Artists and artisans are alchemists.  They transform base materials into objects of beauty, utility and delight. It is the power of patience and practice, the power of imagination and endurance, the power of our hands, feet and voice, the power of the human spirit that transform’s willow into baskets, stone into sculptures, wood into wardrobes, sounds into songs and words into poems.  The joy of it all is that we are all potential alchemists.  We are all capable of becoming artists and artisans.

Being an artist is not a hobby, it is a livelihood. Moreover, a craft economy is a truly sustainable and resilient economy, indeed a peace economy.  The sooner we embrace the arts and crafts as an integral part of our daily lives, the sooner we will be able to address the economic, environmental and spiritual issues of our time.  The industrial economy is a growth economy – never enough and never satisfied – whereas the craft economy is a dancing economy – always active and always joyful.

The way to a fulfilled life is through the arts and crafts. They led us out of consumerism. The practice of arts and crafts is a spiritual practice through which we honour the material world and while we do that we develop a sense of beauty and generosity in our lives.

Satish Umar: Resurgence Magazine December 2010

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