these hands: usefuluseful

An all handmade everything philosophy.

I eat all my meals off handmade dishes. My hands made them, mine and the people I love (a cup to my mouth, a stand in for affection).

The blanket on my bed was made by my sister and my mother, and when it fell apart in the wash my hands put it back together.

When I do a little sketch, I like to do it best in a book I handmade.

This relationship to usefulness finds its roots in anti-capitalism (slowly made objects based on patience and love) and leads to tangible community building. The handmade object is a conduit to barter, an open door to trade. This makes us all collaborators; in this light, we are all artisans. I hand make to contribute to something larger than myself in the way I know how- the way the winemaker in Monticello Florida traded me a free bottle of wine from every new batch for the mural of the vineyard.

This is an effort to honor to values of art nouveau. Like myself, art nouveau artists idealized of a world with beauty central in purpose and that such a world would be a guarantee of freedom (read: anticapitalism).

This breaks the chains of boring plainess (poverty is a life destined to concrete buildings and asphalt gardens).

The art nouveau conception of universality informs a craft practice that spills over the part of me that’s an artist into the part of a life what yearns for beauty in the mudane (a la a handmade mug, or an overly ornate raw wood cabinet).

Art Nouveau believed the individual craftsman should produce what they have designed, even everyday items.

Amaya, Mario. Art Nouveau. Studio Vista, 1967.

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