Build a Legacy?

I must to do this… From this point on, I want items such as the silver work I produce to be the main type of hand/craft work for which I am remembered after I am gone. I also include all quality wood-craft or other hand crafted artistic items of value I have made . 

Certainly, I am not the only one feeling a bit of remorse about the decline in deployment of their personal hand/craft skills due to a move to fully automated build processes like 3D printing.

I am not referring to using automation as part of a process. Using power tools or a CNC router/engraver (LASER) is perfectly acceptable and desirable when it is not the TOTAL build process.

My personal involvement with crafts still exists, but one has to keep doing it, to enjoy it. I want to regress a bit to the production efforts I used to love. The fun and enjoyment for me was always in the making process and not the finished product. 

Not included in this build “fun” is my increasing pile of three dimensional printed cheap plastic Junque. Some items are very cool, but are still “just” printed plastic produced almost entirely by a fully automated machine process.

The CAD creative work in 3D printing, I love. However, the “make” is usually limited to nothing more than pushing the start button.

I intend to keep doing 3D printing for practical needs, but I don’t want printed plastic Junque to become the prime “evidence” of my (lack of) conventional metal or wood hand craftwork skill and abilities. 

The Past

My Grandfather, Dan Kautz Sr. is remembered by his oil and watercolor paintings. Something of value, shared and tangible, left as a legacy.

I remember many times a stranger, after hearing my first and surname, would ask me if  I was related to the “artist” Dan Kautz who produced the painting they were proud to own. Often, I would remember the painting they describe, as I had witnessed almost all his work.

My other grandfather, Harry C. Wire, is remembered by his woodworking and furniture restoration skills. The furniture I still have, is his craftwork legacy.

I realize neither the paintings or the furniture will be remembered far past my generation unless I make an effort to tell their story. Both placed their names on these tangible craft products, that says, “I made this.” The items that stay within the family become heirlooms for at least several generations.

My father had no craft hobbies. So, his business and career are his legacy. Nothing tangible remains, created from his hands as a reminder, except his two children. Myself and brother, Jim. I carry his and his dad’s first name, Daniel. Dad’s life’s work is now just a faint memory to his grandchildren. But my son Steven’s middle name is Daniel.

I know, like my dad, an intangible legacy is the outcome for the vast majority of human lives. Not everyone enjoys creating hand crafts. 

Only the super rich can put their names on hospitals. Pharaohs have large pyramids built in the desert. It’s the tangible public mark they make to say they existed. Both are admirable and serve the purpose. But neither monument is something they personally created with hands-on skills.

The Future

The skilled craftsperson or artist produces a tangible bit of fame that is a small reminder of the life that they enjoyed. 

I gave up other hobbies I enjoy because they were mostly self indulgent. Nothing wrong or evil with self-indulgent hobbies. They were fun and enjoyable for the moment but produced nothing of lasting value.

It has become purely my personal desire that my hobbies should create tangible items that will exist beyond my mortal lifespan. An inspiration I received from both of my grandfather’s retirement hobbies. And maybe a pharaoh or two.

Produce a product of my manual art and craft skills, having enduring beauty, quality, and lasting value is my goal. I want to leave some hard evidence of my existence, as my tangible legacy, before I loose the chance or ability.