Editor, writer, Masterwork Journal | Best-selling author, LifeCraft book series on Amazon | Host, Making A Masterpiece of Your Life podcast.
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“An artifact to future generations, which must speak for itself,

Mine, is an account of life-as-a-craft.”

— The Anonymous Craftsperson

A long standing practice observed for centuries in workshops of every type, across the world, is the use of the ‘workshop journal’.

The journal serves as a reference point or ‘benchmark’ for all craftspeople in the workshop to compare their work, pose questions, share insights, experiences, tool tips and techniques with other practitioners.

Following this same tradition and practical structure, Masterwork Journal serves as a reference guide, for all who would practice ‘life-as-a-craft’. In it you will find entries covering a wide range of topics relevant to the practice of ‘life-as-a-craft’, organized into a distinct structure; The Five Elements, the same as you would find in the workshop journal of any trade or craft. …


Is life just a collection of random experiences, or can life be mastered as a learned craft?

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“We are always making and remaking ourselves.

Each day we add something here, remove something there.

Whether we perform the task with skill or not, is evident in the result.”

— The Anonymous Craftsperson

Life is an ancient journey. For some, it is a journey measured by the time that passes between the twin events of birth and death.

For others, it is a timeless, never ending road into eternity. However long, whether finite or infinite, at one time or another many of us have wondered what to make of our lives.

For a lot of people life was never taught as a — “take it apart and put it back together” system of identifiable parts. Each one fitting into the big well oiled machinery of the universe. Life is just experienced — like a balancing act. …


The Guiding Phase of Life-as-a-Craft

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“Only when I was 73, had I got some sort of insight,

Into the real structure of nature.

At 90, I shall grasp the mystery of things.”

— Hokusai, Master Painter

The Mentorship Phase defines the fourth phase; the time period in the practice of life-as-a-craft, when the primary objective is to make accessible to those who would seek it, select masterworks, knowledge and an account of your practice of craftsmanship as a legacy for the next generation.

Life-as-a-Craft: Phase 4 — Mentorship

The 20 year period from ages 65–85+ in the practice of life-as-a-craft, during which the primary objective is to review and select masterworks, knowledge and skills development exercises to make available to those who would seek it, and to form an account of one’s practice of craftsmanship as a benchmark for future generations of practitioners. …


The Guiding Phase of Life-as-a-Craft

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“Mentorship is the time when;

We turn our attention from the constant call of “I” to “Thou”.

— The Anonymous Craftswoman

In Greek mythology, Mentor was the trusted friend of Odysseus (Ulysses) and the tutor of Telemachus, Odysseus’ son. During the Trojan War, Odysseus entrusted the care of his household to Mentor. Since then, Mentor has become a reference to “one who is a trusted advisor”.

Mentoring as an act, usually implies direct interaction in the role of guide, with the learner or mentee in a quality manner. In life, there are times and places when we are called upon to mentor another in the traditional sense, who is facing a challenge and needs a trusted advisor. …


The Finishing Phase of Life-as-a-Craft

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“In the beginning, before there were hand tools,

There were the storytellers.

Craftsmen of the imagination.”

— The Anonymous Craftsman

The Masterwork Phase can be characterized as the finishing or ‘polishing’ Phase, after years of Journeywork to distinguish oneself as a skilled craftsperson.

What primarily distinguishes work performed during this Phase is the level of craftsmanship being executed in subjects within The Five Elements. It is the time for creating ‘masterpieces’.

Life-as-a-Craft: Phase 3 — Masterwork

The 20 year period from ages 45–65, when the Journeyman having practiced endurance, and distinguished oneself as a skilled practitioner in a variety of subjects within the Five Elements of life-as-a-craft, crosses the threshold into the Masterwork Phase of life-as-a-craft. …


The Finishing Phase of Life-as-a-Craft

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“This is the time for practicing at a higher level of craftsmanship,

Creating masterpieces of ‘thought’.”

The Masterwork Phase age 45–65, begins at the culmination of the Journeywork years during which time one distinguished oneself as a skilled craftsperson by the quality of their work. If you have learned endurance and practiced stamina during your Journeywork phase, you will arrive at the Masterwork phase with both strength and confidence based on demonstrated experience as evidenced in your craft work.

The Masterwork Phase is the time for executing a master plan based on the resources and energy developed during the Journeywork phase. Many men and women approaching their mid-forties, who after striving through their Journeywork years arrive at the threshold of Masterwork only to be confronted with painful…


The Building Phase of Life-as-a-Craft

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“Journeywork takes strength, endurance, and reliance upon ones Apprenticeship training and growing experience to complete the work.”

The Journeywork phase in the craft-of-life is comprised of the years of work after Apprenticeship age 25–45 by a competent but as yet undistinguished journeyman or journeywoman.

During this 20 year phase, the journeyman craftsperson distinguishes themselves by the quality of their craftwork in subjects across The Five Elements of life-as-a-craft.

The Journeywork Phase is filled with wide ranging contrasts; famine and feast, love and war, hope and despair. It is the time we raise our young families, practice our vocations, plant seeds for future harvests, try to make ends meet, and come face to face with the reality that the journey is indeed more arduous and full of more perils and opportunities than we had first imagined from within the inexperienced and structured world of our Apprenticeship. …


The Building Phase of Life-as-a-Craft

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“Sometimes it takes years, . . . before I decide what to do with a plank of wood.

There is a tremendous yearning inside the wood to fulfill itself . . .” — George Nakashima, Master Woodworker

Journeywork comprises the many years of work performed after Apprenticeship toward becoming a Master.

Life-as-a-Craft: Phase 2 — Journeywork

Is the 20 year period from ages 25–45, when the skilled Journeyman having learned the foundations of life-as-a-craft as a young Apprentice, goes into the world to earn their way through their skills and the applied practice of craftsmanship.

It is the time when a craftsperson distinguishes him or herself by earning their way in life by their craftwork. having learned to “stand on their own two feet.” It is a time lasting approximately twenty to twenty-five years. …


The Learning Stage of Life-as-a-Craft

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“Apprenticeship is the specific period of time during which one learns to comprehend the nature of the raw materials of the craft, and the skillful use of the tools of the craft.”

Apprenticeship is rooted in the word ‘to apprehend’ or ‘to understand something’. It has as much to do with learning “how to learn” as it does with “what to learn”.

In learning life-as-a-craft, Apprenticeship is “The specific period of time during which one learns to comprehend the nature of the raw materials of the craft and the skillful use of the tools of the craft.”

In many cultures, the apprenticeship phase takes place sometime during a 12 year period beginning at about age 12–14, and on to age 22–24 depending upon variety circumstances including the requirements for training in one’s chosen vocation as well as other life responsibilities which may have to be taken up. …


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“Sir” asked the young apprentice, “What is the purpose of living?”

“To make a masterpiece of your life”, replied the Master Craftsman . . .”

— The Anonymous Craftsman

Apprenticeship is defined as the specific period of time during which one learns to comprehend the nature of the raw materials of the craft, and the skillful use and application of the tools of the craft of life.

It is as much about ‘what to learn’, as it is about ‘how to learn’ when there is no mentor available to guide us.

Life-as-a-Craft: Phase 1 — Apprenticeship

The 12 year period beginning about age 12–14, up to age 22–24 when the young Apprentice learns to comprehend the nature of the raw materials of the craft-of-life and the skillful use of the tools of the craft. …

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