In the most recent issue of This Is Carpentry Gary Katz offers an insightful essay on how far - or how far down - the construction trades have come.
These days, writes Katz, "Construction—carpentry in particular —seems to have become the last refuge for the American Cowboy. "
That's not exactly praise in Katz's terms, but it hasn't always been this way.
Until the industrial revolution modernized construction, tradesmen studied their craft. They apprenticed for years with master craftsmen; they learned to distinguish and draw details from the classical orders, and they supported the publication of pattern books. They lived in neat, tidy homes near the center of town; they wore bib-overalls or heavy pants with white shirts and ties. They came to work clean-shaven, and they were well spoken.
If we've fallen, Katz contends, we have only ourselves to blame. And not everyone falls into the same well.
Read Katz's insights on how the industry's best and brightest are counteracting the contractor's tarnished image, and weigh in with your comments.