Seed Swaps

Taking the time you need to do something well...

28 Jul 2011
Cloudy 21°C / 70°F

I was leafing through an old copy of ‘American craft’ magazine and read an interview with Richard Sennet an American sociologist, social analyst, author and university lecturer. The by-line says “The eminent sociologist asserts that the slow tempo of craftwork, of taking the time you need to do something well, is profoundly stablizing to individuals.” Gardening in the context of this interview seems to fall into the definition of craftwork.

Some more quotes, for craftwork read gardening:
“There is a terrible blindness in modern society to people who work with their hands, and this leads to class differentiation and even contempt for manual work… There is great emotional reward in such physical production. It gives you a sense of place in the world and that it matters that you’re here.”

“Our modern economy privileges pure profit, momentary transactions and rapid fluidity. Part of craft’s anchoring role is that it helps to bjectify experience and also to slow down labor. It is not about quick transactions or easy victories. That slow tempo of craftwork, of taking the time you need to do something well, is profoundly stablizing to inviduals… In the process of working very fast, we don’t have the time for reflection and being self-critical… Self-critical faculties decrease with speed, and the brain does a better job of processing when it goes slowly than rapidly.”

“Pedagogically, we teach people that the moment they learn to do something, they can move on to something else rather than continue to dwell on that lesson. When musicians practice something over and over again, they get deeper into the music, expanding it from within, exploring problems, and so forth… We go by the notion that once you’ve solved something, the actual experience of doing it is secondary. And that whittles down attention.”




I wish the student athletes that I work with understood the importance of craft. They just want to go fast and do the new thing, forgetting the careful, hard work that goes into the creation of skill. Thank you for an inspiring set of quotes.

Posted on 31 Jul 11 (almost 8 years ago)

Great quotes, thanks for sharing them!

Posted on 31 Jul 11 (almost 8 years ago)


Folia Helper

United States

Love the dark Rudbeckia, such a rich tone. The Cape Gooseberry is neat-looking!

Posted on 02 Aug 11 (almost 8 years ago)

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Revelstoke BC


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