Handmade as a Philosophy of Life

Handmade as a Philosophy of Life

Published On: 10-20-2014 01:54pm

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Category: Artisan Philosophy

In applying to have my jewelry spotlighted on ArtFire, one of the questions I need to answer is "Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?" I had to think about how to put into words what handmade means to me...why handcrafted items of any sort have always resonated, and why it is deeply satisfying for me to design and create jewelry for others to wear.

Our society has worked so hard to become efficient and hands-free, whether for stamping out plastic bottles or putting together identical hamburgers, that we've stripped the soul out of the things we fill our lives with. For the creator, handmade products are very personal and physical. The maker leaves a mark or style for others to detect and know that something has been handcrafted. For the buyer, the product is by definition NOT identical to a million other of the same thing, and instead reflects the character and vision of whoever created it.

At its best, buying and selling handmade connects people with one another—supporting free market in a healthy and sustainable way. It is the opposite of sterile, mass-marketed consumption. When I can re-purpose or reconstruct jewelry or personally valuable artifacts for others, then I am also helping reduce stress on the planet. All these elements come together when each piece is made by hand based on unique design and material decisions. 

I can live out this philosophy by supporting as often as I am able organic farmers, people who hand mix skin care products, local non-chain restaurants, and other business owners who embrace the idea of customized, thoughtful service. It's my hope that our society continues moving in this direction as a counterbalance to our fascination with industrialized production.

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