Arts And Crafts

Arts and crafts are a way and means to introduce an element of aesthetic beauty to the world of design. It is something that has come out of the industrial revolution, but more as an opposition to it, than support. The question of bringing in arts and crafts into the world was led by people who thought that the use of machinery was, by a large extent, killing off the concept of technical ability and quality in general design.

During the 1860s, a British artist and writer by the name, William Morris, decided to join hands with Charles Voysey, an architect, and worked on trying the improve the lives of people who were in the profession of creating decorative pieces of art and craft. The duo decided to stand up against the industrialization of all things design, and used technique and skill to produce some impeccable pieces that are still revered the world over, today.

Breaking the Mould

The main issue with the industrial revolution was that it focussed on quantity, rather than quality. That led to the production of a lot of art and craft products, but to cope with the limited capability of the machine and to aid faster production, designs were simple or basic. People would end up spending their money on work that was produced by a machine with inferior design capabilities than any artisan or craftsman, with the cheaper costs of the products being the main attraction.

The products were made quickly, by the machines, using inferior quality of materials and poor designs, which infuriated the likes of Morris and Voysey. Morris developed and used the Kelmscott Press, a press that was used to design and print historical and contemporary literature in Nicolas Jenson's 15th century forms. The movement spread into the world of architecture, when people like Philip Webb began highlighting the beauty of ordinary materials like stones and tiles to create asymmetrical structures based on the British vernacular form of architecture.

This "rebellion" led to the rise of several movements all across the world, in various forms of arts and crafts, with about 130 organizations coming up in Britain alone, in a space of 10-years. The movement spread to Ireland, from England, and then to the United States of America, bringing with it new forms that led to the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods between 1910 and 1925. Arts and crafts were quickly becoming the chosen format for those who were looking for highly refined and more rational home decorations and by the mid-2oth century, it had established deep roots into society.

Arts and Crafts at Home

When you choose to dwell in this beautiful world of arts and crafts, there are certain principles that you need to abide by, in order to categorize your work in this genre. Throughout history, the emphasis has always been on the quality of the materials being used and on highlighting their natural characteristics rather than covering over them with artificial elements. The creations are simpler in terms of thought, but complex in terms of the skills required to put them together, with a bit of the construction technique still visible even on the finished product.

There is a significant move away from the ornate and artificial appearance that comes from mechanized or industrialized arts and crafts, and the creation, in question, can be anything that you feel is worthy of receiving your time and effort. You can pick up a plain bed-spread and put your designs on it, focussing on what you are making than how quickly you are making it. You can use natural colours, made by using various elements of nature, rather than using the regular synthetic stuff you find in stores. The world is there for you to explore and there are just too many things to choose from!

Allowing your child to create a wall-hanging out of wood or helping them make a simple wind-chime out of natural materials is a way to let your child experience the magic of arts and crafts. It is, more importantly, a way for you to introduce them to using their hands to create things, which enhances their cognitive development as well as gives you a chance to spend time with them, doing quality stuff.

The purpose of any hobby is to give you an opportunity to do something special with your spare time. A hobby also helps you develop some characteristics or skills that can, at some point of time, offer you an outlet or become an aid in other aspects of your life. When you pick arts and crafts as your hobby, you do all that and a lot more with the time that you spend in your workspace, doing something that comes with unlimited scope for growth and development, both on a personal level as well as in the form of what you do in your spare time.

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