“While hand tools and hand work in general have taken an enormous back seat since the Industrial Revolution, there has and probably always will be a strong and dedicated cadre of craftsmen and artisans that will exist both out of necessity and desire, mostly out of necessity. Hopefully more out of necessity, because while desire, fervor and zeal can be good things, nothing produces results like necessity, the mother of invention. While we’ve not always been tool makers, we are deeply steeped in this spirit of necessity.

It’s a shame that so many things are lost. A lot of what we lose is because of youth. As we age we gain an appreciation for the mundane, which in turn turns to an appreciation for simpler things. Mundanity is under appreciated. It’s also eschewed by the young. They don’t know they’re doing it, much as we didn’t or don’t, but it’s being done all the same. The funny thing is that a lot of the world lives day to day in the mundane, perfectly happy, because they aren’t wrapped up in distraction. In fact most of the world doesn’t have the luxury of distraction.”

David and Sally Shaw-Smith made HANDS, a unique, multi-award winning series of thirty-seven documentaries on Irish crafts for Irish television (RTÉ, Raidió Teilifís Éireann [Radio && Television of Ireland]). Capturing the final years of traditional rural and urban life in Ireland, during the seventies and eighties. They travelled the length and breadth of the country recording these personal and revealing films. As much about the life of the individuals, as the crafts they practised.

Jameel Abraham 2015
Video available here Benchcrafted