Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Deep Thoughts on Making

I came across this interview today with Eric Gill the fellow who designed the Gill Sans and Perpetua typefaces. Pretty interesting stuff the whole thing is worth reading. This is a man who has a long career and therefore many insights, but what I found most interesting was this statement:

The chief and most monstrous characteristic of our time is that the methods
of manufacture which we employ and of which we are proud are such to make it
impossible for the ordinary workman to be an artist, that is to say a man
responsible not merely for doing what he is told but responsible also for
the intellectual quality of what his deeds effect.

The ordinary workman has been reduced to the level of a mere tool used by someone else. However much skill he may have in his fingers and conscientiousness in his mind, he can no longer be regarded as an artist, because his skill is not that of a man
making things. He is simply a tool used by a designer and the designer is
alone the artist.
-Eric Gill

This ties into the many thoughts I have been mulling over regarding the worth of making things and the power of the experience.
To make something is to be truly aware of it and can include a moral element.
The experience is defined by choices, what will it be made from, who is it for and to what purpose is it made at all... When one is separated from the creative experience one is also in some ways separated from the implications of the actions to society.
Perhaps I am overstating it but it does seem that our choices to have many cheap things available to us costs us dearly in unnoticed ways. We are fostering a disconnect from one another and the consequences of our actions, moreover it leaves us poorer internally we become barren wastelands where our basic creative drive has rusted away.
This is an incomplete thought...

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