the com­fort of things HAND­MADE HOME

There are cer­tain things in your home that are like old friends: they al­ways cheer you up. We feel the love for a house filled with hand­crafted things

The Simple Things - - NEST | HOW WE LIVE - Words: CLARE GOGERTY

Pour­ing your morn­ing cof­fee into a mug that fits your hand per­fectly is a lit­tle mo­ment of plea­sure that sets you up nicely for the day ahead. The han­dle may be a lit­tle wonky and the glaze slightly patchy but that’s all part of the de­light. And the rea­son this mug is such a bringer of hap­pi­ness? Un­like other mugs sit­ting in the cup­board that are all ex­actly the same shape and printed with some generic de­sign, this mug has been hand­made.

Hand­made things, whether they be ce­ramic table­ware, wo­ven blan­kets or hand-blown glass, have the power to make the ev­ery­day spe­cial. Know­ing that one per­son cre­ated the bowl you eat your corn­flakes from, or the teapot from which you pour your af­ter­noon cup of tea, and did so with skill, care and con­sid­er­a­tion, takes it be­yond the hum­drum. The in­crease in the num­ber of hand­crafted items being pro­duced by de­signer-mak­ers is a wel­come an­ti­dote to the life­less and the masspro­duced ob­jects for sale else­where. These have their place, of course – an en­tire hand­made din­ner ser­vice does not come cheap, whereas a starter set from Ikea does – but the two can co-ex­ist quite hap­pily. A cou­ple of hand-thrown side plates or a hand-wo­ven nap­kin or two will sit quite com­fort­ably be­side a ba­sic white din­ner plate.

The place to head to see a good se­lec­tion of hand­made items is one of many craft fairs that have sprung up in re­cent years. Not only do you get to hold many de­sir­able things in your hands to see how they feel be­fore you buy one ( hand­made stuff is very tac­tile), but you get to meet the per­son who made it. Meet­ing the cre­ator gives an or­di­nary ob­ject its own story and char­ac­ter. Even a sim­ple egg cup be­comes more in­ter­est­ing when you have met the per­son who made it and they have told you why they chose that par­tic­u­lar glaze. It el­e­vates break­fast be­yond the mun­dane, and that’s no bad thing in our book.

“Know­ing who made your egg cup el­e­vates it be­yond the hum­drum”

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