Brian's post made me think about the value of things. The value of time spent working a frame, filing, even though it's boring. Getting beyond that to value what you've created. I value hand-made frames, but to afford them is a different story. While I hope Brian is right about a rennaissance, I'm not sure what I see in my public high school as eventually supporting it. Maybe it's an age thing anyway, and the young don't value things like us old folks do. I see people value and want high end mountain bikes, but end up buying buck and a half clones from Costco. I have seen a trend away from the craftsmanship aspects of working on a piece of art by my students. They value a good drawing, but they don't want to spend the time on it. Hands on classes, especially those involving tools, are virtually gone from my 9 school district. No autos, no woodshop, no metal shop. I remember this old eighth grade shop teacher shaking his stump where his two fingers used to be at us if we were careless around the metal presses. He was the same guy that taught me how to use different tools than what my father taught me. I believe in family values, not the born-again you're going to hell values. I learned to value things from my parents. Many of my students have no real parents to teach the value of anything. I don't necessarily think those are bleak thoughts, just the way things are. When my son was little, I let him play in the sand pit with several large, and valuable in a money sense, pressed steel toy trucks from the 20's. I wanted him to have that experience, of knowing what a well made toy felt like. When I drag a new to me old classic frame into my studio, I talk to him about it. I don't know how young people will value things unless we teach them. Yesterday a student drug into my class an old Raleigh Grand Prix, and a Univega. Road bikes. Lugged frames, if not low end. No one even noticed them. I have one kid who rides a road bike. He'd been saving for a several thousand dollar Trek or Cannondale. I've been showing him pictures of bikes on the computer. He has no idea how to work on a bike. I convinced him that it would be a cheap lesson if he bought one of the bikes and broke it down and learned how to put it back. He bought the Univega for $40. Today he told me he'd like to make it a fixed gear. He's working on a portrait of Lance Armstrong. Maybe he's the futrue.
Art Smith Zipping home with a tailwind in Phoenix in the chilly 60's.