If you’re reading this, chances are you love handmade! No matter what you call yourself – artist, craftsman, designer, maker, collector, or gallerist – handmade art says —and does— something truly special to you. Something that mass-produced, machine-made, pre-packaged stuff can never touch. Is it because you see the hand of the maker in the pottery? The vision of the designer in the scarf? Someone’s furious passion in the gorgeous blown glass? Do you see a bit of heart in the art, perhaps?
Before writing this, I reached out to the best artist-of-hearts I knew, Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi, who has been thrilling craft connoisseurs for years with her complex and beautiful ceramic hearts. In describing her creative career Laurie says, “My love of clay began thirty-nine years ago. I am grateful for being successful in doing what I love and the ability to share a little piece of me with each collector.” Ah, ha! She confirms the “special-ness” of handmade, leaving a bit of herself in every piece!
Another wonderful artist, Wyanne Thompson, recently wrote about being an artist on her Instagram page, “Most of us work with our hearts on our sleeve extending to what we create.” Can’t you just see that heart dripping its passion right into the hand of the creator? Personally, I think it’s very true, and how a little bit of heart is in every handmade object!
This small column is destined to become a regular ending in each issue of Handmade Business. I hope it becomes a monthly reminder of why we all pursue a career devoted to creating, collecting, and celebrating handmade treasures. We need to realize that our endeavors create beautiful and fascinating objects, power our personal and community fortunes, and contribute to an amazing balance between intellect and emotion. At various places on the handmade continuum there is a niche for recyclers, makers, builders, scavengers, designers, avant-gardes, and traditionalists, all extending a bit of themselves into their art. It is a well-known fact that the arts encompass the widest swath of humanity and generally we interact with all sorts of interesting folks!
It is an artist’s hope that the world accepts, maybe even applauds, their creation. My hope is for this column to give a strong voice to that handmade aesthetic and the spirit that moves our community. We invite your insight and comments on the heartbeat of our industry. In the meantime, keep creating because as they say, the beat goes on!
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