Thursday, 31 January 2008

Just a thought.

We humans have always made things. It's a part of what makes us human and is the very thing that is the engine of our evolution. Homo Faber, man the maker, that proto modern man, is still very much a part of us.

When we encounter the artefacts which were created by our earliest ancestors it quickly becomes evident that mere practical utility was rarely their only consideration. It would appear that, almost from the very beginning, man has derived some satisfaction from beautiful workmanship.

We could suggest the old adage that "form follows function" applies here and that our modern, "informed" tastes and aesthetic are being projected onto objects that are ultimately mute in terms of true, aesthetic, expression. But I wonder, does beauty for beauties sake not add something distinct, and valuable, to the functionality of a given tool.

6 comments:

Megatron said...

Hi there dear Tom. I've subscribed a well known forum because of finding your posts. My wife is japanese, but unfortunately because of family reasons we must live in Italy (i am italian) for the moment. If for me, we will live in Japan since tomorrow.
Anyway, my dream is to become a goldsmith that uses japanese techniques. I am studing a lot, but with no guide. I've learned by myself that sometimes to start doing things by yourself with no guide is very bad, so, for the moment, i do nothing else than study. I hope to keep on contact with you, i will go on following this blog from today. NAMASTE ;)

Wunderlich said...

This distinct value is may be called culture and is part of the "Homo ludens" - man the player. In an athetic way further options could be tried. Furthermore the imagination of the maker as well as the fantasy of the user is stimulated. A kind of communication takes place ...
Pure funtionalism may be called muteness.

Mike R. said...

Hi Ford,
I followed your link and came on board. I'll check back often, because I admire your work. I'll miss you on "the Path", but I be in touch!
Mike Ruslander

Clive said...

Hiya Fordo... Did you ever see that Neolithic stone axe I found? If my house was burning down its the only thing I would dive into rescue. Happy blogging

ford said...

Thanks gents,

good to have you visit and thanks for the support.

Hi Megatron ( my youngest son is a big fan of yours ;-) ) We'll be starting a forum dedicated to this sort of work within a week. I hope all you need will slowly become available on-line in this way.

ford said...

Hey Clive, yes I have...sublime and utterly authentic "touch stone". Lucky bugger ;-)