Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Manufactory is a great word. People often think I made it up when I use it, because they don't read Smith. It's fallen out of favor. Its two great pieces have been made wholly independent: Manual and Factory. But they are not mutually exclusive; at least, not for people like me. I think the word factory is cold; dead. People animate it no matter how few are in it. A factory without people is a machine -- no more. 

I work in a manufactory. It is not a factory and it is not entirely manual, but a melding. I have hand skills of some sort or another, and I use judgment more than you'll see in a factory, but things get made.

I work in a manufactory that is solely of my own making, but it is not entirely to my liking. I am constrained by my circumstances. I have to produce what I am capable of making with the resources I have at hand for the customers I can find. I have worse tools than I'd like to. A more challenging physical environment than I'd care to be in. There is unnecessary drudgery that is made quite necessary. Yet here we are.

Watch the man in the video. He is highly skilled at what he's doing. He has cultivated an ability and he's using it, which is gratifying. His ability shows externally, but it's internal, like dignity is. It is portable, as long as he is.

It is a little thing, but mine own.  That's all I can claim about many aspects of my life. It's enough.


Anonymous said...

Well, I would certainly like you to improve your physical environment by moving to FL. If Tampa, you and yours are welcome to dinner anytime.

You will need A/C and to caution your kids about gators. Around here, to protect 'em, they say gators only attack when humans have fed them. They're lying. They will attack and eat any animal smaller than them.

Still winters are fine and you're mighty welcome.


Anonymous said...

Somewhat related, this old series of Irish documentaries about traditional handcrafts:

Bilejones said...

People don't know what the word "Manufactures" means either.