Picture a mammoth of a machine – daunting in its size, effective in its ability. Taking half the time it would take an artisan, potter or painter, it churns out twice their produce. Sure, it consumes more energy. But it costs less. And did we mention it doesn’t make mistakes?
With all the odds stacked against it, does Handmade stand a chance?
What the Industrial Revolution brought can never be questioned. But what the millennial generation is questioning, is worth waking up to. How much of a difference do handmade products make? How does it even make a difference? Why should we think about Ramkumarji in Jaipur when we add that terracotta jar to cart?
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. A thing of handmade beauty, infinitely more so. Not just because it lasts. A handmade rug weaves the story of the craft that was passed down through generations. It whispers the magic of young fingers that were taught by older fingers. It unveils to you the realisation that original skill needs to be taught, not copied and pasted.
Handmade pledges to you that no two products are ever the same. A lace dyed in bougainvillea differs in the slightest from the next few metres of the same lace dyed in the same bougainvillea. They’re both pink, but they’re not the same pink. Your best friend and you could buy the same Overlay Boho Dress, but you both know that one of these things is not like the other.
Handcrafted also implies intentional love. Every sprinkle of orange peel powder and swirl of essential oil manifest itself into a labour of love that becomes a part of your morning routine. Because self love deserves a dash of special care. Through touch, the creator can instill an object with their authentic essence – that is the charm of human touch. We may not be thinking about Ramkumarji from Jaipur when we proceed to checkout, but he definitely is thinking about us when he spins clay into the shape of your now-favourite terracotta jar.
Handmade thought it lost its chance when it couldn’t live up to Industralisation’s quantities. But the woke generation has begun to ask the question – what of quality? What of the rarity of uniqueness handmade brings? What of supporting local arts and crafts?
Pick up your next buy. Ask it some questions. Each of them have a story to tell. The question is, which story do we want to hear?