Monday, December 20, 2010

The Laws of Making in Retrospect

Making Monday

We've spent a fair amount of time considering the Laws of Making.

So what does it all mean?

There are two fundamental subtexts:


There was an episode of the television series Northern Exposure in which we learned that one of the characters was very good at complex paint-by-number landscapes. Another character insisted the first wouldn't be a true artist until he burned his newest painting because art is in the process and the painting was simply an alienable by-product.

I'm not here to tell you to burn your creations. That said, there is a recurring thread of selflessness in the laws of making. Users see a universe that revolves around them. Makers strive to create things that can take on a separate existence. This is why the highest Law of Transcendence is completion.

Life Cycles

The nine laws of making can be arranged into a 3 x 3 matrix:

UnderstandingLove (1)Beauty (2)Truth (3)(beginning)
LivingHope (4)Faith (5)Charity (6)(middle)
TranscendenceVision (7)Devotion (8)Completion (9)(end)

Notice that as we move from the Laws of Understanding, through the Laws of Living, to the Laws of Transcendence, we have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Similarly, as we move from left to right in each row, we have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

True makers have a role in and patience for all three acts.

The Wisdom of the Makers

Of course, stating the Laws of Making clearly, and illustrating them with a few examples, doesn't begin to convey the depth and majesty of the vision of true makers. You've got to experience making in all its dimensions to begin to understand.

Image: Bill Longshaw /

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