Learning from Master Craftsmen

Learning from Master Craftsmen

Learning from master craftsmen in any discipline is an invaluable experience. Sometimes, motivation comes from unexpected places. That happened to me today.

I thoroughly enjoy watching videos about how things are made and how things work. From my favorite aviation and engineering channels to videos about the production of art supplies, there’s always something to learn.

One of the first things I did when I “got to work” today was check the usual weather forecasts, look at the latest earthquakes, and take a peek at the aviation channels. That’s standard operating procedure.

Somehow, I ended up watching a video showing how Faber-Castell makes pencils. I’d seen it before, but I watched it again anyway. The process that goes into the making of Faber-Castell Polychromos and graphite pencils is always moving to me.

I also looked through other videos produced by this company and came away from the experience knowing I had to write this post.


Because in this world of emerging AI, quick fixes, and doing things the easy way, I need reminders that some people and companies still have a passion for master craftsmanship, no matter what is involved.

That’s important to me because I all too often find myself rushing through projects just to get them done. Sometimes, I just want to say I’ve finished something, even if it isn’t up to personal standards.

There are times when that’s necessary. I am willing to admit that. Due dates and time constraints sometimes interfere.

But when that attitude becomes standard operating procedure, then it has become a problem. At least for me.

Learning from Master Craftsmen

The art I most desire to make is neither easy to do nor fast. But it is my heart’s desire and it has been for years.

However, I confess that I’ve let myself down a lot over the years. Sometimes it was due to the constraints of time, and sometimes it was shear laziness on my part.

Today, I received a much needed reminder to look at my artwork the way a master craftsman looks at his or her craft, whatever that may be.

No matter how much time or effort it requires.

Maybe you need that reminder, too.

In case you’d like to see the video that prompted this post for yourself, here it is. I know it isn’t about an art tool that you’re likely to use.

But it is about an art that still lives and breathes in some parts of the world. And in some companies.

The passion to create precision products, and the desire to take the time to do it right.


  1. Kim Vlahovich

    Thanks for sharing the video Carrie. I find videos like this very interesting and relaxing at the same time. I also find them to be very inspiring to the extent that they make you want to get up and “create” something…anything.
    I especially like the videos that show how tools that are made for “creating” something, are created…if that makes sense?

    1. That makes perfect sense to me, Kim. I think that’s part of the reason I enjoy “how things are made” videos.

      When it comes to pencils and other art supplies, knowing how the pencils (and other supplies) are made also gives me a sense of confidence in the product. It’s too bad that more companies don’t do this.

  2. Gail Jones

    Interesting that you post here about quality craftsmanship. Hubby was in aerospace, when he started his job, it was all about quality parts. He liked that because he is at heart a perfectionist craftsman. As the company got bigger the emphasis changed to fast quantity rather than quality. So sad… a real craftsman or craftswoman is someone very special. Hubby and I recently watched a video for a boot company that makes their product individually, mostly by hand. They have a quality cowboy boot. It costs more but they don’t wear out and get thrown away like mass produced shoes. You send them in, they get re-soled, and they are good again. I too like to create, not to mass produce something with no thought, but to put part of my heart into whatever I paint or draw.

    1. Gail,

      Your husband’s experience in aerospace is, unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception. That’s what makes companies like the boot company you mentioned so special.

      Good for you in your decision to spend time with each piece, rather than just putting out as many as you can.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this post and to share your thoughts. We all need to encourage one another to keep up the good work.

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