Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just some works in progress

Ugh...I am so wiped out. I have a huge bruise on my right arm from where I rubbed my arm while it was cramping. There is now a knot in the bruise. Weird. It's because I've been working on new these pots. It's also because I had a 3 month summer break from ceramics and this type of labor so now my body doesn't like 12 hour school days anymore. I need to give myself a pep talk and tell myself to buckle down and prepare for hard labor. I also need to take a tylenol for my super sore muscles and go to bed. :)

Lately I've been thinking about why I love to use handmade items. Why would I prefer a handmade object to a manufactured item? Well, as far as I can tell, I think a few reasons are:
a) they are imperfect, unique and individual...just like us.
b) they have a story. they tell us something about their maker and they tell us something about us. it creates a shared connection between aesthetics and styles and perhaps emotions evoked by an object between makers and consumers. the added idea that another person thoughtfully handcrafted it makes it more personal. it becomes a shared experience and makes us feel like we are part of a community.
c) i personally find that using handmade items turns daily life into more of a ceremony than a routine. using a dish made by a friend or cuddling up with a blanket made by your mom or grandma brings about more memories or daily reflections than streamlined manufactured products. looking around to see items with memories or meanings makes me feel a bit like i'm living more consciously or intentionally.

Those are some reasons I like handmade objects. I realize these are inanimate objects and ultimately they exist to serve a be used. As long as they work they are all essentially equal. When I was younger I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and the idea of traveling in a covered wagon. If I had to put all my belongings in a wagon and pick between handmade quilts and dishes or store bought quilts and dishes then I am almost certain I would pick the handmade objects. Because of the nostalgia, personal connection to the maker, and the feeling of home that they more readily evoke. So while in the end a cup is just a cup, there is still something special about handmade objects that draws many people in and makes them want to share in whatever makes them special.

Does anyone else feel that way or have a certain object (handmade or factory manufactured) that they prefer to any other?

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