Re: [MedievalSawdust] Some say the world will end in fire - some say it will buy a lot of junk.
Avery wrote: >> Here's my logic: If everyone is doing subsistance farming everyone is
going to have pretty much the same quality of stuff. It won't be that
great because there are no dedicated craftsmen to develop high end
skills, better techniques, etc. As people are freed from subsistance
farming more dedicated woodworkers can be supported by society so
quality can go up. <<I'm not sure I'm following you here... and I'm not sure of the validity of the argument that if one is involved in 'subsistence farming' that one's time, energies and resources are so totally committed to this endeavor that such things as hunting, making clothes, pottery, tools, etc. is left to go begging... seems more like a scenario for applied Darwinism to me.I would still argue that basic market forces are in play and must always be in play. ... and that highly decorative arts are found throughout cultures and across history... agrarian or not... they may not exist in woodworking per se... but pottery and fabrics (note the Native American environments)...Even the prehistoric societies invested in art and high end craftsmanship (ref: Otsi the Iceman and the caves of Lasceau...)... trading for 'high end' goods not available locally has a long history in history... and, from my perspective seems much more dependant on the ability to procure them than on where the craftsmen come from...If the syllogism is to hold, I would think that it must hold with all art forms of a culture and not just woodworking... yet, weapons and jewelry (note the Celts)... seem to reach a much higher level of artistry than general woodworking in most early cultures... which would seem to argue that the psychological valuation of the culture toward these items was higher than on decorative wooden objects... on the other hand... the decorative wooden objects might just not have survived.I think the point is more to what cultural value is placed on a particular art as to what level of sophistication it takes... which brings us back to market forces...Chas.