Sunday, February 27, 2011


     A MASTERPIECE!...Inspires thoughts of a beautiful creation doesn't it? Maybe a painting, or a poem or even to some extant a fine meal. Well honestly any or all of these may be true, but how many can one man (or woman) make in their lifetime? 5? 10? dozens? hundreds? The answer contrary to most beliefs today is just 1.

   You see there is no problem with my answer...or even with the question. The problem is with the proclamation: Masterpiece. A masterpiece is actually never made by a master believe it or not. A masterpiece is made by someone attempting to be proclaimed a master. Think of it as the final test of a tradesmen.

     In the old-world way of teaching there was no (or very few) 'centers of higher learning' available to the masses, where one could go to class and study to earn a 'masters degree'. The way it was done is you were sold. That's right sold. As in indentured servant. A recognized master craftsman would 'buy' you from your family at about age 7, give or take. You were then kept by this master for an average of 20 yrs while he taught you his trade. At about the 19yr mark this master was expected to give you the materials (and to have given/taught you to make you own personal tools along the way in your training)  to build YOUR MASTERPIECE. When you were done with this piece it was presented to your master. Who then judged it to either be the work of a master , or not. This was a make or break test - pass or fail. So you pulled out all the stops, used all the tricks and techniques you knew, spent all the extra time you could. Because if you passed this test you would be recognized as a 'wandering master' able to build your own business in just 4yrs time, but if you failed this test - you would never be a master. You could not 'retake' this test, there were and are no 'do-overs'. So even though after this point you may hold the title 'master', because of the time and tears involved you probably never made a piece of this magnitude again. Quite honestly , you never again have a need. By the time you are again producing pieces of this stature and grandeur- you have apprentices of your own to help. So you see, a masterpiece is not merely a piece made by a master but instead a piece made by someone begging to be recognized as a master...

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