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Master Craftsman

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Master Craftsman

Postby meccarroll » 09 Dec 2016, 17:09

I'm sure we have all heard the term "Master Craftsman" used at some time or other but do these people actually still exist in todays world?

For example for 40 years I have worked and earn a living as a Carpenter/joiner and in that time I have come across hundreds if not thousands of tradesmen (Carpenters/joiners). Not one of the tradesmen that I have worked with has ever called themselves a Master Craftsman.

I believe many years ago apprentices had a long period training and if successful could become a Journeyman and once established as a Journeyman he could seek to become a Master Craftsman by submitting a piece of work to a "Guild" for inspection and if approval was granted to the work, the Journeyman then paid a fee to the Guild and became known as a Master Craftsman. This seems to be an old custom and to my knowledge not practiced any more, so does anyone know if there are any true Master Craftsmen that have the right credentials or is the term really just a notion from the past? :eusa-think:

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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby TrimTheKing » 09 Dec 2016, 17:28

I believe both the practise and the GoMC still exist, I'm sure I've read about it in magazines over recent years.

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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Doug » 09 Dec 2016, 18:15

The guild is the carpenters company http://www.carpentersco.com/history/

I went a few years back, their place is in Throgmorton Avenue, London
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Pinch » 09 Dec 2016, 22:01

meccarroll wrote:I believe many years ago apprentices had a long period training and if successful could become a Journeyman and once established as a Journeyman he could seek to become a Master Craftsman by submitting a piece of work to a "Guild" for inspection and if approval was granted to the work, the Journeyman then paid a fee to the Guild and became known as a Master Craftsman. This seems to be an old custom and to my knowledge not practiced any more, so does anyone know if there are any true Master Craftsmen that have the right credentials or is the term really just a notion from the past? :eusa-think:

Mark


This does still sort of apply, certainly to qualify in being elected membership.

I was elected membership with the Chartered Society of Designers back in 1996, only not through university qualification, but through my apprenticeship qualifications, my portfolio, an interview before a panel of five, references and proposed objectives.

I also researched the GoMC, but I felt it was too vague and easy, so I didn't bother. Instead, I applied for membership with the Institute of Carpenters. To qualify for election, you have to submit your apprenticeship papers, qualifications (Ordinary & Advanced C&G), submit your portfolio, 3 references and if satisfactory by this stage, an interview for assessment. Once an elected member, you pay the Institute an annual subscription fee and try to show some activity with meetings etc.

I'm not a member with the CSD anymore, but I still continue with the IoC.

With the IoC, you can also climb the internal ladder if you so wish by means of practical & theory examination, but I haven't bothered doing this.

The IoC have been around for 125 years and is a highly regarded institute, catering for many different wood crafts.
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Tusses » 09 Dec 2016, 22:26

I was a member of the GoMC , when I was young and naive .. once a member I quickly found it was a money making machine (scam)

My perception of a traditional "Master Craftsman" is someone that has started as an apprentice, worked up through the ranks, and become a teacher of the craft/art to new apprentices. ... with the passing on of skills being the defining part of "Master"

Kind of like Sensei in martial arts = Master
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensei
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Rod » 09 Dec 2016, 23:10

I'd read awhile back that the GoMC was a scam in that anybody could join for a fee.

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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Tusses » 09 Dec 2016, 23:25

Rod wrote:I'd read awhile back that the GoMC was a scam in that anybody could join for a fee.

Rod


yes , I basically had a "salesman" turn up at my shop, and said I'd been "nominated" to be a member.

of course .. there was a fee involved ! :lol:

I didn't renew my membership the 2nd year !
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Jimmy Mack » 10 Dec 2016, 00:07

Tusses wrote:
Rod wrote:I'd read awhile back that the GoMC was a scam in that anybody could join for a fee.

Rod


yes , I basically had a "salesman" turn up at my shop, and said I'd been "nominated" to be a member.

of course .. there was a fee involved !

I didn't renew my membership the 2nd year !

+1 (a big part of the discussion was on legal support on non payers and they didn't have the resource to check on the quality of work!)

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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Jimmy Mack » 10 Dec 2016, 00:13

I was briefly a member of the IOC at carpenters hall after sitting some of their exams. I got to go to the hall, which unusually has a discreet entrance and a beautiful hall, if i remember rightly it's the oldest guild, prince Charlie is the patron/president (?) and they generate millions from ground rent, as they own large chunks of land that (London)the city sits on.

Don't quote me tho

Jim

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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby meccarroll » 10 Dec 2016, 11:35

Some good replies, :obscene-drinkingcheers:

I had also heard of the "GUILD OF MASTER CRAFTSMEN", about 35 years ago-but I concluded the same as others on this forum have, that it seems you pay to join and are awarded automatic privileges which are not worth anything in the professional world.

The "Institute Of Carpenters" (IOC) seems to be the nearest present day equivalent, at the moment, to what was an original "Guild". Looks like the Carpenters Company is very much linked to the IOC Doug ;)


I think maybe the tradition has dyed out to a large extent because we now have colleges and organisations like the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) which work with, major employers and examination boards like the City and Guilds Institute to bring about nationally recognised trade qualifications. I don't know how apprentices were trained years ago but I'm going to assume, for now, that it was probably under one master (no training colleges etc) and the Guild's were probably an early form of our present day CITB.

Some very interesting posts here I feel more educated regarding the term "Master Craftsmen" than a day or two ago although I may do a bit more delving now I have something to go on.

Cheers ALL,

Mark :text-bravo:
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Pinch » 10 Dec 2016, 13:51

Very good Mark. 8-)

I for one will be very interested in your finds and very much look forward to reading them.

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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Rod » 10 Dec 2016, 15:10

Slightly off topic, to distinguish the generic title "engineer" from "Engineer", the major Engineering Bodies got together and created the title "Chartered Engineer". So for a small annual fee (£15) I can add CEng to my qualifications as well as MICE (Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers).
For another small fee I could use EUR ING as a pre-nominal - this is an EU title where the use of Engineer is taken much more seriously.
I wonder if the rest of Europe have something similar for Craftsmen?


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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Pinch » 14 Dec 2016, 09:46

Interesting point Rod. Let's hope Mark picks this up and starts investigating. I might start looking myself.

I have thought about re-applying for my old MCSD since letting it go several years ago, with the view of being active within the membership. I probably won't just yet though. :|
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Newbie_Neil » 14 Dec 2016, 17:54

Hi all,

This thread explains how Peter Sefton became a Liveryman and Freeman of the City of London.

This appears to be the next step up from Master Craftsman.

Neil
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Pinch » 15 Dec 2016, 09:05

Ah yes, nice one Neil. If memory serves, Peter used to be a regular in here. Great great achievement and an interesting read. 8-)
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby Phil » 16 Dec 2016, 10:02

Pinch wrote:Ah yes, nice one Neil. If memory serves, Peter used to be a regular in here. Great great achievement and an interesting read. 8-)


Link

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=602&p=6232&hilit=peter+sefton#p6232
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Re: Master Craftsman

Postby meccarroll » 17 Dec 2016, 10:32

Hi All,

I have been looking into this a bit further and am now pretty much convinced the "old system" of the Guilds died out some years ago. That's not to say there is not a present day equivalent of sorts but I guess that is to some extent up to each individual do decide how they view things.

Anyway I have not found anything historically about the Guild system in Great Briton yet but I did dig up some information on the equivalent French system of Master Craftsmen:

Below gives a slight insight into the French "GUILD" system of Master Craftsmen.

1800 Century France, the Guild System and the Furniture Trade.

Some of the most beautiful and refined furniture ever made, displaying the highest level of artistic and technical ability, was created in Paris during the eighteenth century. Much admired by an international clientele, it was used to furnish residences all over Europe and also influenced fashions of cabinetmaking outside France.

Furniture-Making Guild (Corporation des Menuisiers)
French furniture of this period was the collaborative effort of various artists and craftsmen who worked according to strictly enforced guild regulations. Established during the Middle Ages, the guild system continued with little change until being dissolved in 1791 during the French Revolution. The Parisian guild to which the furniture makers belonged was called the Corporation des Menuisiers. It had great influence on the education of furniture makers by requiring at least six years of training that led to a high degree of technical specialization and ensured a high standard of work. First an apprentice spent three years or more in the workshop of a master furniture maker, followed by at least as many years as a journeyman. In order to become a master, a journeyman had to prove his competence by making a chef-d’oeuvre, or masterpiece. Once that was successfully completed, he could open his own workshop only if a vacancy existed (the number of masters allowed to practice at one time was strictly controlled by the guild, as was the size of their workshops) and he had paid the necessary fees. The dues were lower for the sons of master cabinetmakers than for people from outside Paris who had no relatives in the guild. From 1743 onward, it became the rule to stamp every piece of furniture that was offered for sale with the maker’s name. An additional stamp, JME (for jurande des menuisiers-ébénistes), would be added once a committee, made up of elected guild members who inspected the workshops four times a year, had approved the quality. Any furniture that failed to meet the required standards of craftsmanship was confiscated.

Menuisiers and ébénistes
The Corporation des Menuisiers was divided into two distinct trades, that of the woodworkers who made paneling (boiserie) for buildings and coaches, and that of the actual furniture makers. The latter can be subdivided into menuisiers (joiners), responsible for the making of solid wood furniture such as console tables, beds, and chairs, and the ébénistes, from the word ébéne (ebony), makers of veneered case pieces. Most of the menuisiers were French born, often members of well-known dynasties of chairmakers, and were located in or near the rue de Cléry in Paris. By contrast, a large number of Parisian ébénistes were foreign born, many of whom worked in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Although not forbidden, it was rare to combine the professions of a menuisier and an ébéniste.

In addition, there were two other groups of furniture makers active in Paris, working outside the framework of the guild. The so-called royal cabinetmakers, who were given special privileges and workshops either at the Louvre palace, at the Manufacture Royale des Meubles de la Couronne at the Gobelins, or in other buildings owned by the crown. Royal cabinetmakers were free from guild regulations. The second group consisted of the so-called artisans libres, or independent craftsmen, many of them foreigners who sought refuge in certain “free” districts of Paris outside the guild’s jurisdiction.

Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide
Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

October 2003


Link to above: http://metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ffurn/hd_ffurn.htm

Don't know what you chaps think but I thought it was an interesting read.

Still looking at our system to find out more about the mysterious system of MASTER CRAFTSMEN. It's looking like the title still exists today but I feel I need to find out more before I comment.

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