On hand made objects

Last week this time we were on our way to Hogsback for a weekend with friends and family, and to trade at the craft market at the Winter Celebration. This meant I did not keep my weekly Friday writing date with myself and you, dear reader. And now I feel a bit intimidated by this blank screen. Let’s fill up a bit of space with a photograph.

The display of Nonsuch Woodware and Fabrications at the market at Butterfly’s Bistro held during this year’s Hogsback Winter Celebration

It was good to be back on the mountain and visit with the other traders at this lovely spot. Tomorrow (August 3) we will again set up our table of wares, this time in Grahamstown-Makhanda at the TRADE market at 135 High Street. If you are in the area, don’t miss the market. It is TRADE’s last event and therefore your last chance to see the range of various locally made goods all in one place. Thank you Tracey Jeffery for all you have done to promote local hand craft in our little town.

I have been thinking about the allure and value of hand crafted items. Last week a few satisfied customers returned to buy another of Andrew Stevens’ hand turned and planed wooden spatulas, saying they preferred to cook with these than with manufactured spatulas which either scratch the non-stick surface or melt. I know I am biased, but this is true, his spatulas are a joy to use. We have an array of different ones for different purposes — from long handled ones for stir frying, to smaller ones for scrambling eggs. Some of them are 20 years old! Here’s a photograph of the collection in our kitchen, splashes and all.

So why do hand crafts appeal to some people? Perhaps it is the care, energy and thought that has gone into the making of the object. The catch is that these come with a price tag which not everyone can afford. So be it.

It is not for nothing that the word “hand” is heavily loaded. It has many meanings, one of which is “style of workmanship, handwriting, etc.” Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable then gives the example “he is a good hand at carpentry” (Ha!). Brewer’s also notes the phrase “he writes a good hand”. (Note: this dictionary was first published in 1870, before gender sensitivity.)

Talking of writing (neatly) by hand, I have made customised covers for Moleskin notebooks. These notebooks have lovely paper and I was pleased to find that one can buy “paperback” versions in packs of three, in different sizes with either lined or blank pages.

These covers are designed to be reusable, so once the notebook is filled you can insert a fresh notebook into the cover. I also make covers for hard covered, less expensive standard sized notebooks.

A6 (i.e. pocket sized) notebooks with removable covers

Another new “range”of my hand made fabrications are these crocheted sling bags.

I enjoy making things by hand and playing with new ideas. Another plus of trading at markets is the interesting people one meets and the conversations about the items on display.


In the last post I wrote about finishing WIPs (aka UFOs, PhDs or PQs (pending quilts)) and brazenly showed pictures of the offending unfinished objects. Since then the smallest of these has been finished (yay!) and here it is in its completeness:

Table runner, called Mermaid’s Purses. 50 x 25 cm.

And now I am going to return to my sewing machine and finish off a quilt from my “box of blues”. Until next week…

12 thoughts on “On hand made objects

  1. Thanks for taking us along with you on your craft-fair journeys! Seems like you’re in the thick of it right now and that’s such a good thing.
    I’m wondering – are you finding your special (cool and very eye catching) business banner is something other booths don’t fool with? I’m thinking you’re a step ahead with it and wondering how it’s playing out in the real world of those craft fairs!
    Here’s to a profitable day at the booth!


  2. Your stall at Hogsback looks most attractive with the woodwork and fabric items complementing each other. I agree that handmade items have a unique appeal, but not all crafts or crafters are equal!
    The finished table runner looks very good.


  3. Oooh, what a lovely display of your handmade goodies in the sunshine! And I’m not surprised people prefer a hand-turned wooden spatula to mass-produced plastic ones… Sure, handmade creations cost more, but they’re imbued with a history and durability that machines just can’t match. Congratulations on finishing your runner too – it looks great!


  4. I love handmade items and making handmade items! Wow on the “Mermaid Purses” piece and the crochet sling bags. Slowly I am catching up on my favourite blogs and yours is one of them!


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