Community, Conservation, and Craftsmanship

Something Jack A. Sobon once told me and I never forgot is that the goal in designing and building a home for a client is that the home will never be sold. A good home will become part of the family. People will change their jobs and their lives to keep a home that inspires them.

How far we have come from that idea. Even, and I'd say especially, in American Timber Framing, we see homogenized designs and frames regurgitated ad nauseam and trotted out as "craftsmanship." You've probably seen it yourself — the ubiquitous Hammerbeam Truss (poorly designed and executed at that) in the glossy magazine spread. If they repeat it long enough, we just might lower our expectations enough to forget what this amazing craft has to offer the built environment and the people who are blessed to live in our homes.

So this year, I ask all my fellow craftsman to uphold traditional American values by not setting the bar so low that mediocrity is celebrated as craft. And I ask all the clients out there to want more than what they've been sold in the centerfold.

Together we have a chance to create homes that represents our deepest held values of community, conservation, and craftsmanship.