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Handcrafted in Todays Modern Age

Jul 21, 2008
While there is no doubt that our modern industrial world has added to the richness and diversity of our lives, it could be argued that we have lost an essential understanding of the value of making something with our own hands and we have lost our connection to mother earth.

In the 1800's especially the latter half, the industrial age had kicked into full gear. Not long after the end of the American Cival War, before the start of the Industrial Age, nearly all goods were made by craftsmen that were so skilled, they enjoyed creating products that were of value to others.

But with the rise in industrialization, every product once made by hand took on a level of manufacturing, so much so that today,most products bought and sold today on the world market do not have a single human hand touch the product prior to distribution.

In a world of compressed wood products and staples, it is hard to achieve the beauty of handmade wood furniture. In our world of assembly line glass products, it is hard to gain an appreciation for hand blown glass products. In our modern age of vinyl products, it is hard to experience handmade purses. With the development of plastics, we lost handmade luggage and outdoor furniture.

Or world is changing rapidly, and not always for the better.

Remember the full-service gas station, there was one at nearly every corner. But along came self service, now its nearly impossible to find a full-service station anywhere.

Handmade toys have been replaced with plastic and metal toys manufactured on assembly lines. Wood and plastic designs, made as cheaply as the manufacturers can make them, have replaced handmade items.

All things that were beautiful and handmade, have all been replaced by goods that manufactures make on uncaring machines. Our Modern world has undergone a transformation, we are now trained to buy efficient and inexpensive products that we just throw away and replace when broken.

In our modern era, its seems the only things to cherish is each other. But what about our grandmothers, they had beautiful hand made quilts and clothing that were handed on to them. Our grandfathers had boots that were handmade and taken to the boot maker when they needed mending. Our grandparents even had watches that were valuable enough, that they took to the watchmaker when the watch stopped working.

Yes, those days are gone.

Before WWII, Christmas was chock full of gifts that were made by the hands of the giver. After WWII, technology began to stamp itself fully into our everyday lives and Christmas was transformed into a "buying experience" rather than a "making experience".

When was the last time you recieved something hand crafted. When was the last time your friend baked you some hand baked cookies? or your children made you something special for Christmas.

While I do know that few people in the industrialized nations make anything by hand anymore - an exception being the Rolls Royce and Ferrari automobiles - there are many people who live in South America, Africa, and Eastern Asia who still appreciate the value of making products by hand.

With the Internet available in satuaration, we find ourselves able to experience what most people have not been able to experience in a very long time. Customers have the ability to go online and find in expensive handcrafted goods, that they may prefer to over mass produced items.

Many Internet retailers have searched far-and-wide to bring handmade products to their customers. Products that are made by hand, by real people in Africa and Eastern Asia can be found on many online retail websites.

In my world handmade is a beautiful concept. It is fantastic to be able to search on the internet to find products that have been made with the love and commitment of a real person in real time.

I love the fact that I can go online to buy handmade, but the thing that is most interesting is that one can frequently get handmade products from other areas of the world for far less money than an American, a European or Australian can get the same kind of machined products for from his or her local brick-and-mortar retail outlet.

Wouldn't it be great to see mother earth back in your modern life. Why not try and find some handmade products online, the products you can acquire are endless.
About the Author
Nicole Maschwitz writes about products and design. When you are in the market to shop for Great Gift Ideas, handmade jewellery, Fashion handbags, unique gifts or decorative homewares, please visit Gift Hut and browse their selection of products from around the world at: http://www.gifthut.com.au
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