Friday, March 29, 2013

Why Handmade: Factory Direct to You!

At Boston Handmade we do it by hand. "Why Handmade" is our new weekly blog column celebrating art and craft made by hand, the people behind all that is handmade, and the reasons we choose the handmade life. Please stay tuned on Fridays for insights into our handmade world.

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

Photo by Jessica Burko
We live in a world where we can obtain anything we want just by going to the store and purchasing it. We can guarantee the quality (or lack of quality) in each and every item in those stores. Better yet, we do not even need to leave our homes, as we can order what we want online, and a delivery truck will bring it to us. Manufacturers know exactly how long it takes to make each item, and can price accordingly. They also can cut corners so that they can reproduce even faster and cheaper.  I can guarantee that my purchase is exactly the same as yours. It is expedient and easy, with little to no effort on the part of the purchaser.

Photo by Dana Garczewski of The Patterned Peacock
So, Why Handmade?  It certainly does not save money or time. We all have busy lives with families and homes that require our care and attention. Yet, there are those of us who are inspired to avoid the hum drum of the factories and acquire our belongings from people who make things by hand. Then, of course, there are those who still make things by hand. Artisans, craftspeople, and artists are still inspired to use their hands to make the world a beautiful place. Instead of thousands of factory workers producing the same vanilla shirt repeatedly, just one craftsperson is sewing a one of a kind item with nothing but a sewing machine and their own two hands.

Photo by Kerry Hawkins of K. Hawkins Photography
There is pride in a piece of work that was completely created by your own two hands, or by an artisan whom you have had the opportunity to speak. There is respect for the labor and special skill required, whether it is making jewelry, printing, knitting or crocheting, creating beautiful colors, or any other handmade creation. There is love and passion in every detail of a handmade item one can never get from something made in a factory. 

Humans were meant to create things. We were given thumbs so that we could invent the wheel, build our homes, make clothing for protection from the elements, and to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. We were given minds and hearts in need of expressing ourselves any way we can. There is no better way to express ourselves than through the beauty of something we made completely by hand.

Photo by Kerry Hawkins of K. Hawkins Photography

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