Handmade in the digital era

Hello from one of the Trudie Alfred Bequest recipients, Serena Rosevear.

The first six weeks of semester have slipped away, immersed mainly in researching, thinking and writing. I’m exploring the use of digital technologies as a tool in my practice through my Honours project, contrasting this to my ‘traditional’ practice, hoping to draw a deeper understanding of what it means to be a maker at this point in history. My project has made a slight shift, as they always do, and I now have a clear idea of the central question I am trying to answer: What are the qualities which define objects as ‘handmade’ in the digital era?

I’ve also been finishing off some work in my studio which, though not strictly part of my Honours, has been feeding into that jumble of ideas I have been processing.  The work (pictured) is a recently completed commission for a local coffee shop, wheel-thrown from Cool Ice, unglazed but polished on the exterior, glazed interior.  The exacting task of making 50 consistent forms lead me to question, with my perfectionist tendency and the refined design, whether I was retaining recognisable evidence of my hand in their production.  What is it that says “handmade”?

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