I think good craft matters because we need to be more self reliant and self expressive. We need to take care of ourselves and others. Losing the connection to how things are made removes our ability to be self reliant. Learning a craft gives one a sense of value of handwork. Continuing to work (and learn) in a particular medium allows us to express our selves through that medium. I think it is important to have a connection to the items that we use in our lives everyday, to appreciate the thought, time, skill and creativity that went into making the item.
Buying an inexpensive item from elsewhere does not usually help the maker of that item in the country of origin but rather puts large pressures on them to mass produce many times under terrible working conditions. Our society is so driven by the lowest price that quality can be diminished. We are forgetting the values of buying goods directly from the maker and the potential for creative solutions for specific needs.
I like to tell people that come into our gallery, “We’re like the Farmers Market of the art world — we’re homegrown, produced naturally, environmentally friendly, and good for you!”
Buying handmade objects from artists is so much more than just “consuming” because you’re buying a piece of the artist and their particular story. Human hands designed and formed each, it hasn’t been extruded, molded, or plopped out of a machine, it’s been crafted. Using the craft object feels good knowing there is a human connection.
A fine handmade object contains part of the maker and part of the intelligence of that maker. The skill and time invested in the making are present in the complete object.
A master craftsperson has invested years of knowledge, love, and passion into their art. This is mastery, which is imbued in their work.
A carefully selected work of art will live on. It inspires, it informs, it can even help define the owner. Her identity, her discernment…
Art improves life. Everyday.
By purchasing something from an artist/craftsperson, one allows that person to continue in their field. This means they are in the position to inspire others to take up the same craft or at least be exposed to craft, which may awaken their “inner artist”. I have always been struck by the Japanese identifying great artists as national treasures…it seems to me we should be doing that here as well.