“In a world where news of inhumanity bombards our sensibilities, where grasping for things goes so far beyond our needs, where time is squandered in busyness, it is a pleasure and a privilege to pause for a look at handiwork, to see beauty amidst utility, and to know that craft traditions begun so long ago serve us today.”
― John Wilson
The choice between handcrafted and machine made is mostly easy for discerning consumers.
Why you would say is handcrafted better than machine made?
For starters someone dedicated their lives to learning how to make that item to the best of their ability. They also can only make a small number per year, and you own one of them.
We work with several craftsmen who have been in the same trade for generations and honed their skills from a very early age.
Once the ability of the craftsman is out of question certain characteristics are unmatchable. Attention to detail, quality control over every single step of the process - going from the careful selection of materials to the manufacturing techniques.
The uniqueness of each piece coming out of the hands of an artisan are things that cannot be replicated by any machine (not yet at least). There’s something more. The “uniqueness” factor carries in itself a story, a soul which the owner of such item feels in a personal way, as if it establishes a relation with the artisan who made it. It provides that sensation of having something very personal in your hands.
Machine made generally is something that's designed for mass manufacturing. There are shortcuts in the design, because it has to be efficient to manufacture in quantity. The materials involved also have to be suitable for mass manufacturing and, ideally, inexpensive.
A craftsman can adapt to the variations in materials. The grain structure of wood, range scars in leather hides and even variances in factory-made mass-produced metal.
A machine stamping out thousands of pendant hoods would not be able to do that.
A machine would not be able to add the touches that a craftsman does which add to the charm and character of the product.
No two handmade items are identical. Slight variations in colour, shading, texture and grain are inherent in a handmade item. No two items are alike within an acceptable margin, so that every single one is one-of-a-kind. This means that every handmade item you purchase is also one-of-a-kind.
When you decide to purchase a handcrafted product you are supporting a dying breed of craftsmen, where money will go to the craftsman rather than large corporations.