Featured for April: Craft is a Living Thing - By Dan Goode
Craft is a living thing. It exists because one person had a thought and they turned that thought, that spark of inspiration into something. That moment of creation, and the years of toil and experience that led up to it, will at some point strike a chord with another human being who will become the purchaser. It is this connection between the artist and the receiver – two ways of understanding the world united – that makes craft so special.
The maker and the eventual owner create together the story of a piece.
In purchasing handmade work, the key element in the transaction is the ability of the maker to touch another’s creative sensibility, and their imagination, with their own. True artists do this, they produce something, and it touches us. In that creatively inspired meeting a connection is made that imbues a handmade piece with a very particular quality. The item in question becomes personal to the purchaser.
Above and beyond taste, or the joy of buying something nice, this is what sets handmade apart. Investing in craft and fitting it into your life is, at its most simple but profound level, about surrounding yourself with pieces that speak to you.
I am surrounded at home by handmade things, and each piece for me has a story, a history, a resonance with a different time, place or person in my life. My handmade possessions are a diary of my life and a physical embodiment of my thoughts, my feelings and my aspirations. When I am asked how someone can fit craft into their lives – how they go about it (including craft as an investment) – I start them here. Buy pieces that speak to you!
It is strange to me that we like to know how our food is produced but we rarely worry about how our possessions are created. To me the provenance of our possessions, wherever possible, is every bit as important, and with handmade work this is accessible. Provenance is invariably built into every item made by hand. A maker cannot help but include in every item they produce the mark of their history as a creative, the growth in their personal creative journey.
In the main I use my handmade work, it is part of the fabric of my everyday life and picking a favourite mug for tea in the morning, or relaxing beside beautiful cushions, or just looking at a unique glass vase full of flowers from the garden gives me immense pleasure. Handmade work isn’t simply to stare at, it’s to use, to experience, to hold, and sometimes to chip and to break: the old, after years of faithful service giving way to the new. My handmade pieces at home are old friends, and I treasure each and every one. Fitting handmade work into your life is about seeing it as an every day pleasure, a beautiful and useful addition to your home.
About Dan Goode: Dan Goode is firmly ensconced in the UK’s creative scene as a trained ceramicist, a craft fair curator, a speaker and a working actor. Dan knows how hard it is as an artist to feel ‘heard’ and this is why he created Making Goode. Find out more about Dan and Making Goode here.
All images courtesy of Dan Goode.