More on the handmade…

A few further thoughts on the handmade world, following last week’s Consumed on the DIY thing. The most interesting response came from my friend Wendy, who said that in the course of some research she’d done on luxury consumers, handmade-ness was often something people cited as a marker of luxury.

That makes sense, although of course I hadn’t really thought of it in connection with DIYism. It reminded me of one of my pet theories, though, which has nothing to do with any of this.

I’m not a drinker of elaborate coffees, but I’m often stuck in line behind such people while waiting to order a cup of regular, black coffee. In those moments of boredom, I’ve concluded that forcing some kid to run around fidding with the espresso machines and whipping this or sprinkling on that is actually part of the appeal of the fancy coffee drink: It’s being handmade, right in front of you. I wonder if, say, Starbucks had located its mocha-whatever manufacturing zone out of sight, and you couldn’t watch the stuff being prepared, if it would have the same appeal. Or if you just ordered it and they handed it to you immediately. It wouldn’t be as good, right? It seems better simply because you’ve watched somebody hustle around constructing it.

Just a thought.

In the blog world, other reactions to that column included a post on Vertical Weblog offering some Devil’s advocate thoughts on the hipness factor of crafting; general crafter support; the small business angle; and a DaddyTypes post suggesting that perhaps the DIY “revolution” is led not by women, but by parents. On the other hand, maybe this column was another example of my “Productivist Bias.”