As the world continues to embrace technology with vigour, and we are in danger of losing our individuality to mass production, it is little wonder that so many of us are thinking of ways in which to turn the tide by recycling, repurposing, buying handmade goods and making crafts rather than simply making money.
It’s almost as if we are on a quest, a search for what is real. We are trying to reconnect with ourselves and with others.
It is somewhat ironic that it is technology, specifically the internet, that is helping to drive the craft revolution.
Thanks to the internet, everyone with a personal computer can learn a multitude of crafting skills.
Handmade and the touch of the hand are about nurture, nourishment, application, patience and care.
In the light of the global recession with all its negative spin-offs, handcraft gives us a sense of security and control in uncertain times.
The so-called “handmade movement” is about saving the world, and giving to others & to yourself by doing something for no reason other than it makes you happy.
it is under-pinned by an awareness of the need to nurture the environment through recycling and reusing, and by taking cognisance of the exploitation that is inherent in mass production.
However there is no getting away from the “gorgeous” factor, the delight to be found in modern nostalgia and how deeply satisfying it is to get to grips with an old-fashioned craft.
Handmade is the mother tongue giving rise to a new African design language.
There is no longer any connection between producer and consumer and the handmade movement is to build a new economy and present a better choice: buy, sell and live handmade.
The ascendancy of chain-store culture and global manufacturing has left people all dressing, furnishing and decorating alike.
The handmade movement featured strongly in trend forecasts worldwide for 2011, while on the local front craft is not only cool, it represents an enormous source of income.
According to the department of trade and industry, some R2 billion of SA’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the craft sub-sector.
They estimate that crafts could contribute R5 billion to the country’s GDP and support some 20 000 new jobs by 2015 if the sector receives sufficient support.
The latest trend overseas is handmade shopping and swapping parties – get-togethers where you can sell handmade products or swap your creative handiwork with that of your friends.
People prefer handmade because they want something unique. Handmade speaks to people. Having something in your home that is unique enhances your individuality.
Making something with your own hands is soul satisfying and creativity takes us away from every day life.
Handmade is not just about craft, but craftivity – a movement where creativity is used to change the world.
One of our missions is not only to create jobs, but also to celebrate the individual who made the product. This is the opposite of nameless, faceless mass production.
Swing tags bearing the makers name on it are par for the course. Handmade captures a tiny bit of the person who made it. Many craft artists work from hand to mouth.
Their talent is a way of bringing food to the family table as well as a way to express their creative talent. To make something is about the soul and is a way of explaining yourself to the world
Handcrafts are therapeutic and meditative and buying a unique article is a way of setting yourself apart instead of drowning in a sea of sameness. Our local crafts are a link to our culture, diversity and history rather than to an impersonal world. The recession has contributed to a shift in consciousness towards a more valued, honest life and people are realizing afresh there is more to life than making money.
So join the handmade revolution and help us bring creativity and craft back to it’s rightful place in this world. Help us regain our uniqueness as individuals and return to the delight by buying handmade articles from your local craft stores and markets. Let’s work together to create jobs and increase our country’s GDP through the art of crafts.