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Why Hand Made?


In a world where faster, bigger, easier is 'better', hand made speaks to the soul of the maker and to the pleasure of the user.  Hand made says care and pride, value and originality.

When an item is machine made from a pattern or design and repeated over and over it loses its human touch.  It becomes common.  Now, of course, we have need of the myriad things that are inexpensively made by machine in factories; those things we use every day like bath towels or automobiles.  It would be very impractical to make them by hand.  But, some things should be hand made.  Things like art, cooking, woodwork, paintings, quilts, sculpture, photography, are created one item at a time.  Don't the artists use machinery?  Certainly, but not to mass produce an item.  Quilters use sewing machines, woodworkers use lathes or power saws, cooks use stoves and ovens.  It is not the lack of machine assistance that defines hand made.  It is the originality and personal touch that goes into the work.

Hand made has value.  A painting commands such high prices because the painter touched it with his talent and passion.  He said something beautiful and profound to all who see it.  We value an old and perhaps shabby quilt because it was made by our grandmother.  Perhaps we see memories in the quilt like fabric from the prom dress mom wore in 1942 or the silk from our baby's christening dress. Value is determined by the meaning and care in the making of the item more than the cost of the materials.

The creators of hand made items do them for the joy and satisfaction of the making.The very youngest child will proudly show her 'artwork' to everyone around her because she made it and it is completely hers.  We never outgrow that feeling of pride in our work. When an actor opens a new play, he checks the newspapers for the opinion of the critics with great fear and trepidation, hoping others will like his work.  We are all fearful of the 'critics' who can take away our pride in accomplishment.  It is human nature.  But, the beauty of the human spirit is such that fault-finders can't take away that desire and determination to create something.  You and I want to make things.

Hand made is creative, talented, rare, beautiful, necessary, and satisfying.  No matter how convenient manufacturing is, hand made will always be part of life, feeding our souls and hearts.


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I should actually thank you for giving such a beautiful reasoning for the difference between handmade and machine made. I have always faced the same question, why handmade is so special when we can make the same in a machine.
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