Crisis mass-made goods

There’s a critical mass gathering around the globe that results from globalised cheapness and the demand for goods of quality made for consumption, service and general use throughout that world. This supply created by creating expectation in a world constantly telling its populous that it deserves everything and that it can demand what it wants as rights now, leaves very little for the crafting artisan who can never enter the sphere of low cost, mass made goods. His price for most will always be too high yet he is locked into the same economic world that produces a £1000 computer in a few minutes, or £20,000 car in a matter of hours.
Automation, robotics, mass manufacturing brought the desired effects by way of creating certainty in manufacture resulting in low priced goods that has no need for skilled workmanship. Furthermore, the resource such mass made goods demands to supply its disposable goods, which are disposable not because they don’t last, but because they are cheap enough to be fashionable and thereby disposable, means that artisans like myself must pay for the raw goods at premium prices. In most cases goods bought from Ikea sell for the same price we buy rough-sawn oak or cherry for. What’s available for the mass makers doesn’t exist for those in skilled workmanship. As the consumerist world makes higher demands globally on resources, and import goods supply demand for varying levels of quality product at the same price we craftsmen and women buy our raw material for, craft, the artisan and his and her way of life will always be under serious threat.

1 Comment

  1. Tone on 9 May 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I find the cost of raw materials disheartening in the UK. It is tempting to say “why bother”. There may have been a supply chain for it once but there is not much left now. Price and availability are much better in the USA (and I’m guessing in Canada and Scandinavia too) but, even there, Ikea furniture (for example) would likely be considerably cheaper than buying the constituent timber.

    So far, I have mainly used plywood, construction timer and timber that I have reclaimed from old furniture & floorboards. I came across a quality timber supplier on David Barron’s website that is only a few miles from my home, I regular drove right past it without realising what it was! Have yet to visit, not really intended for the general public by some accounts.