As you can imagine, we like hand made things. Who doesn’t? Seriously, who doesn’t?
I guess there are some people, but I don’t know them.

Little earthen goddesses of emptiness by Lidia

Little earthen goddesses of emptiness by Lidia

Now question arises, why do we like hand made things? Some time ago, those were the only things available anyway. There was no story about hand made, since alternative would be foot made or mouth made. I can’t think of many objects(!) done in such a way. Anyway, why has it become a question? It seems to be intuitively easier to understand than conceptually. Because by mentally digging into the topic, more and more questions arise…

Great Guys and Girl of Gransfors Bruks doing some great axes with small help of massive machines

Great Guys and Girl of Gransfors Bruks doing some great axes with small help of massive machines

Where is the border of hand made and non hand made? How big amount of tools and machines can you use until it is no longer hand made? I guess there are some arguments going on about that topic as it touches almost any field of human (manu)facturing. Is an axe forged with hydraulic hammer hand made? Is turned bowl hand made? Is a dress sewn on a machine hand made? Is cake mixed with electric mixer hand made?

With all this questions about electricity, I’d like to keep the form of simplicity.

From my simple point of view, in every object there is some energy that I can or cannot sense. It can be very subtle or quite intense. I don’t want to involve my mind too much about what was made in what way, but what it has to say to me, at the moment when I perceive it. How does it work, good or bad. Can I sense the underlying understanding of the maker about the use & aesthetics of the object, as well as his enjoyment in the crafting. This could be maybe the most important tangible factor for me.

Wooden spoon made from scrap wood of didgeridoos and ceramic bowl made of  dedicated clay ;-)

Wooden spoon made from scrap wood of didgeridoos and ceramic bowl made of dedicated clay ;-)

What does it mean in our world of didgeridoo? We do not make our didgeridoos absolutely with hand tools. Our woods are super hard. It is on the very edge what tools are made for. We use an electric drill and a sanding machine and also electric plane. But also we love the feeling of hand tools and the time spent with them. So we also use more and more custom made chisels and planes and scrapers and hand drills. We feel connected to the basic ways. We feel the beauty there. It takes time to master the way of hand tools, especially in new ways. It takes time to find the right ones.

There is one secret thing that I like a lot, and it comes from hand work. And that are those magical perfect imperfections. Which should by no mean be confused by imperfect perfections. I like it when my didgeridoos are not totally round, so I can recognize them when I touch them to play. I like when their mouthpieces are also a bit special so that I can know with my eyes closed which instrument I am playing without having to look & listen. I hope you understand that crack in the perfect lacquer would not fall into category of perfect imperfections, but the other one.

Having said all that, I just wanted to encourage your feeling, sense of beauty in the wiggly world around us. To deepen the appreciation of little surprises, little defects that make things better. And I would leave you with an inspiring movie about an artist I really like. His name is Robin Wood and he makes wooden bowls and utensils. I enjoy his work and energy A LOT!
- Du