Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
... skill is not required in a factory setting...Once you have set-up your machine optimally, which takes time, it should go through all swimmingly: that whole batch, from the first to the last. Then you set the lasting up for the next batch.
Quality is more than just skill. Quality is the sum of it's part, not a single part on it's own.
That's absolutely correct and it applies in the the factory setting as well...insofar as skill
is nurtured or encouraged at all. But in the workshop there is an added factor that is not present in the factory--responsibility. The shoemaker has to take responsibility for his work...past, present, and just as importantly, future. In the factory the operator of the machine only has to make sure the machine is running correctly. He only has to get through
the next eight hours. He doesn't have to face the customer. He doesn't have to constantly monitor himself and refine his techniques and think about balance and harmony and negative space and textural contrasts. He's not...not
...thinking about "aesthetic sensibilities," he's not even thinking about how this shoe is going to fit
the customer--that's somebody else's job. And that somebody else is not thinking about the variations in temper in a particular vamp...that's not his
job. And so it goes. Sure there are indifferent and sloppy hand shoemakers out there...but you know what? The chances that they will survive converge on nil. Given the willingness of the customer to defer discernment and that unreasonably onerous burden of thought in favour of appearance and/or marketing hype, the same cannot be said of a factory made shoe. In passing it should be noted that although "quality" is a sum of parts, when the parts are tallied...when the sum is figured...some parts will be seen as negative numbers. Not all sums yield a positive result.