Today is the first of October and the first ever World Handmade Day, as suggested by the fabulous people at Folksy.com. Good timing, as I’ve just had a delivery of new cards from the printers and I’m going to customise each one of them with a few little additions so that each one is unique. Ridiculously time consuming and not at all cost-effective, you might say, when they’re already printed and good to go, but for me there is great joy in adding those extra little touches. That’s what the handmade ethos is about – the opposite of mass production, making and having something unique.
“Yeah, but hand made stuff is so expensive!” – well, I have got to admit, £4 for a greetings card can seem like a lot when you can get a nice one from a supermarket for a couple of quid; I do sometimes buy a card from a supermarket and there are some really nice ones, but a handmade one is the product of an individual maker’s skills, dedication and care, encouraging creativity and independent enterprise in your community. When you support an individual artist or maker by buying their work, you’re helping someone do more of what they love. You’re paying a little bit extra for their product to reflect their training, their overheads, and the materials they use – not to mention their time. But also, I like to think that choosing something that’s been hand made with love is a positive action for yourself, making the choice for the quirky, unique and local, maybe even encouraging skills of your own.