Friday, September 29, 2006

Book List Anyone?

To give some idea of the likely breadth of something like Slow Making, the books below would all contribute something to an evolving philosophy. They are listed in no particular order, and may not necessarily be currently in print. Reading lists also have a useful role as regards your local municipal library. Our libraries are extremely important in building a community of knowledge, and by regularly borrowing and requesting books like these, it ensures that this knowledge is in circulation for all, not just those who can afford to buy books or have internet access.

Slow Living
- Parkins & Craig - UNSW Press 2006
Natural Capitalism - Hawken/Lovins & Lovins - Earthscan 2002
What is a Designer - Potter - Hyphen Press 2002
The Unknown Craftsman - Yanagi - Kodansha 1989
In Praise of Slow - Honore - Orion 2005
The Culture of Craft - Dormer - University of Manchester Press 1997
The Nature & Art of Workmanship - Pye - Herbert 1995
Slow Food Revolution - Petrini & Padovani - Rizzoli 2006 - JUST RELEASED
Massive Change - Mau & Institute without Boundaries - Phaidon 2004
The Total Beauty of Sustainable Products - Datschefski - RotoVision 2001
Sustainable by Design - Walker - Earthscan 2006
Anni Albers:Selected Writings on Design - Danilowitz - Wesleyan University Press 2000
Thinking With Type - Lupton - Princeton Architectural Press 2004
On Beauty & Being Just - Scarry -Duckworth 2000
Charles & Ray Eames - Kirkham - MIT Press 1998
The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century - Harrod - Yale University Press 1999
Affluenza:When Too Much is Never Enough - Hamilton - Allen & Unwin
Growth Fetish - Hamilton - Allen & Unwin
Lost Japan - Kerr - Lonely Planet 1999
Patterns of Culture - Benedict - Houghton Mifflin 1989
Papermaking - Hunter - Dover Books 1974
Pioneers of Modern Craft - Coatts - Manchester University Press 1997
Wood Engraving - Brett - Silent Books 1994
The Art of the Maker - Dormer - Thames & Hudson 1994
Small is Beautiful - Schumacher - Vintage 1973

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Slow Making Manifesto

Welcome to the first post of many on the Slow Making blog. I'm sure you're familiar with the Slow Food movement that began in Italy in 1989 ( & its numerous offspring over the last 15 years, of which Slow Making is just the latest.

There is no connection with Slow Food or Slow Living at this stage - merely a shared recognition that whether it is our food, or lives or work, we have to stop and reconsider the consequences of our current patterns of social, economic and political organisation.

What is Slow Making? Its not a nostalgic return to some bucolic fantasy, but a philosophy that wants to discuss placing the maker, the artist, the designer in an ethical context. An ethical context that respects the speed of the hand in making, that understands the unique tempo of crafted production, knows too that its materials have been sourced by sustainable means and respecting of the communities where it came from. An ethical context that also encompasses ethical business practices. A philosophy that engages with the longevity of an object, & how it can be maintained and repaired over generations. A philosophy that values appropriate excellence - objects, art and design that fits within the social and economic context of its end user.

Below is the first draft of the Slow Making Manifesto. It's aiming to be as simple and as clear about the philosophy of Slow Making as it can be. Whether it evolves into something like an organisation with paid up membership is entirely up for discussion, & so the manifesto is about principle, not process.

Slow Making Manifesto

1.To strive for appropriate excellence in the making process

2. To make objects that enhance the life of the user

3. To know the origins of our materials, ensuring that they respect country; the communities who produced or harvested them and are from sustainable sources

4. To make objects that will last, can be easily repaired when necessary and are made using materials and processes that do not harm the makers, the community or the environment

5. To deal with our co-workers, clients, suppliers and sellers in an ethical and fair manner

6. To foster, utilise and pass on skills that enhance the making process

7. To enjoy and relish the way of slow making

As makers, artists, designers and craftworkers, we all recognise the difficulty of surviving in a world geared to mass consumption, mass manufacture and mass obsolesence. Slow Food has been about not just describing and demanding change to the way that food is produced, but just as important, it has worked very very hard at educating people about the importance, the difference between Slow Food and mass food. Can Slow Making be used to do a similar thing? To educate an audience about materials, aesthetics, skill and beauty. And the possibility of making your living ethically .