Originally Posted by Zapasman
I am sure you know my intention with my respectful question was no other than to reach a better understanding of the meaning Shoemaking Tradition for you cordwainers (at least the ones who cares for). I understood part of the meaning before ( tradition must be passed down from generation to generation....willing to bend the knee, to sit at someone else's feet, to listen, learn and openly acknowledge your own ignorance...) but I thought that there could be a regulatory body (approved by appointed experts
in the Trade ) which could compile all best practices from different makers in the past such as Thornton, Garsault, etc. A kind of text glossary of hand made shoes that could serve you as a Guide. It seems you must do your own journey working with dedicated compagnions to really understand the meaning and to have the willingnes to go beyond by yourself.
No worries. But it's worth remembering that such regulatory bodies did
exist once upon a time. They were called guilds and a lot of what they endorsed became the foundational principles for the Traditions. More broadly, set the stage for defining the Traditions. Of course, once mass manufacturing began to get a foothold in the Trade, the influence of the guilds was lost. If only because people...esp. newbies...don't want to be told what is right or wrong, much less why.
In that sense corporations really are like individuals--always self-promoting and never acknowledging any authority...or higher power or greater insight or more important interest...than their own.
Beyond all that, everyone wants to be an Artist (with a capital "A")...and immediately, no effort required. Everyone wants to claim "mastery" and be seen as a master. No one wants to be a simple Craftsman, or a Tradesman. No one wants to be seen as a student, nevermind a novice. In such an environment, no one can lower themselves to admit or acknowledge an "expert" much less a body of experts that doesn't include themselves.
The books and the history and the work and the Traditions...the words of the "old, dead, guys" IOW....are the only "appointed experts" we will ever have going forward, I'm afraid.
My question was originated due to the fact that I don´t see many shoemakers who use expressions such us "shoemaking traditions" or "best practices" at all (apart from the HCM). Maybe they are really aware of their meaning and work hard to reach those taughts that you share here with enthusiasm, but it is a pity most shoemakers do not put more emphasis on this issue. If its the karma, welcome man!!
Well, between you and me...one of the reasons you don't see many shoemakers who use such expressions or take the time to explain in detail is that they are young and haven't had the time in harness to think about these things in depth or at their leisure, much less the perspective to really and truly look back over a long career and appreciate and respect the complexity and value of what they have done or are trying to do. As well as the generosity and value (skills, insights, work) of those who passed it on to them.
And perhaps more to the point, they don't have the desire or the communication skills that I have. I have always been a writer. Always been a talker and a "discusser."
Always been a teacher. Always been willing to share.And
I have always believed that if a person cannot articulate what they believe or why they do something, they haven't done it enough and / or haven't thought it through, and as a result, are not...cannot be...certain of their conclusions or beliefs. Language is just an echo of what's inside. Hence my focus on speaking and writing well, or at least clearly...mostly. I've thought about these issues for close onto 50 years and I've explored the pros and cons from every angle, simply because shoemaking is my passion, is who I am.
A lot of people, when faced with such uncertainty in themselves, think that "fake it til you make it" is the best course. They pretend
to know rather than simply admit that they don't.
My final reflection tells me that to really understand those meanings you must have first walked a long journey at the bench. That is why of my ignorance here.
Thanks for your explanation.
Again no worries.edited for punctuation and clarityEdited by DWFII - 10/13/16 at 8:18am