There Are Still Some Artisans Left

In a world consumed by mass production, it is always reassuring to encounter an artisan at work.
In a world consumed by mass production, it is always reassuring to encounter an artisan at work.

I never thought that the lonely, cutting sound of a small chisel would cause such a great impression on me.  After all, this is something we don’t hear or see every day.  A cold chisel being driven by gentle, patient hands into a granite wall with the methodical rhythm of someone who’s intent has more to do with achieving perfection than with worrying about time.  As I watched this artist work the stone I couldn’t help but think that this is the same level of patience and precision that goes into the making of top-end Leica cameras (which just happens to be what I used to take this photo).  For some people this is boring stuff, and no doubt watching an artisan’s slow, methodical work interspersed with numerous periods of silent observation is not everyone’s cup of tea.  For others, it is like watching a chess match by Grand Masters, where the long, tense silence is suddenly disrupted by a stroke of genius involving the subtle move of a chess piece to an adjacent square on the board.  Beauty lives in the very simplicity of the act.