Over the last 10 years I have been (trying to) writing a book on something I call The Artisan Philosophy.  It is a collection of oldtreejpg
[concepts, standards, best practices] that I have developed for myself and my business over the past 40 years.  It attempts to wrap into one package what I think about being a good person, craftsman, businessman and spiritual influence on the next generation of the same.  You can see now why I cannot finish this book.   

What is an Artisan? I have been asked this many times and my answer always depends on how much time the person has to receive the answer.  If they want the short answer, I tell them that an artisan is simply someone who is skilled in their trade or craft. If they have the time and are interested in philosophy,  I will give them an answer that is in more detail. 

An artisan is not only someone who is skilled in his or her craft or trade but a person who has developed a philosophy around his or her craft and life as a whole.  An artisan is always seeking to be the best at their chosen profession. They invest in education and practical training and keep up with the latest innovations in their industry. Most often they ARE the people developing the innovation and are leaders in their chosen field.  You could be the best doctor or lawyer or even the best landscaper.  If you seek to be and have become the best in your field or expertise, then you are an artisan.

But here is where it gets juicy, the philosophy goes much deeper.  An artisan approaches life as if it is precious and treats others with respect.
The golden rule is in full effect here.  An artisan also respects the Earth and all of its given resources.  We use natural sustainable products in the building trades and artisans who work outside of the building trades seek to use products that respect this philosophy.  An artisan is also a spiritual person.  I did not say an artisan is a religious person.  Stay tuned for the book for all of the low down on this one!

There is also the concept of mentoring and passing down learned knowledge and experience.  I call this the Last Artisan concept and is a very important virtue of the philosophy.   Each artisan assumes the role of the Last Artisan and vows to teach the next generation to make sure the philosophy continues.  The philosophy is quite involved and I am currently writing about it and my experiences as an artisan.  I am still trying to capture the essence of the philosophy. When I do this, I can retire :)