I know so many high school and college students who are buying from farmer markets and even seeking out well-made, thick, used sweaters at "vintage" or Good Will stores. They understand instinctively that things built with stewardship minimizes waste over time. As they can no longer take it for granted, they are beginning to actively rediscover respectful production from real American craftsmen.
Given that, it was satisfying for me to spend an afternoon at The Carpenter’s Boatshop. It represents a microcosm of a respectful production process. (And it was founded by a Bowdoin classmate of our oldest family friend.)
A respectful production process uses:
- Classic designs, with careful updates around necessary and improved functionality (boats have to perform):
- Masters and apprenticeships roles (workers are not interchangeable, and masters have decades of experience):
|A Master boatbuilder shows her work.|
- Natural and quality inputs:
|New tools, beautiful wood|
- Minimal use of the middlemen (who disintermediate the producer from the end-buyer):
|Boats in the old workshop are ready for customers|
- An established process and business model to refurbish old products (there is a wisdom that comes to organizations that encourages the repair of their old items):
|Boats "returning" to be fixed.|
And then for me there is the additional benefit of a nautical form and function. The New England classic aesthetic is inextricable from the shore.
Obviously, this level of care is impractical with much of what we use and consume. But when I look at fresh milk available directly from dairy farms, even the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bag, I can’t help but think the amount of products made with respect will increasingly be sought after.
|Every boat from The Carpenter's Boatshop has this Scottish prayer...|
...including one of our family's boats bought there over 20 years ago, filled with ice, for my husband's and my wedding.
|The Reverend Bobby Ives. Photo Courtesy of The Lincoln County News, Damariscotta, Maine (used with permission)|