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Craftsmen Trilogy

In the Fall of 2022 there was a call for a submission of one or more Trilogies to an exhibition. The term Trilogy was used to describe a collection of three images that relate to each other. This relationship was not given as strictly one type, but left open to the artist.

This trilogy focusses on three different craftsmen working at their craft/art.

Starting in the upper left and moving anticlockwise is a metal art craftsman, a woodworking craftsman, and a French Polish craftsman.

In the book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell popularised the notion that to become an expert in a field requires putting in 10,000 hours of practice.

The 10,000 hour rule doesn’t just apply to performers and professional athletes. It also applies to other professionals and artists. Here are some key points that are typical of experts:

  • Significant dedication and practice over many years (think 10,000 hours).

  • Consistently pushing oneself beyond your comfort zone.

  • Getting feedback on your work to identify weaknesses and areas that can be improved (it is not enough to just execute the same task over and over again, one must be open to learning how to get better).

After watching the craftsmen in this trilogy at their work, I considered them all to be ‘experts’.

The art objects created by the French Polisher may be seen directly in the image—the smooth and lustrous surface of an oak table.

Products of the other two craftsmen are shown here.

Metal Craftsman 
“Country Scene—Trees and a Path” by Ralph

Wood Craftsman 
“Antique Book Shelf” by Dave

Ralph and Dave are friends that I’ve met over the past ten years or so and I connect with them on a somewhat ad hoc basis, usually over a coffee.

I met the French Polisher back in 1967, but I don’t remember his name. In the photo he is working on a large, classic oak table owned by my Mom and Dad. In 1967 I sold or donated everything in our house except for a few small pieces of furniture. The oak table was sold to family friends and they had it refinished by this craftsman.

This is one way that a trilogy can be made. It is not the same as a triptych. Will I continue to create trilogies as a way to show my photography? Probably not.





Interesting that they are joined by individual artistic skills or abilities and the fact that they do top level work in their own area but not working on the same things together. Thanks Jack.


Elizabeth Blair
Elizabeth Blair

Wonderful pictures. I love the contrast In the polisher picture. He looks very kind. -Liz

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