Blessed is the man that has found his work, let him ask no other blessedness. - Thomas Carlyle.
Pessimists so often point out to us the worn-out drudge, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow, that it is a relief to look at the reverse of the medal, and see the worker whose toil is his pleasure, who "rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race." The weaver of old, the potter, the metal worker, all those eraftworkers about whom primitive life centered, seem to have enjoyed their work, for they made it not only firm and durable, but they embellished it with quaint and often lovely ornamentation. As Jean Francois Millet said: "It is the treating of the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime that gives to art its true value."
Among these ancient handicrafts there are many which cannot be replaced by machinery, or in which there is always a demand for exceptionally beautiful pieces done by hand.
Weaving, basketry and cement work are well suited for such craftsmanship, and are also lucrative. Lace making, on the other hand, affords a field for fine workmanship, but is a poorly paid craft in America. The same is true of wood-carving. Printing is interesting and lucrative, but is better suited to the patients in State Hospitals for the Insane, or to crippled workers than to neurasthenics. Bookbinding is well suited to invalid workers in their own houses, as well as to shop workers.