The Value of Handmade
Handmade has become ubiquitous within furniture making; to an extent, it is a valid adjective for the work people do. However, I believe the greater meaning lies within what we choose to connect with, and our relationship with the people and the materials that have created it. Now we have so many avenues to engage with ephemeral objects, we owe it to ourselves to ensure we sustain that relation. That is what should be at the core of handmade, not just a thinly veiled marketing grab.
I don’t think it wholly rests on design to carry that discussion, as I’ve gone on in the business, I realised that your hands have a heart of their own. There will always be a need to have taste, but a handcrafted piece has an element of honesty and humanity unmatched by anything produced on mass, or even off a machine in general. Machines defiantly have their place; I can’t do what I do with out them, but as with anything, it important to know where the line is drawn. Having the experience and the knowledge to know when and where to place that line is critical to running a business, but also just to bring concepts and ideas into fruition.
But ultimately, the majority of my time is spent at my bench. It is where my passion lies, and as much as I’ve been told that your business must lean toward machines and creating repetition in creativity and workmanship to survive, I continually trust in my hands to carry my business. It shows in the small details, the bits that make it greater than the sum of it’s parts.
When I can sit back and enjoy a finished piece, I have become external from it. I absorb myself in what I do; it often feels like you’re just a bit of conduit for an external force, which make these sub conscious movements and decisions for you. But a piece develops its own character and assertion over that; its own independence. That is the ultimately the value of handmade, to ensure that discussion is carried from my hands into someones home and life.
Above photo taken by Jacob Connor