Indienomics

free markets, free culture

A touch of humanity: the cult of the “handmade”

with one comment

Artisan cheese

Happy, factory cheese

Happy, factory cheese

In a time before Twitter and Facebook, there was… cheese.
Old-fashioned, hand-made cheese, long before factories could produce “cheese products” packaged in aerosol cans and individually-wrapped cellophane packets.

Industry trade mag Dairy Field reports that artisan cheesemakers are responding to evolving consumer desires — a subtle rejection of factory-produced goods:

Cheesemaker Valerie Thomas of Winchester, CA-based Winchester Cheese Co., cites other factors — most notably an innate, often unspoken, desire to return to a simpler time, before wireless phones and Blackberries.

“The time is right for artisan cheese makers to be successful because the general population is receptive to remembering when things were made by hand,” Thomas says.

So have an artisan cheese, wash it down with an artisan beer, while you lounge in your artisan socks, knitted by a collective of Swiss grandmothers who create and sell on-demand knitwear on the web.

The tailored suit: the measure of a man

Actor Ryan Gosling arrives

Actor Ryan Gosling arrives


A tailored suit signals your arrival. A bespoke tailoring for a man is the equivalent of women’s haute couture (French, “high sewing,” “high dressmaking”).

The word “bespoke” describes this industry of made-to-measure fittings, where the end user receives a product that is highly specialized, not mass market. Today, bespoke industries are popping up around cars, shoes, software, even financial products.

But in this economy, tailored suits and custom cars aren’t as accessible as the the bespoke sandwich.

City Sub sandwiches

City Sub #19: Ham, Salami, Provolone

City Sub #19: Ham, Salami, Provolone

Forget Subway, enter bespoke sandwichmaker City Sub. Once you have the latter, it’s hard to go back to the former.

City Sub’s tailored sandwiches — using quality ingredients and a methodical layering process — can “restore your faith in American craftsmanship.” That’s according to Gene B., a reviewer of City Sub on the website Yelp.

I’m not sure how old Gene B. is, but he sure misses that old-time sandwich-making process. In a post-factory age, we’re nostalgic for things still made by human hands.

“Watching the staff quietly and efficiently turn all those crazy orders into beautifully rendered sandwiches is a glimpse into the past, and what Old New York used to be.”

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Written by @hellopanelo

March 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

One Response

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  1. you can’t talk about the cult of the handmade without mentioning the pervasive web presence of ETSY!

    this growing on- and offline community is handmade in hyperdrive, democratizing the idea of artisan to the point where more than half my schlubby friends have etsy shops open for business. and business is actually thriving! check out the video that explains, what is etsy?
    http://www.etsy.com/about.php

    as they say, their goal is to reconnect buyers with makers, and thanks to the internet, craft is ironically getting an industrial-scale boost. you can keep clicking but the pages and pages of handmade goods seem infinite. with this many options delivered right to your door, DIY has never been easier.

    carol

    March 31, 2009 at 12:01 am


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