When I’ve traveled abroad and met artisans directly, even when no common language enables us to understand each other (or even when a willing translator doesn’t have much patience), a subtle kind of conversation begins to emerge.
It’s a kind of conversation where gestures speak, expressions are felt, body language conveys and nuanced intonations are understood. There is little spoken between us, if any. What brings us together is a connection over one thing - her beautifully handmade craft. It’s in that moment that I know more intimately her talented gifts. And perhaps she knows something about me, that I genuinely love what she’s made and appreciate a glimpse into her world.
I believe in this kind of beauty that delights the senses and inspires the heart. The beauty of the handmade object connects us with others, and them with us, through these subtle conversations and exchanges. Global handmade brings people, culture, place, and creativity together.
We can positively influence the sustainability of the diverse global aesthetic and cultural heritage of our world. Our relationship with global artisans and their handmade craft matters a great deal. We do have a role in this; it affects change.
When we choose artisans and the beauty of handmade, we make a statement to the world:
As conscious consumers we seek transparency and expect fairness to artisans. As global citizens we advocate for equality and advance opportunity to artisans. As human beings we respect diversity and celebrate the creativity of artisans.
This kind of beauty that delights the senses and inspires the heart is needed in our world. Without global artisans and their handmade craft, the world would be a much duller and narrower place, indeed.
Let’s choose artisans and their beauty.