Thursday, August 16, 2012

Master Craftsman/Craftswoman

Medieval guilds had a system to provide inexpensive labor for craftsman and trade skills for apprentices. Boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 15 often were apprenticed to a craftsman or craftswoman to learn a trade. In exchange for room and board an apprentice would work for a craftsman for seven years and learn the skills of the trade. When an apprentice completed their training they progressed to journeyman. A journeyman was paid a daily wage and could hire other people. A journeyman worked to improve his or her skills until he or she created a masterpiece. A masterpiece had to be accepted by the masters in the guild as a piece that exhibited the skill of a master craftsman. Once approved a journeyman became a master craftsman.
This system has evolved to our current education system. To receive a masters degree most programs require the student to write an original thesis which then has to be approved by a panel.

I love to crochet. Several years ago a friend taught me how to crochet. I made lots of basic projects including many hats for children in Swaziland. As my skill increased I took on increasingly more difficult projects. I made an afghan that has cables and many baby items. I made hand puppets for my sister without using a pattern. My most recent accomplishment is a lacy purple cardigan. My knitting and crochet peers have lauded my achievement. I think I did a good job, but I can see too many problems with it. I was careless with my yarn purchase because I didn't pay enough attention to the dye lot, therefore it has a two tone quality. I also made several errors that are obvious enough to me, that makes this project not quite to the level of a master craftswoman. However, I feel like I'm fairly close to reaching a master level. I really enjoy striving to improve my skill. Someday I will reach the skill level of a master crocheter.