What you really need is a template for living

Kia ora..! Nau mai, haremai…! 

That’s Hello and Welcome in Te Reo Māori the indigenous language of Aotearoa New Zealand, which is where I live.

If you follow me on Twitter (@smith_graeme), or you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know that I’ve been thinking a lot about craft and craftsmanship.

And how to get back in touch with the idea of making things well.

Recently, I wrote about the idea of doing a good job, for its own sake. This is a follow-up because I think what you really need, what we all really need, is a template for living. 

And for that, what you really need is to two things:

  1. Buy my new eBook before the presale price goes up; and
  2. learn how to think properly.

So turn off Netflix (it’s not helping) and instead, buckle up and start thinking.

And by thinking I don’t mean using your head. At least not on its own. That’s what got you into this mess in the first place. 

Enough of that. 

Just stop. 

You need to learn how to think with your hands. And this means making cool shit. 

You see: building, making and creating – are – thinking. But the reverse isn’t true.

The processes involved in making contain thinking and feeling but unite your hands, head and heart. This is real thinking. Not academic head-thinking. 

And there’s more… Your mind continues to engage once the work of building or making is completed. 

This means that if we make things and then work to get a better understanding of how we make them, we can achieve a better understanding of ourselves.

Making, building, creating, therefore, is a path to mastery including self-mastery.

And, you can’t escape it… I know you can feel it drawing you in… to get better… to improve…

Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.

But the main reason you can’t escape it is that the desire to do a job well for its own sake is a basic human urge. This is what skilled craft and craftsmanship are about.

As a craftsman, you are the architect of your work… of your own shit. 

But if you want to elevate your work and yourself, you must know the reasons for the things that you do. 

So I’m gonna ask you: What’s your craft? But we’ll come back to that. 

For now, just think about this: did you know that our word in English for poetry has the same Greek root word for “making”? The poet and the writer then are another kind of craftsman. Another kind of maker. 

When driven by quality work. 

And sincerity. 

The difference then between an ancient Greek poet and a Linux programmer is a few millennia. But that’s about it.

Both had or have standards for good work set down by their community. And both have passed skills down from generation to generation including sets of skills that evolved over time.

These practical skills sustain our lives today as they did in ancient times. Our children and especially schools need to understand this. You need to understand this.

Do you write code? Do you do accounting in some back-office somewhere? Arrange shipments to local retail stores? Take photographs? Are you a healer? An artist? Do you build, make, create…?

Whatever it is… this is your craft. And you are a Craftsman, an artisan, a “shokunin”.

So let’s make craft and craftsmanship great again. But I need you to start with yourself and set an example for others. 

You are designed to design. And you are made to make, built to build. But how do you get started on all of this? I’m gonna tell you: 

  • Start with something small.

If you truly seek mastery though you need to do more than this. You need to understand The Way of the Craftsman. This means you need to understand ways of working that allow you to use your talents. This means:

  • Learning lessons from the past.
  • Using tools.
  • Acquiring new skills.
  • Practising and repeating skills.
  • Thinking about the stuff you work with. 

Are you human? If yes, then there is a craftsman inside of you.

So, again… What’s your craft?

Mine’s leatherwork. And I can teach you. Wanna know more? You can talk to me on Twitter as @smith_graeme or find me here: https://linktr.ee/thisisgraeme

Oh… buy my damn book.

Ngā mihi nui

How To Make Cool Stuff – 50 Minute Craftsmanship Masterclass & eBook

Why You Need to Have a Hobby - Morning Brew with Hunter Drew Episode 50 Graeme Smith

Embrace the Way of the Craftsman

Do you remember what it was like to hang out in your grandfather’s workshop? Do you want to know how to literally MAKE meaning in your life and the lives of others? Do you want to get in touch with the idea of doing a job well for its own sake?

Making, building and creating ARE thinking and you can learn to do it. You can learn a craft and even make the nice things that you want to have. Embrace the Way of the Craftsman and discover how today.

NEW – How To Make Cool Stuff now comes bundled with FREE 50 Minute Masterclass

  • As well as this ebook and some other freebies, you’ll get my 50-minute masterclass – Exploring Craft and Craftsmanship

Read more here


Click the link below to find out more about How to Make Cool Stuff – Learn new skills, do a good job and embrace the Way of the Craftsman

Learn how you can kickstart your leatherwork hobby with the right tools for cheap

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Make your own cool stuff out of leather

If you’re reading this it’s might be because you imagine what it’s like to make your own cool stuff out of leather. Just think of it… wallets, bags, all kind of accessories… There’s so much cool stuff to make. Here’s what you’re thinking right now:

  • What’s something creative I can do that won’t break the bank?
  • Do I really want to get started with leatherwork?
  • What tools do I need to buy?
  • How do I avoid spending too much money before I know whether I’ll like it?

Pay what you want for this short guide and I’ll answer all your questions. Read more here and check out SMITH BROS on Instagram.


Click the link below to find out more about Smith Bros Leatherwork Quickstart Tools Guide

Using Medical Scalpels for Craft and Leatherwork

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Because an insanely sharp knife doesn’t have to break the bank

Everyone has their own idea about what to use for cutting leather and other materials. But we can all agree on one thing – a craftsman needs a good blade. Whether you’re starting out or not there is nothing worse than blunt tools.

  • Are you tired of sharpening blades?
  • Are you sick of snapping the tips off Exacto knives?
  • Have you been wondering what to get to replace that rusty Stanley knife?

Pay what you want for this short guide to using medical scalpels for craft and leatherwork. Read more here


Click the link below to find out more about Using Medical Scalpels for Craft and Leatherwork

Follow Smith Bros on Instagram

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Follow Smith Bros projects on Instagram

Follow Smith Bros projects step by step on Instagram. I make all kinds of stuff from short, fun Sunday afternoon projects to much longer more involved work.

You’ll be able to see the exact tools and techniques that I use to create cool stuff that I love to make and use.



Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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