There is a lot to say about the maker’s movement and I’m sure there are differing opinions on it, so I will just discuss what it means to me. If you haven’t heard of this before, then my best description of what the maker’s movement is the cultural move away from the industrial one-size-fits-all, to a smaller scale of one-of-a-kind handmade. I feel that we have entered a modern day renaissance of creativity where everyone can join in thanks to technologies that connect us across the world. No longer is the power only held by huge corporations to reach mass audiences. Just this thought alone ignites my brain with creative possibility.
The maker’s movement allows for people to take a step away from just consuming products to more appreciating what we have. If you can just walk into a store and buy a vase, for which there are 30 more on the shelf, in the back storage room, at the same store a few miles away, online, etc, then this item loses value. You would not treasure that item, if it broke you could just replace it. However if you were to buy a vase that an individual took the time to make by hand, with all its imperfect details, this vase holds significance in your home. It is one-of-a-kind, even if the maker creates several similar vases; each one is slightly different as it was handmade.
Don’t get me wrong, the creation of industry was a great step forward in our society that allowed for the mass production of many essentials, bringing up the supply of these essentials and lowering the cost from which many people greatly benefited from. I believe many items should be mass-produced and will continue to purchase mass produced items. The downside to industry is that some items are made with low quality, in order to make the most profit. Also, as in my vase example, having massed produced products makes the items less special.
Purchasing a handmade item and understanding that the maker of that item put time, care, and artistry into the item really makes it special. These items also tend to have more character, since they aren’t as often test marketed and made to appeal to the largest audience.
In order to support the maker’s movement, I try to make a purchase from a small business that creates or carries handmade items when possible. I’ve accumulated a small collection of these special items so far, and it makes me happy to think about how someone put time and thought into these items.
Do you also like to purchase handmade items from small businesses? What do you think of the maker’s movement?
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