Labels are convenient methods for easing our way through life. They help us standardize our experience -“Hence forward thou shalt be…….,” that sort of thing. All wrapped in a bow.
There is nothing wrong with this if kept within bounds. We know that when carried too far, it leads to stereotyping. But it can be helpful as a shorthand for type and character. So, for example, when I describe a carved eagle as being in the style or tradition of John Haley Bellamy, most people interested in carved eagles know what I am saying.
But take it too far, and this sort of thing stifles description and conceptualization. It robs the versatile and diverse from the descriptive and from appreciation.
If we are not careful, we look at common characteristics rather than the innovation and unique aspects of a craftsperson’s work. So we decide that we want something in a Chippendale style and purchase an item that checks all the appropriate boxes but has no unique character.
Remember that the unique parts of craft set it apart from the mass-produced. Look for the individual even if it goes against type.
2 Replies to “Unique”
I thought of something totally different when you mentioned ‘Chippendale’ style…😉
Yes, I am sure that the cats perked right up and asked ” So where the hell are those blasted chipmunks!”
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