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On the debit side of the account is to be placed the increasing
ugliness of ordinary, or as it may be called, natural building,
because the culture of the present day has passed the stage when
Art is natural and spontaneous, coming as it were hand-in-hand
with the work. In the end, perfection in technique kills Art; to
attain to it some difficulty with the material is necessary, and
further, there should be individual effort and interest on the part
of the workman, who must feel some pleasure in his work. John
Bunyan, the Puritan author of 17:3 Pilgrim’s Progress, has well
expressed this necessary egotism of the artist in his rhymed
‘Apology’ for his work. He says:

But yet I did not think
To show to all the world my pen and ink
In such a mode: I only thought to make
I knew not what: nor did I undertake

Thereby to please my neighbour: no, not I:
I did it mine own self to gratify.

That is impossible with ordinary work in a modern factory, or
even in the construction of a modern building. Artistic work
cannot be attained under the conditions in which most building
work is now carried on. Civilisation has moved forward on the
road of Progress, and in so doing has left Art forlorn by the
wayside. .

The old methods of craftsmanship are vanishing with the
changed conditions of education and industry, and it is a matter
for regret that they cannot be adequately described in writing. In
this book it has only been possible to study the construction, for
craftsmanship is often a matter of mere sleight of hand. It may
be understood, but can hardly be described, just as the technicalities
of fine architectural draughtsmanship cannot be learned from books.

Other movements of to-day are in a growing tendency to
specialisation, which has already been noticed, and an increase of
routine in work, which tend to make the work of less interest to
the worker, and interest in work and intelligence in its application
seem to go together. There has also been a permanent trend to
faster working. The time which was taken to build the old
buildings of the past is astonishing to us in the twentieth century.
There is a tradition of the great timber barn at Gunthwaite, South
Yorkshire, that ‘one of the apprentice lads of the carpenter who
built the barn was employed during the whole of his apprenticeship

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