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 .


Blogger Ampersand Duck said...

I've been waiting... for a blog like you,
to come into my life...

Ugh, Foreigner may not be the best start here, but my first reaction is YES YES YES!

I'm with you all the way and back again.

8:10 pm  

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