The more virtual the world becomes, the more we seem to find pleasure in the handmade – in the arts and crafts, things with a human imprint and often some kind of unique feature or irregularity that only increases the beauty and value of the object.
You sense the time and talent that went into making the piece. You are charmed when you look at it. Like the artist or artisan is winking at you through their work.
I love handmade homeware items and I sometimes buy them from my travels even though I do not necessarily know if they are going to be gifts or end up in our own use.
A while back I carried a large ceramic vase from a small pottery shop in Beijing, and the fat, clumpy package traveled in my hand luggage first to Kuala Lumpur for some sunbathing, then Singapore, and finally Helsinki.
The vase already has so much history and character only seeing it makes me happy.
In Hongkong, I got a beautiful serving dish made by a local artisan, and some Japanese plates.
The ceramic sculptures by Jenni Tuominen for Samuji Koti are beyond fantastic. When the animal theme was introduced, I got a happy blue-eyed dog for Saku. It sits on our kitchen shelf as I write this.
There are also these small artisan shops in Fiskars village that are always worth visiting if you are passing by. On my last visit, I fell in love with a ring container and plum-shaped bowls by ceramicist Karin Widnäs.