There’s no doubt that craftsmanship is taking a storm in Singapore at the moment. Just the other day I saw an advert for a local craft fair on Facebook that went, “Machines are overrated. From handcrafted goods to artisan foods, get a loved one a special gift this year at our (crafters’) Market…”
Although it’s harsh to say that machines are overrated, I do agree that machine-made cannot replace the dedication, passion and heritage that go into a handcrafted item. I am glad to be right in the middle of this wave, (with me honing my skills at sewing and all…) and hope that people’s love for authentic, well-made, and artisan products will only increase as time goes by.
There is good reason for a growing trend of the handmade movement. More people are experiencing a shift and re-evaluating what define themselves in such a busy society. Instead of fitting into a cookie cutter mold, people are finding ways to discover and rejuvenate themselves; be it taking up a new sport like yoga, or learning a new skill like leather-work.
And through learning of new skills, comes the appreciation of the craftsmanship behind artisan products. Simply put: you wouldn’t fully appreciate a hand-bound notebook if you didn’t know that it includes sewing the pages piece by piece together. That’s the thing with society now, everything we consume is already in its end state that we don’t see the process and the people behind making the item. We are so cushioned from the intricacies of creating, say, a leather handbag, that it simply doesn’t do its makers justice!
The Balvenie Commission
That awareness and appreciation of the finer details in artisan products, is what The Balvenie Commission, a new curated website, wants to encourage and boost. Shining a spotlight on craftsmanship around the world, the site features articles, videos and photography that bring alive the world of craft by exploring the lives and works of makers, and provides a global hub for those passionate about making things by hand.
Features tab: sees renowned guest writers commissioned each month to bring different perspectives on craftsmanship. Check out reports on hitting the streets of New York City to meet local makers. It’s great to read about what makers all over the world are doing.
The Commissions tab: features articles on craftspeople who have been commissioned and funded by The Balvenie.
The Craft News tab: collates news from blogs and magazines around the world to ensure readers are kept up to date with all the latest stories from the world of craftsmanship.
It’s really amazing to read about the pride and strong support that makers garner in other countries. In Singapore, we are way behind, but it is growing. We are a young country after all, and local people are slowly discovering what it means to be ‘Made in Singapore’.
I look forward to the day when the ‘Handcrafted in Singapore’ label can be firmly established and celebrated too.