I’m over two years in to Smithery, and still enjoying the mental and verbal tussle with the many things that it is I do. That’s fine though; part of the whole idea of “Smithery” was that it harked back to an age before job descriptions. For instance, I just found this again:
The idea of the ‘raw materials’ thing was to say that rather than steel, iron, stone and wood, there’s now a group of people working with a whole different set of materials who, perhaps back then, would have all had the same collective name.
I learned from a post by Darren Farrar here that in the middle of the 19th century, one in five men in the US would record themselves in a census as “a blacksmith”. One in five.
Not because they’re all doing exactly the same thing, of course. But because they’re working about the same sorts of material.
Sometimes, perhaps, it isn’t just people who’re polymaths, but materials too. The things that you can use for just about anything.