are to reclaim our role in the creative process and express our lives as masterful works of art, we, too, must be sure that our motivation is the expansion of love.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
To what extent the machine abases us. - The machine is impersonal, it deprives the piece of work of its pride, of the individual goodness and faultiness that adheres to all work done by a machine - that is to say, of its little bit of humanity. In earlier times all purchasing from artisans was a bestowing of a distinction on individuals, and the things with which we surrounded ourselves were the insignia of these distinctions: household furniture and clothing thus became symbols of mutual esteem and personal solidarity, whereas we now seem to live in the midst of nothing but anonymous and impersonal slavery. - We must not purchase the alleviation of work at too high price.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
I smelt him, smelt Johnny; for a second I thought - what? That he was there, was with me, that he wasn't...But I realised it was his perfume, the one I'd had made specially for him by an artisan perfumer in New York, his own custom-made one-off blend. It had been hideously expensive but I hadn't cared as long as it had pleased him. It was all intense essential oils, layer upon layer of labdanum, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver, ambrette, frankincense, myrrh, amber, Bulgarian rose absolute, Oud wood - the list was endless and beautiful, like a scented prayer. The woman had said some of the ingredients would keep their fragrance for a hundred years, would never die. Like me, he'd said, like us. I'd put some drops of the heavy dark oil on a couple of cotton wool pads and put them in the box when we got it, now the fragrance - strange, narcotic, archaic - filled the room like his ghost, embracing me in memories.
Joolz Denby (Wild Thing)
I went on steadily trying to 'find out how to'; but I wrote two or three novels without feeling that I had made much progress. It was not until I wrote "Ethan Frome" that I suddenly felt the artisan's full control of his implements. When "Ethan Frome" first appeared I was severely criticized by the reviewers for what was considered the clumsy structure of the tale. I had pondered long on this structure, had felt its peculiar difficulties, and possible awkwardness, but could think of no alternative which would serve as well in the given case: and though I am far from thinking "Ethan Frome" my best novel, and am bored and even exasperated when I am told that it is, I am still sure that its structure is not its weak point.
Edith Wharton (A Backward Glance)
Talk about corporate greed and everything is really crucially beside the point, in my view, and really should be recognized as a very big regression from what working people, and a lot of others, understood very well a century ago. Talk about corporate greed is nonsense. Corporations are greedy by their nature. They’re nothing else – they are instruments for interfering with markets to maximize profit, and wealth and market control. You can’t make them more or less greedy; I mean maybe you can sort of force them, but it’s like taking a totalitarian state and saying “Be less brutal!” Well yeah, maybe you can get a totalitarian state to be less brutal, but that’s not the point – the point is not to get a tyranny to be less brutal, but to get rid of it. Now 150 years ago, that was understood. If you read the labour press – there was a very lively labour press, right around here [Massachusetts] ; Lowell and Lawrence and places like that, around the mid nineteenth century, run by artisans and what they called factory girls; young women from the farms who were working there – they weren’t asking the autocracy to be less brutal, they were saying get rid of it. And in fact that makes perfect sense; these are human institutions, there’s nothing graven in stone about them. They [corporations] were created early in this century with their present powers, they come from the same intellectual roots as the other modern forms of totalitarianism – namely Stalinism and Fascism – and they have no more legitimacy than they do. I mean yeah, let’s try and make the autocracy less brutal if that’s the short term possibility – but we should have the sophistication of, say, factory girls in Lowell 150 years ago and recognize that this is just degrading and intolerable and that, as they put it “those who work in the mills should own them ” And on to everything else, and that’s democracy – if you don’t have that, you don’t have democracy.
Noam Chomsky (Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World)
This, to be sure, is not the entire truth. For there were individuals in Germany who from the very beginning of the regime and without ever wavering were opposed to Hitler; no one knows how many there were of them—perhaps a hundred thousand, perhaps many more, perhaps many fewer—for their voices were never heard. They could be found everywhere, in all strata of society, among the simple people as well as among the educated, in all parties, perhaps even in the ranks of the N.S.D.A.P. Very few of them were known publicly, as were the aforementioned Reck-Malleczewen or the philosopher Karl Jaspers. Some of them were truly and deeply pious, like an artisan of whom I know, who preferred having his independent existence destroyed and becoming a simple worker in a factory to taking upon himself the “little formality” of entering the Nazi Party. A few still took an oath seriously and preferred, for example, to renounce an academic career rather than swear by Hitler’s name. A more numerous group were the workers, especially in Berlin, and Socialist intellectuals who tried to aid the Jews they knew. There were finally, the two peasant boys whose story is related in Günther Weisenborn’s Der lautlose Aufstand (1953), who were drafted into the S.S. at the end of the war and refused to sign; they were sentenced to death, and on the day of their execution they wrote in their last letter to their families: “We two would rather die than burden our conscience with such terrible things. We know what the S.S. must carry out.” The position of these people, who, practically speaking, did nothing, was altogether different from that of the conspirators. Their ability to tell right from wrong had remained intact, and they never suffered a “crisis of conscience.” There may also have been such persons among the members of the resistance, but they were hardly more numerous in the ranks of the conspirators than among the people at large. They were neither heroes nor saints, and they remained completely silent. Only on one occasion, in a single desperate gesture, did this wholly isolated and mute element manifest itself publicly: this was when the Scholls, two students at Munich University, brother and sister, under the influence of their teacher Kurt Huber distributed the famous leaflets in which Hitler was finally called what he was—a “mass murderer.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
Mythic Background Describing his approach to science, Einstein said something that sounds distinctly prescientific, and hearkens back to those ancient Greeks he admired: What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world. Einstein's suggestion that God-or a world-making Artisan-might not have choices would have scandalized Newton or Maxwell. It fits very well, however, with the Pythagorean search for universal harmony, or with Plato's concept of a changeless Ideal. If the Artisan had no choice: Why not? What might constrain a world-making Artisan? One possibility arises if the Artisan is at heart an artist. Then the constraint is desire for beauty. I'd like to (and do) infer that Einstein thought along the line of our Question-Does the world embody beautiful ideas?-and put his faith in the answer "yes!" Beauty is a vague concept. But so, to begin with, were concepts like "force" and "energy." Through dialogue with Nature, scientists learned to refine the meaning of "force" and "energy," to bring their use into line with important aspects of reality. So too, by studying the Artisan's handiwork, we evolve refined concepts of "symmetry," and ultimately of "beauty"-concepts that reflect important aspects of reality, while remaining true to the spirit of their use in common language.
Frank Wilczek (A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design)
We got out of our car in Agra to be faced with 150 people and instantly knew that we were their target. We were white (we still are) and wealthy (in comparison). And these people are masters at the art of distraction. You’ll spot the one approaching from the left, but not the imminent threat from the right. And if you say no they have ways of making you say yes. We were greeted with, “Give me money” by street urchins, “Give me 20 rupees,” by a man in a ‘locker room’ looking after our camera equipment, and graceful, exquisite and amused smiles by some of the most magnificently beautiful women in the world. Ladies with coconut oil in their hair, eyes the colour of artisan’s gold, and spirituality in their hearts. And everywhere we went we were greeted with the Añjali Mudrā gesture and the word Namaste, indicating 'I bow to the divine in you.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
In his delirium he ransacked the linens of his pallet for arms but there were none. The judge smiled. The fool was no longer there but another man and this other man he could never see in his entirety but he seemed an artisan and a worker in metal. The judge enshadowed him where he crouched at his trade but he was a coldforger who worked with hammer and die, perhaps under some indictment and an exile from men’s fires, hammering out like his own conjectural destiny all through the night of his becoming some coinage for a dawn that would not be. It is this false moneyer with his gravers and burins who seeks favor with the judge and he is at contriving from cold slag brute in the crucible a face that will pass, an image that will render this residual specie current in the markets where men barter. Of this is the judge judge and the night does not end.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
The language of worldview tends to imply, to paraphrase the Catholic writer Richard Rohr, that we can think ourselves into new ways of behaving. But that is not the way culture works. Culture helps us behave ourselves into new ways of thinking. The risk in thinking 'worldviewishly' is that we will start to think that the best way to change culture is to analyze it. We will start worldview academies, host worldview seminars, write worldview books. These may have some real value if they help us understand the horizons that our culture shapes, but they cannot substitute for the creation of real cultural goods. And they will subtly tend to produce philosophers rather than plumbers, abstract thinkers instead of artists and artisans. They can create a cultural niche in which 'worldview thinkers' are privileged while other kinds of culture makers are shunted aside. But culture is not changed simply by thinking.
Andy Crouch
It was turning out to be an anxious Christmas season. Too many were the early mornings spent sitting at the table, insomniac in the gray dawn, thinking to myself, Eggs would be good. Not for eating but for the viscous wrath of my ovobarrage. It seemed only a matter of time before I was lobbing my edible artillery out the window at the army of malefactors who daily made my life such a buzzing carnival of annoyance. I could almost feel the satisfying, sloshy heft of my weapons as I imagined them leaving my hands and raining down upon my targets: the pair of schnauzers two doors down, with their loathsome, skittish dispositions, barking and yelping all day long; their owner, with her white hair styled like Marlene Dietrich's in Blond Venus, who allows them to pee freely on the garbage that some poor sanitation worker then has to pick up; the leather-clad schmuck immediately next door, a cigar-smoking casual life-ruiner with his mufflerless motorcycle. All would taste my All Natural, Vegetarian Feed, Grade A Extra Large brand of justice!
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
A disdain for the practical swept the ancient world. Plato urged astronomers to think about the heavens, but not to waste their time observing them. Aristotle believed that: “The lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master.… The slave shares in his master’s life; the artisan is less closely connected with him, and only attains excellence in proportion as he becomes a slave. The meaner sort of mechanic has a special and separate slavery.” Plutarch wrote: “It does not of necessity follow that, if the work delight you with its grace, the one who wrought it is worthy of esteem.” Xenophon’s opinion was: “What are called the mechanical arts carry a social stigma and are rightly dishonoured in our cities.” As a result of such attitudes, the brilliant and promising Ionian experimental method was largely abandoned for two thousand years. Without experiment, there is no way to choose among contending hypotheses, no way for science to advance. The anti-empirical taint of the Pythagoreans survives to this day. But why? Where did this distaste for experiment come from? An explanation for the decline of ancient science has been put forward by the historian of science, Benjamin Farrington: The mercantile tradition, which led to Ionian science, also led to a slave economy. The owning of slaves was the road to wealth and power. Polycrates’ fortifications were built by slaves. Athens in the time of Pericles, Plato and Aristotle had a vast slave population. All the brave Athenian talk about democracy applied only to a privileged few. What slaves characteristically perform is manual labor. But scientific experimentation is manual labor, from which the slaveholders are preferentially distanced; while it is only the slaveholders—politely called “gentle-men” in some societies—who have the leisure to do science. Accordingly, almost no one did science. The Ionians were perfectly able to make machines of some elegance. But the availability of slaves undermined the economic motive for the development of technology. Thus the mercantile tradition contributed to the great Ionian awakening around 600 B.C., and, through slavery, may have been the cause of its decline some two centuries later. There are great ironies here.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
The process of industrialization is necessarily painful. It must involve the erosion of traditional patterns of life. But it was carried through with exceptional violence in Britain. It was unrelieved by any sense of national participation in communal effort, such as is found in countries undergoing a national revolution. Its ideology was that of the masters alone. Its messianic prophet was Dr Andrew Ure, who saw the factory system as ‘the great minister of civilization to the terraqueous globe’, diffusing ‘the life-blood of science and religion to myriads… still lying “in the region and shadow of death”.’ But those who served it did not feel this to be so, any more than those ‘myriads’ who were served. The experience of immiseration came upon them in a hundred different forms; for the field labourer, the loss of his common rights and the vestiges of village democracy; for the artisan, the loss of his craftsman’s status; for the weaver, the loss of livelihood and of independence; for the child, the loss of work and play in the home; for many groups of workers whose real earnings improved, the loss of security, leisure and the deterioration of the urban environment.
E.P. Thompson (The Making of the English Working Class)