It seems we are living in an all or nothing world. Since my focus here is on production and handmade stuff, I'm going to address that statement vis a vis look at how our stuff comes into being. A lot of stuff in the world, the intimate items of everyday use, are produced in factories whose main objective is to maximise producation and reduce dollar cost. This approach has lead to a vast network of factories, delivery systems and distributors whose objective is also to maximise output while reducing cost with an eye on profit. In and of itself these are fine objectives. But, as the world has gotten bigger (or smaller) the means of production by large scale industrial factories ceases to be an affective tool to eradicate poverty and hunger, for the many. Industrial factories often seek to reduce human labor, as in the pin factory model of Adam Smith. Separating steps of production to be performed in a rote fashion has reduced the cost of production, in the short run. But the long term implications of this model are waning in their affectiveness.
What of the role of craft and the master craftsman (woman)? I argue that craft enhances our lives, all the more so in an age where anything is accesable and our wants are being placed above our needs. Craft gives us greater choice, flexibility and empowers us to create lives of greater meaning. Choosing small scale craft producers goods in a time of over production of mass marketed objects allows the freedom to buy things that build a home full of items of individual taste. If freedom is the big thing these days, why not express that through buying handmade stuff? Curate your home.