Jonas Ellison
2 min readMar 2, 2021

I love watching craftspeople…

We’ve been watching a British (?) show on Netflix called The Repair Shop. I’m hooked. It’s so good.

It’s incredible seeing people who are experts at a timeless craft. One woman, Kirsten Ramsay, is a ceramics and pottery repair expert. When I superglue a broken coffee mug, it still looks broken even if it’s intact. But when she does it, there’s not a smidgen of a trace that it was ever broken.

Suzie Fletcher is the leather expert and her brother, Steve Fletcher, is the clockmaker extraordinaire. He peers through his spectacles at the gears and springs with a determined smirk, his precision impeccable.

There’s a woodworker (Will Kirk), a metal worker (Brenton West), and the most fashionable foreman I’ve ever seen running the show is none other than Jay Blades.

I see their work as divine, as I do with all craftspeople. It’s not so much the outer-thing they do. It’s not in their job descriptions. It’s the inner-way that they carry their work. You can tell that, though they’re CLEARLY experts, they have a look of surprise in their eyes when they’ve pulled off the impossible.

There’s something so transcendent about humans turned outward employing their creative gifts in the service of others.

What makes a craftsperson a craftsperson rather than a working cog is that they don’t lose sight of the fact that what they’re doing is beyond themselves and is a pure act of service. They’re in as much awe as we are, even though they’ve put in years and years of work and have gained top-level competency in their various specializations. Though they may make decent money at what they do, their true currency is the elated expressions of their customer’s faces when they see that their granddad’s granddaughter clock that has laid broken in the basement for two decades now looks like new and dings the ding they heard when they were kids.

Oh, and that’s not it (sorry, this show gets me so excited)…

They all work together beautifully (at least, on film, they do). Though they each have their own specializations, they have zero shame in asking their fellow craftspeople for help in an area that’s out of their realm of expertise. They joke, kid, and chide each other in harmless competitive banter between long stretches of heads-down work to release the tension of prolonged quiet concentration.

I have to say, though… I really want to see the blooper reel for the show. The outtakes have to be amazing. When someone hits their pinky with a hammer or something.

I guess that shows how satisfying it is to see the gods being humbled and brought down to Earth.

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Jonas Ellison

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