November 07, 2015

Casting Off Sameness: The Simple and Natural Joy of Handmade Dinnerware

As much as we try to act like we’re perfectly at home in this fast-paced modern world, many of us find ourselves in a continuous state of disquiet as we go through our lives. There’s a disconnect that seems to sap much of the natural joy from life, as if we’re all square pegs being pounded into round holes. We just somehow don’t quite fit. And while there have been volumes of psychoanalytical exposition on the subject, the problem doesn’t really seem all that complicated. The fact is that modernity as we now know it is radically different than what humans have experienced throughout all but a tiny sliver of their history. We’re natural beings somehow expected to live our lives in an unnatural environment.

 

 

Even when people recognize this truth, they often fail to realize just how widespread this disconnect from nature really is. They assume that it is their work environment, entertainment options, and technology that have fundamentally worked to sever their ties to the natural world. In reality, modernity has spread to every corner of their lives, touching even the home. For example, consider the dishes in your cupboard.

 

If you’re like the vast majority of people, there’s a good chance that those shelves are stocked with a collection of machine-made dishes that all have the exact same design, shape, and weight. When you examine them, they share all of the same characteristics and – in the absence of cracks, chips, or other damage – are basically indistinguishable from one another. They’re generally inexpensive, easily accessible, and easily replaceable.

 

That sameness is similar to modern architecture, modern furnishings, and other modern amenities. Mass production cannot occur without sacrifice, and when we rely on machines to produce all of our belongings one of the first things sacrificed is uniqueness. Sadly, this is not how mankind has generally lived throughout most of its history. In times past, everything around us was unique and special. Every pot, every plate, and every mug or cup was literally one-of-a-kind.

 

That characteristic of uniqueness is found throughout nature, where no two flowers or trees are the same. No two handfuls of dirt, buckets of water, or gusts of air are ever identical. We too are unique, and even twins have their own thoughts and emotions and desires. As a result, we find ourselves uncomfortable amid the sterile sameness of the modern world.

 

Now consider that handmade dinnerware that you see in many restaurants these days. Each piece is completely distinct in every way from every other piece that has been or ever will be created. It’s unique, and as a result it has its own unique weight and texture. When you eat from a handmade plate, you’re eating from something designed and crafted by another human being and made from the elements of nature. That’s a connection to the natural world that is soothing, and joyful in every way.

 

The Gaia Collection was designed to help you meet that need for natural joy. Every piece is lovingly crafted and prepared for you by hand, just as human potters have been doing for many thousands of years. You need more of the natural world in your life, and handmade dinnerware is the ideal place to begin the process of reclaiming your home from the sameness of modernity.