Monday, February 11, 2008

Trendy Monday: Handmade

I know it's been out there for a while, but I feel like I've just discovered the whole "handmade" movement/obsession. Just last week, I was directed to Etsy by three or four different - and entirely unrelated - bloggers. After the second viewing, I decided to write today's "trendy" on the current fascination with and reveration of all things handmade.

Sure, the movement is really about things that aren't edible (though I did see some "dessert candles" on Etsy. They were shaped like cupcakes and other sweet things, though I'm nearly positive they weren't for eating.) But the same core values that make handmade jewelry or bowls or blankets such a huge draw...those values are alive and well in the food world, too.

From my perspective, it's all about authenticity and proximity. And what's more foodie than both of those qualities? And I'm not just talking about the ubiquitous "local" movement and the cry for authenticity that sends pretentious foodie lawyers and I-bankers into the Basque wilderness or wherever (though those are very real examples of authenticity and proximity). I think you can see these values in a much more "real" way, too - from the current obsession with messy, sloppy food in photographs to the search for the best cupcake ever.

After all, everybody can identify with a half-eaten plate of food. And if you grew up in the US, cupcakes were a part of your childhood. Natural proximity is then a given. Plus, our own experience lends an air of authority through "authenticity" to not only the experience of buying or eating the cupcake, but also to ourselves as foodies.

It's kind of pretentious, sure, and even pretty silly. But I'm also pretty sure it's what keeps me coming back here to blog.


Joyce said...

I've been into the whole handmade thing for a long time and does dovetail nicely into the food thing. For me it is knowing the person who created the meal, the vase or the furniture takes it to another level. Not one of many like a McDonald's cheeseburger, but one of one. We bought our bed from an artist in Buenos Aires, he shows out of High Point, NC, long story, beautiful bed. We absolutely love it. And we love more that he writes to us every year in somewhat broken English to make sure we still love the bed or he'll give us our money back. Every year for 10 years! Not getting the same note from the Scans or Ikeas of the world. We have the same personal attachment to artwork we've collected from various craft shows, we check in with the artist to see new work to celebrate their growth. I guess we are looking for a more personal connection.

Kit Pollard said...

I actually thought of you when I was on Etsy -it seemed like the kind of thing you'd be into.

And I TOTALLY meant to write about the personal connection piece. It connects nicely with why I like to make recipes out of memoirs, rather than cookbooks...I like the story...

Jill said...

Everyone gives links to Etsy but there are plenty of other smaller places like us at
Creative Cafe where we now have a linked Salesrooms for art and handmade goods.
Members get their own webpage to display their art, crafts, videos, music, write blogs, start and join in groups and discussions and make new friends. We have over a 100 members after 3 months and welcome new ones.
Creative Cafe is a way of really getting to know fellow creative people who enjoy all kinds of art and crafts including making food.

Creative Cafe is a charitable concern run by disabled volunteers who say 'Don't Let Disability Mean Inequality'

Membership is free and open to everyone.

Volunteer Organiser

Creative Cafe

Kit Pollard said...

Thanks, Jill! Good to know!


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