BY JACK WADE
In an age of home improvement television and evolving design trends, many of us have been tempted to make cheap, quick purchases in attempt to fill our homes with superficial beauty. As long as the aesthetic fits, too often we forget to care about the quality and source of the things we buy. Because we’re so far removed from the process, we don’t understand how our stuff is made.
The result? We unintentionally submit our dollar votes in favor of mass production and factory line goods, and we slowly begin to lose an appreciation for the craft, and talent, in favor of convenience.
Buying handcrafted goods that are created in small batches will reinstate your appreciation for the creative process. You will feel the texture, the weight, or the balance of a handcrafted piece, and understand that you are the proud owner of a masterpiece. You will notice the passion, effort, and years of experience that went into its creation. You won’t need to question the price you pay for its quality because your piece is built to last, and not to replace.
Take, for example, an artisan crafted glass chandelier versus a mass-produced lighting product. Where even at first glance it may be obvious that the aesthetic qualities can vary greatly between the two (i.e. size, shape, glass color density, and luminosity), you might be surprised to learn the significant variation in production, glass type, and especially in customer service, care, and maintenance over the lifetime of the piece. One company specializing in artisan-made lighting performed a side-by-side comparison of their small batch creations up against cheaper, foreign factory-produced pieces. Their findings reveal that among visual imperfections in the factory-produced lighting, concessions made for rapid and inexpensive factory production and material choice can lead to alarming issues down the road.
Do you want more control over the décor entering your home? When you buy handcrafted home goods, you can also be certain that you’ll have more direct contact with the folks who created them. Not only will you directly support them and their craft, but in turn you’ll positively impact their local economy and community. Maintaining a close connection to the artisan, you have the opportunity to request customization, and therefore truly acquire a cool, one-of-a-kind piece that perfectly fits you and your style. The benefits go on and on.
You can begin to choose extraordinary, artisan pieces now and find that in time your home will not only be filled with beauty, but also with quality, unique treasures you will be proud to show off.