my reply to a post in which it was suggested that framebuilding
could become part of the "American Crafts" movement:

this is a very good post and i don't know if i can properly reply to
it because i am not sure there's as much overlap with the "craft"
movement as you may believe. there are a few guys that may make
a nice frame or two a year but there are not the minions to rival
the basketmakers, potters, weavers, etc that make up the craft/art
world. my wife was a basketmaker and handweaver and was named
one of the "top 200 craftspeople in the usa" in at least 4 consecutive
years in the late 90s/early 00s. she even made it into the white house
collection for her efforts.

as much as i'd love to see a parallel within the bicycle industry, i
don't. this may be due in part to that bicycles are not simply a
visual item, but a vehicle as well. knowing how to do all the decorat-
ing and embellishing is ", and all that stuff", but the bicycle
has to work too. heck, it has to work in all sorts of situations that the builder
needs to be familiar with. it also helps if the bicycle fits well too. i can't
think of many craft items that would need this diversity of attention, but
i suppose there must be some.

because this post is dovetailed off of the thread in which a firm such as
IF is called into question as an exhibitor at san jose, i am reminded that
there are many folks on this list that'd prefer to keep things more
touchy-feely (i don't mean that in a negative way) by eliminating
companies that gravitate towards the production genre. btw, i just
wanted to use that word in a sentence.

it's not easy for me to express this clearly, but i have a hard time
when i see the "bigger guys" get dissed simply because they tool
up to make more frames and use workstations to improve efficiency.
in a way, i believe the only way to be a competent framebuilder, much
less a great one, is to have parked your rear end at one of these shops
for a stint of a decent amount of time. i've written this lots, and it bears
repeating: you simply can't get through the learning curve fast enough
unless you done the gig at a production-type shop. framebuilding can
eventually become the "hand-work" and beautiful flourishes that may
one day bring it to atention of those in the craft world, but knowing
about the beneath-the-surface details are much more important and
harder to discern if all you ever do is whittle some lug edges and
dream about that next fleur-de-lis. to that end, i think that the larger
frame producers should be part of the party and that there should be
a relationship between that cottage industry and those who graduate
from it after an internship of some sort, because these graduates are
the ones that may be the craftspeople whose ware populate the museum
collections 20, 30, or 100 years from now.