Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Craft is the new luxury

As Giorgio Armani recently said: “The defining change in luxury has been a move towards personalisation and customisation, and a growing desire for true exclusivity.”

This quote is taken from an excellent article in the Sunday Times for 28th October called `The Birth of Nu-Craft'. I can't help thinking that Etsy surely has to be part of this re-emergence of craft and the fact that many forms of craftwork are being taken more seriously.

Then I came across a second article in the Times Literary Supplement for the 26th October by Tanya Harrod. As I haven't got a subscription to the TLS, other than at work, I'll attempt to summarise some of the main points:

In this Commentary article, sculptor Phyllida Barlow realises the craftsperson is competing with materialism on a gigantic scale and wonders how one competes with a giant global industry of objects.

It discusses the development of a 21stC arts and crafts movement in China - a turn to painstaking handwork as a response to destructive modernization.

The article also explores the relationship between craft and replication and the assumption that craft is traditionally viewed as a second-rate activity to art.

US sociologist, Richard Sennett explains why more and more people are turning from the workplace to craftwork. He claims we live in a world that singles out comparatively few for recognition, yet where we are endlessly assessed and judged. And argues that skills won through long experience appear to count for nothing and identities eroded as a result and so an increasing number of creative people "refocus" their energies on perfecting a craft for oneself.

To sum up, craft exhibition co-curator, Kate Westerholt says, "I see echoes of the Arts and Crafts movement. At the turn of the last century, people were tired of industrialisation; they craved individuality. We’re seeing a return to that. It’s like, I want beautiful things in my home, and the best way is to make them myself.

Buy handmade - support Etsy.

And keep knitting, crocheting, silversmithing, jewellery-making, bag-making and making beautiful things that make you happy. You're a talented bunch!

1 comment:

Piglottie said...

Great post, and I thoroughly agree!