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Difficult to Draw a Hard and Fast Line

“It is important to stress that few period cabinetmakers made a living exclusively by building furniture. Especially in rural settings, artisans had diverse sources of income. Warren Roberts has said, “craftsmen were usually part-time farmers who had some land on which they grew crops and raised animals, devoting time to their own farm when they could. Hence it is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the farmer and the specialized craftsman.” If the Arts and Crafts legend of the rural craftsmen working in isolation, doing everything by hand and by the sweat of their brow is true anywhere, it is in Fisher. In rural towns such as Blue Hill, the craft tradition gave the maker more freedom...

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