JMG SteelWorks

​Craftsman Knives & Razors. Handmade. With No Compromise. 

Pride and Reverence

Taking pride in one's work and reverence for your materials.

I was talking to a friend the other day and our conversation fell upon one's pride. Pride in owning the things you have, pride and social status, and so on, and so on. That conversation got me to thinking about the pride one takes in the work that they do. I have always felt that everyone's work is valuable regardless of what that work is. Take a fully functioning battle ship. That boat will have a menagerie of different workers going about their tasks and each one is just as important as the other. As important as it is to have a gunner on a battleship one must also have a chef and a plumber because no one is going to war and doing it well on an empty stomach in a toilet full of crap. Everyone's work is important, and all work has value. So I believe that one should always take pride in their work.

How do you do that without making it conceded? The conversation my friend and I were having concerning social status and the like, had a conceded overtone to it? How does one take pride, without finding arrogance? I believe that is a thin line and one that can be easily crossed if you're not careful. For me, having pride in my craftsmanship and pride in my ability to hand make is not something I feel is being conceded. I had to earn this each step of the way. Every hour of every day I spent hunched over grinding on metal, filing on metal, hammering away on metal to create a thing that's to my eyes beautiful, is something that took me time and effort to earn. And today when I look upon my finished piece and I find that it's beautiful and functional I take pride in my ability to do that.

I believe that pride in that way is important. It ensures that you build a reputation for good work. When you have pride in your work you want it to be good, you want to do your best. You work hard to make it right. To take pride in your work, you have to know what it is that you don't know, accept that fact and work hard to try to overcome it and learn. Having pride in your work means you stay true to it, and you stay true to yourself.

So I can proudly say that I have pride in my work. I earn it every day.

And for me one of the last but arguably most important parts of pride in my work is my reverence for my materials. Reverence is defined as a deep respect for someone or something and to regard or treat that sing with deep admiration. For me, this perfectly describes my love for my craft. To have a deep respect for the steel, and brass, and wood. All the things that come together to create a chef knife or razor that is made to be passed down from generation to generation.

A reverence for my materials is something that comes from deep down inside myself. It is why I only choose the best materials, from fully vetted vendors, primarily located locally to me or at the very least within my home country,  to ensure the quality of their materials. It's like a friend once told me many years ago, “You can polish a turd, and you can paint a turd, and you can gold plate a turd, but in the end all you will ever have is a shiny turd.”

My materials will always be the very best I can put my hands to, and my work will always be the very best that I can produce, because I have pride in what I do and deep reverence for what I do that with. Every day. All day.

John Glueck
The Maker