Sunday, December 27, 2009

For love of bespoke work and artisanal craftsmanship

There are times whereby I'd put some songs on for easy listening. Songs that get my head bopping to the beats or move me on an emotional level; I feel happier listening to them. However, I don’t understand the story behind the singer/songwriter’s inspirations for the piece nor do I have an awareness for the complex processes involved in the making of it. I have no urge to and am content with a simple appreciation of the song and the emotions it evokes.

For many people, jewellery is like that – an accessory to be admired and desired. No more, no less. And that’s fine – there are many levels to appreciating a piece and as a designer, I’m just grateful to have someone like my aesthetic.

Once in long while though, I meet some people who truly understand what your aims were when you conceived of the brand. And when that happens, there is a deep gratification of being understood and appreciated on that kind of level.

One of my clients wrote this awhile back, and I thought I’d share it. It was in the context of a discussion about today's culture of disposable and ready-to-wear everything; that there was no understanding or appreciation of bespoke work or old artisanal craftsmanship. While there was nothing inherently wrong with that and it was an inevitable consequence of the industrial age and people’s changing consumption patterns, she shared her own thoughts about old luxury that touched me greatly.

“True luxury is when you know the designer, you understand his or her aesthetic, you understand the creative process that went into each piece, and you worked with the designer to create something exclusively for you (even if it borrows from other aesthetic strands), and because you trust the designer and their artisans, you trust the quality of what you have in your hand, that it was laboriously created by someone (not a machine) who was concentrating on that particular piece. For you.”

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