What is it or should it be? ………………. I really struggle with this question and it causes me some serious turmoil. (I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time. I write it…then reconsider and delete the post).
What I believe (my personal opinion) Something handmade is made by hand (seems pretty simple). Okay, here it divides slightly. I handbuild pieces using a rolling pin to flatten the clay and knives to cut and my hands to shape and smooth joins. Yeah, I think that fits.
Wheel thrown work was traditionally formed on a kick wheel using human energy, now potters like me use electric wheels. Still formed using the hands and skill built up over many (many, many) years – okay.
Now we get into the murky area…..slip casting. (What’s slip casting I hear?) It’s when a mould is made of plaster of a form (the form can be anything, for instance a glass bottle) once the plaster is dry, hundreds of bottles can be made from that mould, and very quickly. Mould making is symbolic of the Industrial Revolution and mass production methods.
So, here’s my issue – should items made using Industrial methods be classed as Handmade? I know my thoughts – please let me know yours….
a mould being made
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy products made from a mould, I just don’t agree that they should be called handmade. (Now I’ve said it. But that’s how I feel).
I suppose it’s like my lasagne I make from scratch, it’s handmade. If I bought one at a local italian deli and they had made it from scratch…it’s handmade. If I buy it from the supermarket and it’s packaged – is it still handmade?
I’m thinking this is all grey and I’m happier when some things are more black and white!