Connection is the word that we would have inscribed above the door in Snapdragon's imaginary shop. It is the word at the core of what we aspire to do. Connect with the seasons, with the soil, connect with our customers, with the community. Only connect. This blog is a symptom of that quest.
Yesterday Carolyn wrote a very astute comment on my post about the demise of the Country Living Scottish Fair, questioning whether handmade was enough of an intrinsic value in itself.
It was a comment that made me think - because I am very vociferous about the fact that the similar catch all "organic" covers a multitude of sugary sins. I think that she is right - why do I get worked up about the need to preserve the hand made in Britain?
If I want to buy a salad bowl why do I go to the local craft gallery rather than Habitat? If I wanted to buy a doorstop why Primrose Hill rather than Cath Kidston?
And I think that it stems from this basic need for connection - connection at some level to a discernable human maker.
I do not feel comfortable buying from chain shops - I was in Edinburgh shopping yesterday and was very put off by the impersonal nature of the shops. The place where I did buy ( a party dress from East) was largely because of a wonderfully engaging member of staff. When I do part with my money it tends to be either in craft or antique shops.
I don't really know where this post is going - I think it is very hard to justify the allure of the handmade using pure logic. Yet it seems that, like lighting an open fire, growing your own vegetables or making jam, there is something more, something unmeasurable. All these things, if judged on a strict value for time and money basis, would probably fail, yet they are the parts of life that give me connection and are therefore, for me, beyond value.
That is how I feel about the hand made (though not all handmade) and the reason that I think it is worth fighting to promote.
I would be very interested to hear what items people value as hand-made and which they don't.
Thanks again for all your comments and e-mails.