KR+H's Paul Reidt enjoys talking about the importance of craft in our world today. In a recent discussion we had, Paul expressed, "The sense of craft and making is so much broader than a technique. It places you in a culture, in a time, in a history. It places you in a knowledge base. It engages your imagination even while it's keeping your hands busy. And these things have become obscured by industrial production."
Paul had just read a book review in The New York Times on Craeft: An Inquiry Into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts by Alexander Langlands. The reviewer, Michael Bierut, wrote, "According to Landlands, 'craeft' is nearly untranslatable, 'a form of knowledge, not just a knowledge of making but a knowledge of being.' (Of course, Paul ordered the book!)
As Paul spoke of craft, we looked through the 2017 Annual Report of North Bennet Street School. NBSS is the spirited Boston-based school of craftsmanship that we both feel very fortunate to be involved with. In President Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez's opening words in the NBSS Annual Report, he recalls a summary statement that culminated from interviews with many NBSS students. It speaks of the students' sense of craft:
In the 2017 NBSS Annual Report, a page is devoted to KR+H's relationship with the school. Paul and I were delighted to be interviewed for this story - it was a wonderful opportunity to reflect and speak on this important connection. As Paul says, "The School preserves the notion of craft and making, as does our company. We've come to see NBSS not just as a resource but also as a kindred spirit."
Through all the challenges of craft, it is tremendously satisfying to participate in keeping this important element of human existence alive, to be enriched by kindred spirits, and to contemplate the hundreds of details in the making of things. Through mind, hand, and heart we are in "that place where labor is transformed through mastery into art."