Trend report: The real thing

Demand for handcrafted products has surged in recent years. This is partly due to global turbulence driving consumers to reminisce about the past, and also due to a rejection of mass-production in favour of quality, crafted products that emotionally resonate with customers. It is about creating a connection between maker and consumer; a silent dialogue that is reciprocated through appreciation of products and the stories behind them. Consumers, faced with increasing financial pressure, are stripping back and placing more value on the objects that surround them, choosing quality over quantity. Just as form follows function, it also follows emotion, as craftsmanship and heritage are communicated by a new generation of designers.

Annabelle Campbell, exhibitions and collections manager at the UK’s Crafts Council, says she has witnessed a big rise in consumer interest in craft. “There is a significant shift in consumer demand towards products and experiences that meet emotional – as well as functional – needs,” she explains. “Nowadays, an awareness of the provenance of a product and rejection of conspicuous consumption means that people are making different decisions about what they buy. Craft is seen as personal, authentic and genuine. An object that has been touched by a human hand resonates in an age that many believe technology has rendered ubiquitous and anonymous.”

Sir Christopher Frayling, the ex-chair of the Arts Council, recently gave a speech at the UK Crafts Council’s 40th anniversary party in which he commented on consumers’ changing attitudes towards craft. ”Crafts are finally being celebrated for being about today and tomorrow as well as yesterday,” he stated. “Crafts are now associated with urban living, interior design, fashion and contemporary design; with the shifting borders of art at one end of the spectrum, and design at the other; with synthetic materials, in all colours of the rainbow rather than brown or beige; and with the outer limits of function.”

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.