A manifesto on making : the knowledge built building a chair
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Craft is the unification of the work of the hand and the work of the mind through material to produce an object with meaning. A craftsman is he or she who engages in the process of making with conscious intent and engagement with material and a broader scope of people and nature. Today, advances in mechanization and industry have allowed us to embrace a passivity that leaves us disconnected from the world and other people. We can look to craft, particularly with wood, as an antidote for this loss of connection. Through material specificity, the way handwork can offer the maker meaning about the place of the self in the world, and the way in which it illuminates the greater network of people, objects, and nature in which the maker exists, craft is a vehicle by which to produce knowledge otherwise unavailable through today’s methods of production and consumption. Through a personal account of the process of making a rocking chair out of wood and an examination of past and current scholarship surrounding craft and ontological aspects of identity, perception, and experience, the following examination, in conjunction with the actual process of making, aims to create a place for dialogue in the space between aesthetic philosophy and craft, creating a new paradigm for the role and definition of hand work today. It is an inquiry into the relationship between making and the production of knowledge.