by Dan Beaulieu
There is a show on cable called A Craftsman’s Legacy. On this show, host Eric Gorges visits various craftspeople who build everything from guitars to bows to saddles to well, just about anything cool you can produce by hand. It’s a fascinating show to watch because the people who are featured on the show are true craftsman. (PC police, please forgive my use of the term, it’s purely used generically, and the term craftsperson is too clumsy and does not convey the true sense of the word craftsman).
Okay enough of that. What I want to talk about today are the pure craftsmen that have worked at my house over the years doing things better than anyone I ever saw do them. People who are true artists at what they do. People who have such a love and passion for their crafts, regarding jobs that they are better than anyone else in their field…at least in my humble opinion.
This column’s shout out goes to Larry Costanzer, who has done painting in our house and our neighbor’s houses for years. In fact, I love that he worked on our house years before we got there. When he started working on our kitchen by removing the wallpaper, he knew exactly how to do it because he was the one who had put it up many years before. He could even show us his penciled markings on the bare walls.
Larry, like all true craftsmen, spends much more time on preparation than the actual painting or wallpapering. He’s explained to me a number of times how his work’s success relies completely on the preparation of the walls and woodwork, patching and sanding holes and irregularities on the surfaces, making sure that the walls will be “sized,” if necessary, so that the wallpaper will adhere perfectly once it is applied to the walls.
When Larry looks over a project he doesn’t just act as our painting contractor, no, he is much more invested than that, he acts more like our advisor, more like our expert consulting, sharing his year’s of experience and knowledge with us, advising us on the best way to go.
The most important thing about Larry is that he is always taking a long view of this projects, considering what they will look like in five years or ten years, or longer.
The pride he takes in his work and the respect he has for what he does is exactly proportional to the pride we take in our home. I feel like Larry’s approach to a project is to assume the responsibility to adding beauty and love to a home that is so already loved by the family that lives there.
And that’s precisely what makes Larry a craftsman and the most sought after painter in our area. And that’s why his business is always growing.
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