March 27, 2011

The Beauty of Handmade

I've always had a weakness for handmade objects--

there's a beauty inherent in the work of the human hand that is somehow lacking in all things mass-produced, regardless of whatever stellar design qualities they may possess.

The imperfection imparted by touch is endlessly fascinating -- the jag of a line as it reflects a heartbeat or breath, the slight wobble of a stitch as the needle makes its way across cloth, pushed by a thimbled finger.

That no two hand-crafted objects will ever be exactly the same is surely part of the appeal.  And the context provided by the thoughts and feelings of a living maker informs each work as well, placing it in a specific moment, a specific place.

"That a thing made by hand, the work and thought of a single craftsman, can endure much longer than its maker, through centuries in fact, can survive natural catastrophe, neglect, and even mistreatment, has always filled me with wonder.  Sometimes in museums, looking at a humble piece of pottery from ancient Persia or Pompeii, or a finely wrought page from a medieval illuminated manuscript toiled over by a nameless monk, or a primitive tool with a carved handle, I am moved to tears.  The unknown life of the maker is evanescent in its brevity, but the work of his or her hands and heart remains."

-- Susan Vreeland

And thank goodness.  We can forever know something of the maker by the fruits of his or her hands, giving us a priceless connection, a glimpse into another human being's time, place and heart that transcends the value of the object itself.  

When you give handmade, you give . . .


A little piece of yourself.  
See? Beautiful.

Susan M. Hinckley
Small Works in Wool


1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan--Great to see your blog post here. How true it is and how much we need things made by hand in today's world.


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