I have recently been enjoying reading Speaking of Furniture...Conversations with 14 American Masters. The book was written by Bebe Pritam Johnson & Warren Eames Johnson who own the furniture gallery Pritam & Eames in East Hampton, NY. The pages are full of wonderful pictures of furniture made by the 14 makers that are interviewed, and each interview focuses on the maker's process, his/her philosophy on art & craft, and the "Why?" of furniture making.
A quote by James Krenov really struck a chord with me...
"You know, there is one last defense for people like us, one last reason that will always be there, and that is the emotional content of what we do. Nevermind the village crafts thing, that is gone; but we have one defense, and that is we bring together the essence of ourselves in our work, for better or for worse, whatever it is that we are. If we have integrity, a certain amount of skill, and perhaps even a bit of talent, then some very interesting things can happen."
I personally still hold out hope that the "village crafts thing" is not gone. But, this quote helps crystallize for me why the individual should pursue his/her trade...with his/her own creative energy and integrity...even in a world that already has so much stuff in it.