Craft in the 21st century

birch plate2

Working wood in the 21st century is all about the process. In an age where automation dominates the crafts and the excess and availability of goods is at its peak, woodworking and other hand crafts are largely reduced to hobby.

This isn’t all bad, however, since the masters of the crafts are long since forgotten we are free to pursue the passion with our own unique styles. This freedom comes with responsibility moving forward. A responsibility to grow the craft in directions that reflect our values while maintaining a healthy respect for our roots.


With the craft brought low, even the most unskilled and unlikely woodworker can make meaningful and lasting contributions. As tech increases, hand crafts fall to the wayside. This serves to make them more meaningful and precious than in ages past.

America is starving for culture. This can be seen in the popular painted and distressed look or pre-ripped jeans which strive to capture a timelessness and a certain “Wabi-sabi” (Japanese, beautiful flaw). This is a good time to be a craftsman in America. I see an open horizon and I am excited for the future. From fine to folk, woodworking is getting a second wind and I anticipate a continued resurgence of the arts and crafts movement.


About Anthony Wilder

I am an artisan woodworker from Grand Rapids, MI. Woodworking is my passion and I do all my work with hand tools. We can learn a lot from past methods and mindsets and I am working towards teaching the lost art of working wood.
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One Response to Craft in the 21st century

  1. ReyShelley says:

    Great post! This makes me feel a bit better! 🙂

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