|Eye of the time brooch - Salvador Dali|
Taken at an exhibition currently showing at MNAC Gallery in Barcelona
This week it was about the 1930's experience and showed how quickly, patrons of the high street were starting to embrace the notion of mass produced products that were beginning to be sold in most shops.
At the end of the program, the shop owners are judged on how much money they make and the methods they use to make that money. Naturally, the shops selling products that are readily available were the ones who not only sold the most stock, but were also the ones who worked less hours and therefore enjoyed a better quality of life.
The toy maker, bakers and dress maker, who all relied on their skills in producing labour intensive goods were the ones who fared less well. At the end of the program, the dress maker who had spent countless hours producing 3 bespoke dresses for her customers, was slightly criticised for having not sold one, 'off the peg ' dress in the whole week. She had though, as one presenter pointed out, shown that there was a demand for a dressmaker who would and could make special, one-off pieces for her clients.
After watching I was left with the sense that as Artists, Makers and Designers we could so often be tempted and encouraged to take the easy route by buying mass produced components and reassembling them and selling them as our own work; but thankfully there is a drive and strong sense of individuality that prevents many of us from doing just that.
Dali, with his extraordinary imagination and skill (although he was the Designer but not Artisan of these jewellery pieces), reminds me that it is so important to have people who are willing to push the boundaries and produce bespoke, original, inspiring and sometimes totally, 'over the top' pieces of work.