My apologies for not making much sense of this; writing helps me put my thoughts into language, and I’m just not there yet. Please consider all my blogs as rough drafts.
With that disclaimer, I write on, and since Florence is undisputedly the leather capital of the world, leather is a reasonable place to start. Where does creativity and meaning lie for the many involved in the industry? Clearly it provides employment—mass production of wallets, belts, boxes, shoes and all kinds of clothing, as well as selling in stores and at outdoor markets .
There are still schools to train people in the art of leatherwork. The Scuola del Cuoio is affiliated with the Church of Santa Croce. Yesterday I saw men and women individually cutting, sewing, and embossing on individual pieces of leather. Were they artists or craftsmen? Were they creating new designs or only putting an individual touch onto the work in front of them? Were they satisfied that they were making beautiful things for others?
Where were their hearts as they worked? Maybe there is an answer there.