During the past decade, the demand for handmade products has skyrocketed in popularity. Craftsmanship in particular has experienced a rise in popularity, as people are demanding more from their art – in a world of bland mass-production, to own something individual is enhancing. It’s a pleasure to have something that is made with love and made by hand. Becoming increasingly aware of the stories behind their artwork, people are seeking to adorn themselves and their homes with unique items that they are able to tell a story about.
A lovely way to buy handmade is at craft events, which offer consumers the opportunity to meet the maker, shake the hand of the person who crafted the product and learn the story behind their processes. Whilst this experience is often lost on the High Street, buying through the platform of a craft event offers the consumer an opportunity to learn about the maker’s story.
An example of this is Handmade in Britain, at the forefront of the burgeoning craft movement, which aims “to support, promote and celebrate designer- makers who create their work across the UK”. Increasing accessibility and visibility, Handmade in Britain create market opportunities and maintain high standards in the craft sector whilst providing a support programme for the industry. The second edition, Handmade at Kew (6 – 9 October 2016), is a four-day contemporary craft event, taking place at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in the elegant pavilion alongside Kew Palace. What’s so lovely about the event is that much of what the 150+ exhibitors show would likely never find its way to the average high street, therefore you really are buying something unique.
Founded in Chicago, the Renegade Craft Fair is a lively alternative. With music, food and a truly international vibe, the RCG aims to incubate talent, promote new and established artists and build communities in the host city. Their London edition is being held in the Old London Brewery on Brick Lane from 5 – 9 November. Also of note is Made London – Marylebone (20 – 23 October 2016), a design and crafts fair held in the beautiful One Marylebone, a former church designed by Sir John Soane.
Perhaps we are experiencing a return to Arts and Crafts after a technology-heavy few decades in art and design.