Created By: OlafMerchant on June 15, 2013 Last Edited By: OlafMerchant on June 20, 2013
Troped

True Craftsman

A true Craftsman makes no second-rate, shoddy products, no way, no how.

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Trope
A character who is not only a skilled artisan, but also known for their complete zero tolerance policy towards cutting corners- they will not, under any circumstance, make a bad boot, a shoddy sword or anything that is not made to the best of their ability. Their work is their pride and joy, and they take great delight in making things that are meant to last from father to son, and maybe beyond.

Put simply, this trope is about when a craftsman takes great pride in their high-quality work, seeking to make things of unrivaled quality and detail, even at the expense of potential profit made from outputting worse products with short life cycles.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Gunsmith Cats: Rally goes out of her way to avoid that one of her customized guns isn't used in a murder. This is however on the reputation damage of it being used. However Rally mentions that she makes sure everything is top notch when it comes to her work so if she can't do a thing (in the manga she mentions the inner work on a barrel) she sends it to a specialist.
  • Parodied in One Piece. The way of Zoro, Usopp, Sanji and Franky is cut off by a destroyed bridge. They take a moment trying to figure out how they are going to get to the other side. Then the three notice Franky (the shipwright of the crew) has managed to built a new bridge, and not only some shoddy emergency bridge, but a sturdy one with railings and all.
    Franky: Wait just another 30 seconds, I'm not quite satisfied with this finish...
    Zoro, Sanji and Usopp: He made a bridge!!!
    Franky: With this much rubble around, there was plenty of wood to use as material.
    Usopp: But isn't it a bit much in an emergency to put in such detail.
    Franky: Are you saying that I should skip crucial parts of the construction!!?

Film
  • Kate in A Knight's Tale, who makes lighter and stronger armour than any other smith.
  • High and Low: Gondo has worked at the National Shoe from age 16, and takes great pride in the quality of their products. So when the Corrupt Corporate Executive trio at the beginning of the film entices him to make lowsy shoes that are cheaper to make and would bring the company a lot of money, he refuses, stating that he would not make a bad shoe.
  • In Jabberwocky: Dennis' father is outright pissed at the travelling salesman for even suggesting about making barrels that are only good for one trip.

Literature
  • Durnik in the Belgariad is like this. In one of his first appearances in the novels, he's doing precise finishing work on a minor piece that no one will see.
  • Peter Straub's Koko: The carpenter Conor is working for is such a craftsman, and Conor is learning a lot about house-building. But then the carpenter is obligated to hire on a worthless in-law and Conor has to be let go just in time for him to join the main plotline. Towards the end of the book, the in-law is divorced from the family and Conor is rehired.
  • The bricklayer Nicola in Momo. When the Grey Men have taken over, he and his co-workers have to work faster, building a new floor in a week - but he admits it's crappy work which may last a few years at best, is frustrated and often gets drunk.
  • The Spiritsmith in Phoenix Rising by Ryk E. Spoor. He has forged the weapons and armour of most of the gods, and studied his trade for thousands of years, and very much cares about how it is used.
  • This is almost always a trait of the Order Masters of the Saga of Recluce, beginning with Lerris in the first book, The Magic of Recluce. He's so determinedly perfect in his carpentry that everyone around him is in awe watching him work. And it gets him in trouble when he imbues some of his creations with order... and they're intended for use by masters of chaos.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of Mad About You Paul buys some hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries for Jamie. Well, he tries to anyway - the shopkeeper is such a perfectionist that if he dips a strawberry and it doesn't come out perfectly, he hurls it at the wall during a Foreign Language Tirade.

Mythology

Video Game
  • Downplayed by Garret Almstead, one of the blacksmiths in Arcanum. He'll go out of his way to make sure any goods he works on are of the highest quality because he doesn't want his name associated with shoddy work, but he's unwilling to compromise his profits. This leads to him being accused of being a swindler when the innkeeper hires him to repair an antique strongbox; he repairs it thoroughly, but decides that the extra work he put into the repairs justifies him charging way more than his initial estimate.
  • In Bioshock, Bill McDonagh mentions that this trope is what earned him Andrew Ryan's respect (and position as his general contractor) in an audio log. He built a toilet using brass fixings (even though Ryan paid for cheaper tin ones) and paid the difference out of his own pocket on the basis he refused to build a leaky toilet.

Western Animation
  • The toy repairer in Toy Story 2, who tells an impatient Al that "You can't rush art."
  • Rarity in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic seems to put her all into her fashions, sometimes to the point of exhaustion when keeping up with her friends requests in Suited For Success.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants prides himself in making Krabby Patties by hand with the utmost of care. This is highlighted in the few episodes where someone tries to mass-produce Patties ("Neptune's Spatula", "Mr. Krabs Retires") and they end up tasting awful.

Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • June 15, 2013
    TonyG
    • The toy repairer in Toy Story 2, who tells an impatient Al that "You can't rush art."
    • Sponge Bob Square Pants prides himself in making Krabby Patties by hand with the utmost of care. This is highlited in the few episodes where someone tries to mass-produce Patties ("Neptune's Spatula", "Mr. Krabs Retires") and they end up tasting awful.
  • June 15, 2013
    Koveras
    Isn't this already covered under Doing It For The Art?

    EDIT: Wait, just saw that that one is a Trivia entry about creators... Never mind, then.
  • June 15, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In Bioshock, Bill McDonagh mentions that this trope is what earned him Andrew Ryan's respect (and position as his general contractor) in an audio log. He built a toilet using brass fixings (even though Ryan paid for cheaper tin ones) and paid the difference out of his own pocket on the basis he refused to build a leaky toilet.
  • June 15, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Mad About You Paul buys some hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries for Jamie. Well, he tries to anyway - the shopkeeper is such a perfectionist that if he dips a strawberry and it doesn't come out perfectly, he hurls it at the wall during a Foreign Language Tirade.
  • June 16, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Anime And Manga
    • Parodied in One Piece. The way of Zoro, Usopp, Sanji and Franky is cut off by a destroyed bridge. They take a moment trying to figure out how they are going to get to the other side. Then the three notice Franky (the shipwright of the crew) has managed to built a new bridge, and not only some shoddy emergency bridge, but a sturdy one with railings and all.
      Franky: Wait just another 30 seconds, I'm not quite satisfied with this finish...
      Zoro, Sanji and Usopp: He made a bridge!!!
      Franky: With this much rubble around, there was plenty of wood to use as material.
      Usopp: But isn't it a bit much in an emergency to put in such detail.
      Franky: Are you saying that I should skip crucial parts of the construction!!?
  • June 16, 2013
    Antigone3
    Durnik in the Belgariad is like this. In one of his first appearances in the novels, he's doing precise finishing work on a minor piece that no one will see.
  • June 16, 2013
    SKJAM
    • Peter Straub's Koko, the carpenter Conor is working for is such a craftsman, and Conor is learning a lot about house-building. But then the carpenter is obligated to hire on a worthless in-law and Conor has to be let go just in time for him to join the main plotline. Towards the end of the book, the in-law is divorced from the gamily and Conor is rehired.
  • June 16, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Great examples so far, some of which hit the trope spot on. If you got more, keep 'em coming.
  • June 16, 2013
    surgoshan
    • This is almost always a trait of the Order Masters of the Saga Of Recluce, beginning with Lerris in the first book, The Magic of Recluce. He's so determinedly perfect in his carpentry that everyone around him is in awe watching him work. And it gets him in trouble when he imbues some of his creations with order... and they're intended for use by masters of chaos.
  • June 16, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    If you're including Fashionistas:

  • June 16, 2013
    Astaroth
    • In Arcanum, this trope leads to a dispute between an innkeeper and a blacksmith which your character can resolve. The innkeeper gave an antique strongbox to the blacksmith to have the latch repaired, and accepted the blacksmith's estimate of 50 gold for the job. The blacksmith then noticed the hinges needed repairs and one of the corner pieces was chipped, and felt obliged to repair them as well because he doesn't want shoddy work being attributed to him, but he also feels obliged to charge the innkeeper 137 gold for the extra labor.
  • June 16, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    The joke of the Jabberwocky example is that the suggestion would be entirely in line with modern notions of cost-efficiency in packaging and shipping.
  • June 17, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    I was actually a bit undecided at first if I should add the Arcanum example, since the last line does make it a bit ambiguous- can't recall the said quest myself. The Bioshock example is much more in the vein of the trope. Still, leaving the example up there, due to the fact that the blacksmith does go all-out on the repair job, instead of the usual run-around a shady car mechanic might give you.
  • June 17, 2013
    Frank75
    The bricklayer Nicola in Momo. When the Grey Men have taken over, he and his co-workers have to work faster, building a new floor in a week - but he admits it's crappy work which may last a few years at best, is frustrated and often gets drunk.
  • June 18, 2013
    Astaroth
    Maybe we should list Arcanum as a downplayed example:

    • Downplayed by Garret Almstead, one of the blacksmiths in Arcanum. He'll go out of his way to make sure any goods he works on are of the highest quality because he doesn't want his name associated with shoddy work, but he's unwilling to compromise his profits. This leads to him being accused of being a swindler when the innkeeper hires him to repair an antique strongbox; he repairs it thoroughly, but decides that the extra work he put into the repairs justifies him charging way more than his initial estimate.
  • June 18, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Excellent suggestion. Updated the example in question. Kudos, Astaroth.
  • June 18, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Maybe the Rarity example should be downplayed as well, given that the events of Sweet And Elite made sure that Rarity couldn't finish Twilight's birthday dress in time. (Not that Twilight hated the result of the dress, in fact she loved it). Then again that was the example I could think of and It may not count since it was a result of being too busy rather than cutting corners.
  • June 19, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    BTW can I launch it if it has all 5 hats?
  • June 19, 2013
    kjnoren
    Would be worthwhile if you could point to some character traits such characters have in common, and how they usually participate in the story. The name's ok, but I think we can find a better one.

    Some more examples - this is a very old trope.

    Film:

    • Kate in A Knights Tale, who makes lighter and stronger armour than any other smith.

    Literature:

    • The Spiritsmith in Phoenix Rising by Ryk E Spoor. He has forged the weapons and armour of most of the gods, and studied his trade for thousands of years, and very much cares about how it is used.

    Mythology:

  • June 19, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    You know, now that I think about it Rarity isn't a downplayed example, since the reason she couldn't finish Twilight's dress is because she was too busy.
  • June 19, 2013
    mauri
    Well while a variation of the sort but here it goes:
    • Anime and Manga
      • Gunsmith Cats: Rally goes out of her way to avoid that one of her customized guns isn't used in a murder. This is however on the reputation damage of it being used. However Rally mentions that she makes sure everything is top notch when it comes to her work so if she can't do a thing (in the manga she mentions the inner work on a barrel) she sends it to a specialist.
  • June 20, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Well, Morning Star, going to have to take your word on the My Little Pony example, since I'm not familiar with the franchise. Amended the entry, once again.
  • June 20, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^Thanks. BTW can i launch it as soon as it has the 5th hat?
  • June 20, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    ^ Yes. Wish I could be the last one, but apparently I already did it.
  • June 20, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Then I shall have the honor! :)

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=mpdrwxay0tsw42nm90qhczd6&trope=TrueCraftsman