Life is work and work can often define who we are as individuals and as a people. I’m especially intrigued by craftspeople, those who work with their hands to produce goods. In many cultures around the world, the work these people do often blurs the line between art and utility.
I feel especially fortunate when I stumble upon someone practicing what might seem like a ‘dying art.’ For instance, in Istanbul I came upon a man in his seventies weaving baskets from the bark of local saplings. It seemed incredible that, in an age of mass produced goods, here was a man producing baskets much the same way his grandfather had.
As I watched him, it occurred to me that this craft might die with him. It was hard to imagine how such work could interest younger people raised in the internet era, let alone provide a competitive salary. (Next…)