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Details and thoughts on the "hidden" steps of craftsmanship

Paul Wagner


preparing the needle and thread for stitching leather

Preparing the needle and thread before stitching — there are many necessary “hidden” steps that take place before the visible or obvious ones. Pictured here the needle is piercing the thread three times. Then it is pulled back over itself, which secures the needle for stitching. This requires focus and practice, as the thread is only 0.57mm in diameter.

Repeating the simplest tasks repetitively is part of mastering larger tasks. Such small tasks become habit, and they are the necessary first steps into each creative journey. And in a way, they also become rituals.

Working in an environment that requires focused craftsmanship also reminds me that I must be a little primitive, too. It takes me to a place without the distractions of technology. As Robert Greene wrote, “You must see your environment as a physical entity and your connection to it as visceral.”

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