The Master Craftsman works methodically, not slowly, not hurriedly. He has mastered the basics, and knows the essence of his craft. He has moved to a point where he can define his own methods, and doesn’t need to explain them to anyone, unless someone is wise enough to ask. The Master Craftsman enjoys the hardest, most complicated problems, and enjoys unravelling them piece by piece. He enjoys the challenge to his skill, and proves his worth again and again as he overcomes each obstacle.
The Master Craftsman has an intimate relationship with his tools. He knows not only what they do, but much more importantly, how they do it. His choice of tools for a certain task is based on years of experience, research, and hands on use. He can debate intelligently on the merits and problems with his tools, as compared with other tools that he has tried and discarded over time. His choice of tools explains something about him.
The Master Craftsman enjoys his work, and is comfortable with his place in the world. He is an expert, and he knows it.
I’ve had an abstract idea for this post for a couple of months now. The Master Craftsman is the embodiment of my professional goals. I’m not one to speak of gurus or wizards, since I come from very down to Earth country in Montana, but a craftsman, or a woodworker is an image that I can grab on to. I’m not a Master yet, but I’m working towards it. My tools are not jigsaws and planers, but vi and zsh, but the basic principles still apply. I think the idea of a craftsman is less about impressing others and more about perfecting his skill.