There is just something about making stuff with your own two hands that can be so gratifying, more so than any other action I can think of. Whether it is food, something for your home, a piece of art, stationary or clothing, it’s a primitive yet innovative, creative and satisfying process. Don’t you think? On the flip side, buying items for yourself or your home right from the artists and creators that made them can also be really rewarding both in support of their endeavors and also having something unique.
I haven’t done any real research, but what I hear and see is that in an age of an over abundance of mass-produced sameness and with the availability of the internet and sites like Etsy, the importance of handmade goods has been brought to the forefront. For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade". Two of my favorites (out of the 39,000 sellers) are a letterpress calendar by ilee papergoods and paintings by Rachel Austin. (photos are from ilee papergoods and Rachel Austin respectively)
Check it out!
If you don’t have regular access to the internet another way to find great handmade stuff is by going to craft shows. In Philly there is the Creative Collection Craft and Fine Arts Fair from Memorial Day weekend until mid October. The last time I was there I saw some beautiful necklaces from Designs By Ilan. She makes her own beads and uses fused glass, crystals and silver to make one-of-a-kind pieces. (picture from Designs By Ilan)
Another artist that I have loved ever since I saw her featured in the November 05 issue of Met Home is K
Studio. She makes embroidered home accessories such as bags, pouches, journals and pillows. (picture from K Studio)
I believe every person is creative. You just have to let yourself be quiet enough to find it. But whether you are creating or buying, I think handmade is way better than robot-made. In honor of crafting and making things by hand I added a new book list on Amazon.com. It is made up of books that I have used for my own crafty creations, so it doesn’t cover all the craft genres. If you need some inspiration you could start there and do a search for your own interests.