Original art and bespoke furniture or ornamentation really separate homes from one another. You can of course go and buy mass-produced tables or prints for next to nothing from big stores, and sure, some pieces look great, and have been well-thought out. But the feeling you get with small-batch products and works, that notion that someone’s blood, sweat and tears, both mentally and physically have gone into the making of this one item, purely for your enjoyment and contemplation can never be replicated by production line furnishings or canvases.
Luckily, there’s been a real revival of bespoke products and artworks over the past half a decade or so. With artists and designers having far more independence and potential audiences when it comes to selling their pieces (thanks to the internet among other reasons) it’s now much easier to pick up great designer or artist driven work.
As mentioned, there are various internet locations to search and purchase artisan furniture, or art works, whether that means venturing to a particular producer’s website, or finding specialist markets, there are a wealth of opportunities to own one-off productions. Here at homify, for example, we showcase thousands of artists and artisan designers, and their products. You can browse makers’ profiles and view their completed projects.
If you live in a city or a large town, chances are there are trade shows, art fairs, design weeks and collections, for example, which are excellent ways to meet designers and artists and view their products first hand and offer to purchase anything they are demonstrating, and perhaps more products that they’re not displaying at that particular event.
For truly bespoke works you can commission an artist or designer to create something personal to yourself. Similarly to the above, the internet is a great place to research and contact makers. We at homify have a specific feature for this, our discussions board. Simply put a note out there that you’re looking for commissioned works of whichever kind you desire and sit back and wait for the responses to come in from either experts and professionals themselves, who may be able to complete the project for you, or from other users who can recommend artists and designers who they have used previously.
Also, as with the above, any trade shows or bespoke markets are excellent venues to procure artists and artisans for your project as you can actually speak to them and they can offer you real time advice and may know someone if they can’t themselves help you.
As with the opening paragraph, you can really sense the skill and dedication in one off pieces that even the best and most well-copied replica can’t quite replicate. Not only the feeling of it sensually, but the actual quality of the product tends to be far higher, especially if other people have deemed it worthy of copying. There’s also a sort of immorality for buying a replica. Someone has dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to creating the product, from start to finish, and then someone else simply copies the blueprint and feeds it to a machine, which, if we’re being truly honest is a bit lazy.
Although sometimes tricky, you can generally make sure you are if you buy directly from the maker. If not the maker, someone who is licensed to sell a maker’s product. A bit of research into a website’s background of official licensed product sales will give you a good idea as to whether or not they are selling reproductions. homify’s discussions board is also extremely useful for this, post product links or locations that you are thinking of buying from and chances are an expert or another user will know whether or not the product is genuine or not.
Artisans and artists are the true pioneers of modern culture and trends and should be protected and nurtured via consumer respect and custom. With the wealth of makers out there to choose from, chances are that no matter your taste, you’ll be able to find someone who produces items that you’ve always wanted, perhaps without even realising it yet. Avoid replicas where possible and keep these creators creating.