Sunday, August 19, 2007

Aesthetics of the Handmade: Part 2


I'm still thinking about this one, (see previous rant here) and regret to say I have not reached a definitive answer. But I have come across a few things from other people pondering the same issue.
Here's the inspiring No Impact Man, talking about music specifically, but what he has to say applies to making pretty much anything.
"The obsession with perfection that comes with the consumer culture has made many of us ashamed of our creative efforts."
I see this so often, especially with my step-daughter. She might be inspired to paint a picture or play something on the guitar, but will then stop herself before she even begins. In spite of my praise and encouragement, she "But I'm not very good at that." On the other hand, she is the most avid consumer I have yet to encounter, she is helpless in the face of advertising.

I finally got my charkha up and running, thanks to the inspiration of this beautiful video. My beginner yarn is truly humbling, but I'm loving it!
"An excellence beyond mechanical perfection."
I love this idea! Mechanically produced cloth may be technically perfect, but the fact is that our hands are capable of more than the uniform quality a machine creates. As Willa Cather says:
"That irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand."
The evidence in a finished work of the touch of the maker's hand gives a vitality, a texture, an authenticity, an INTIMACY that captures the eye and lifts the spirit.

Finally, there is the deliberate mistake woven into Middle Eastern carpets by master weavers. They have the skill to create a perfect weaving, but "Only Allah is perfect."

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