May 23, 2007

Craftmanship


Yesterday morning, there was an article on “Bleeding Orange’s” blog and some comments by “Olivier” about disappearing craftsmanship (a real shoe-maker). At the very moment when I was reading this, I heard a bell ringing in the street. I looked through the window and saw an old gentleman, offering to sharpen knives and scissors. You hardly see this any more. I don’t think he was making big business. I’m afraid, a typical example of a vanishing trade.

Walking around yesterday afternoon, I took a few photos of some shops, still offering services like shoe-making, carpentry, plumbing, ironwork, glasswork…- the old way. For how long still?

26 comments:

Gená Franco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gená Franco said...

Loved blog! I will come soon.

Ex-Shammickite said...

We have a knife and scissors sharpener come around the neighbourhoos most weekend. He rings a bel and cruises slowly past the houses. BUt he doesn;t have a handcart like your man... he drives a new luxury van! How times change.

isabella said...

The true craftsmen are a vanishing breed - most are motivated by profits rather than taking pride in their workmanship...

black feline said...

the younger generations are not prepared to take the hard work...i think the government should set up a committee or even create a hub..to preserve such trades...

Steve said...

HI Peter,
Thank you for the comment on my blog and for joining my mailing list for my art too. I appreciate it very much!
I really like the photo collages (graffiti and doors) you make and the storefronts here are very neat.
Thanks and good week to you!
Steve

Shionge said...

Same in most developed countries Peter..there's lots of dying trade here too :(

Olivier said...

c'est un des avantages de Paris, il reste encore de vieux metiers (et d'anciennes boutiques). A Evry malheureusement tout cela n'existe pas.

hpy said...

C'est b'en vrai, ça!

Cuckoo said...

I agree with you. When I was in Geneva, it was very difficult to find such people for anything such as shoe-maker.

One reason which may be against them could be their charges.. since everything is now machine made, these ppl charge exorbitantly to survive & then no one comes to them. It is like vicious circle.

Matritensis said...

Many years ago in madrid there were sharpeners of knives they were going with a kind of flute called "chiflo" today the sharpeners have disappeared, today, you can see sharpeners only in small towns

Cergie said...

c'est pour cela aussi que j'aime les villes de Province, comme Epinal ou Dieppe : il y a plein de boutiques qu'on ne retouve plus ailleurs comme les chapeliers
Rien à voir avec les petits métiers je sais bien, mais malgré tout. Mon mari me faisait remarquer hie où il avait été acheter du matériel pour son imprimante chez office dépot qu'on ne trouve plus de vendeurs compétents : ils lisent leur notice.
Autrefois on reprenait souvent le métier des parents ou la boutique, on vivait dedans comme on ditMais estce qu'on peut critiquer au fond ? Les gens ont envie de vivre sans se compliquer maintenat.

PS : à Paris les petits métiers gagnent bien leur vie, surtout les plombiers et Einstein a rendu hommage aux plombiers disant qu'il aurait aimé en être un...

Peter said...

Cergie: Tu as bien raison pour les plombiers et les "dépanneurs" en général. Il vaut mieux connaître et avoir son plombier personnel. Pourquoi les pannes arrivent toujours pendant les week-ends?

April said...

Oh, I hope, forever, because this makes Paris so wonderful and unique. Thanks for showing us all these different shop-windows.

Glenn Standish said...

Looks like hard work!

richard said...

I'm delighted to see this - thanks for going to the effort of finding these. In Zurich we still have quite a few artisan workshops, but more of an artistic nature than utilitarian (Bookbinders for example). I remember the knife grinders from when I was a kid in Scotland. I could do with one now! I never find that keeping your knoives sharp is easy even with all the gizmos available

Leena said...

I found out, that my name is in your link list! I appreciate it, thank you!
I must say, that your blog makes a good mood in many ways. It`s diverse and beautifully made.

I remember from my childhood ( very long time ago ! ), that a man went from house to house offering to sharpen knives. But shoe- preparing is still possible to find here - or was a few years ago, I have find out, is it still so :))

Abraham Lincoln said...

Hello Peter. It is 6:30 a.m. in the morning here in Brookville, Ohio.

I looked at your photographs today and then read your excellent English text that goes with them and enjoyed all of it because I am part of that generation disappearing.

At least I feel old sometimes and when I turn 73 in October and my wife, Patty, turns 71, we will be old together.

Anyway...at least your city still has those craftspeople in shops in business. Brookville, where I live, has no craftsmen who sharpen scissors, or knives, or lawn mower blades. The shoe shop closed ages ago. In fact, most of the stores that were here when we arrived 45 years ago are gone, closed down, or out of business.

The last shoe repair shop in Dayton, Ohio went out of business decades ago.

My dad and I used to visit an old man and his wife in Arcanum, Ohio. He was Abe Bloom and a shoe maker and cobbler. When you walked into his shop all you could smell was "rubber cement" in a big jar with a lid that had a brush attached. He used that to smear on pieces of leather he attached to shoes before nailing them on.

His daughter was an "opera" star.

I like your post today, Peter.

My second episode shows the robin with her head down the baby robin's throat. It was posted this morning.

Drama Div@ said...

they can surely survive as long as 1. there is demand for it.
2. produce standard good quality product
3. proper marketing
4. they can achieve the economies of scale so that the business isn't running at a loss

Ash said...

Quaint little shops.....

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Great post, Peter! This first photo remember me when I was just a kid at my grandmother's neighborhood. Really, you hardly see this in big cities, maybe in little country' cities, I think...

Love the shop's photos! Nice facades!

hpy said...

On a un vieux cordonnier à Fécamp. A l'ancienne! Au moins il me semble. Et des vrais plombiers (j'attends toujours votre devis, si vous me lisez!)

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!

Craftsmanship is really a vanishing trade. From my childhood I remember it.

Peter,
Video on my site is from amazing, great, fantastic, beautiful woman -
Annelisa

MONA said...

Dear Peter.{ I address you that way, because no one seems to do that either :D) Thank you so much for your visits & kind comments on my blog. I am, because you all are there!

I hope you & all the others shall be able to benifit from my being!

Bleeding Orange said...

Effectivement nos posts respectifs se complètent bien. Au fait, merci beaucoup pour les gentils commentaires sur mon blog !

lyliane said...

Dans mon village de 310 habitants, il y a encore 5 fermes en exploitation!.Quel plaisir d'aller y chercher de bons oeufs, volailles que l'on voit courir dans les champs et surtout le lait que l'on peût encore boire tiède, comme dans le temps, quand on faisait moins attention aux microbes...