handmade, slow made, specialised skills, ceramics, home, interior

Hands up for handmade

Handcrafted and speciality skills are back and with the addition of innovation are better than ever

By Greer Krige, Lifestyle Content Creator

With the rise in conscious consumerism, there is a revival of traditional artisanal skills and techniques, respect for material integrity, and newfound appreciation for organic-like materials like wood and linen.

Forgotten skills and craftsmanship from bygone days had been pushed back by capitalism, industrialization and the school system that isn’t conducive to mastery. But this is changing.

Handmade production requires authenticity and quality, a connection with the product through hands- attention to detail and results in unique pieces with character- not identical mass-produced items moulded from toxic materials and manufacturing processes harmful to the environment.

This shift benefits the economy, empowers, upskills and uplifts local and often marginalized communities. It is known as a ‘circular economy’ driven by sustainability, durability, excellence and innovation by respecting past traditional techniques.

Ultimately a celebration of the story behind products and brands, looking at the greater good and giving back.

Some brands combining traditional craft with new innovations are:

Velt is a brand that uses the age-old technique of preserving and pressing plants – inspired by a respect for and love of nature. The end result is a modern artwork in glass with a contemporary metal frame- combining old and new. They are driven by a higher goal to use funds from the sale of these unique artworks to establish a bush camp focused on the conservation of wildlife.

handmade, slow made, specialised skills, ceramics, home, interior

The combination of old and new techniques can result in something very special. Paper Blondie- use traditional watercolour painting with the addition of modern digital design – creating distinctive illustrations. They also craft beautiful ceramic vessels by hand with signature face motifs.

handmade, slow made, specialised skills, ceramics, home, interior

Basket and wickerwork are beautiful and functional too - Baskiti- use only natural materials like wood, wicker, and linen in their products. Using the timeless artisan skill of weaving in clever modern hanging designs and innovations like the linen liners.

handmade, slow made, specialised skills, ceramics, home, interior

Something to ponder is whether craft is fine art? 

There are many opinions on this, and both craft and art have history, influencing their contemporary forms. However, if one considers that crafts were developed for a purpose- to create something functional – like a bowl vessel, whereas fine art was and is essentially created to be aesthetically beautiful but not functional- therein lies the fundamental difference.

Nowadays, however, craft has become increasingly more aesthetic and thus crossing over into the realm of art. In other words, if something is created without a specific functional purpose but still requires a specialized skill it is a craft that has become art.

Embracing handmade products means you can have original pieces, and these sometimes take a bit longer to craft and can cost a bit more due to the high quality of the materials and craftsmanship. But, at the end of the day, you’ll receive a far superior product that is unique, made with attention to detail and better for the economy and planet!

Handmade Products

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