Sunday, January 9, 2011

The intrigue of hand-made

Through my travel journals, I have observed that in many souvenir booths and shops, hand-made crafts are the most celebrated and successful. Why is this? I'll admit I used to scoff at the knitted goods on the souvenir strips in Nha Trang, Vietnam (where Miss Universe was hosted in 2008) because I thought knitting was such a normal, easy craft done everywhere---why would you get a knit purse here and not home? As we've reflected on our own knitting projects, I'm starting to see the intrigue in hand-made knits created by people of different cultures and lifestyles. One, it's a great, non-flashy remnant of whatever place you bought it from. Two, it's hand-made and an inherently one-of-a-kind craft that you likely only have one opportunity of obtaining.

Throughout this semester, when visiting small cities in the south and midwest, I found myself scouring for hand-made crafts. I would wonder aimlessly around shops and stands until I realized, I was subconsciously headed straight towards the hand-made crafts section. Being in the role of the maker this semester of course has encouraged me to continue to make, but I've found I have more appreciation for other fellow/experienced makers. I find other people's crafts to be inspirational as well as unique and intimate. Whether they produce things out of necessity to make money, or as a hobby that they can cash on, I'm getting a glimpse of their life and know a little bit of what they do outside of standing at this booth, wrapping up my souvenir.

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