Now that we've made a factory is it still just making, or just working to get it done?
I would like to know what is the final point as we have only the framework of making to keep us making? I think this question could be applied to the larger questions of why make. Our purpose in this job is to talk, the making gives us a reason to talk or a physical example of what we are talking about. So, this takes craft beyond the object and into the realms of the evolution of craft theory.......
Our purpose and intent within this "factory" environment feels very removed from our general practices in making our own work in our own studios. It still feels, to me, quite rewarding in the sense of community and tactility, but lacks the more personal level of engagement that my own work can often facilitate. It's an interesting dichotomy.
I agree, Kim! The community aspect has been rewarding, and especially necessary after having lost such an important member of our community. This factory has provided an opportunity for me to get to know other members of our community better, and to learn how to work together..... each pour is a little different. The brief break from our individual paths and the coming together for one common goal has been a relief. This brings up an important reason people have made throughout history - for community. Several times this week I have thought this must be what quilting bees feel like.... or honey bees. I have also wondered if this is what if feels like to work in a factory. How much community is encouraged/discouraged? I'm certain some factories discourage interaction while working. How common is that? Do workers still have a sense of common goals and teamwork?
I agree too. I feel that we're just trying to reach a goal; a certain number or more of bowls, in this case. But in the mist of reaching a goal, things happen, and we learn new things or relearn them.
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It would appear that if we were to look at this activity not as a dialogue and not as an end product, then the making we are doing has lost its way.If we go back to the object. Why make an object rather than buy and object. Why make 1000 bowls rather than why buy 1000 bowls?The only two reasons i can find right now are - 1-To make them, we made what we wanted to make, the choice was well within our hands. To buy them, we would have selected out of a limited set of choices.(but i do have a large question about the motivations of seduction in buying objects etc....)2-The pride we have in saying we could make them - we are well skilled people who could do this, i think this is significant - i am not sure the viewer would value this as much as we do.3- a third point.........If i was to look at previous conceptual frameworks i have applied to the linage and history of making then it is significant that these were made in Louisiana and may well be seen in Louisiana. The product is made from our communial knowledge and about us......but again, how does this communicate through the object?
Well, now that we've made a "factory," we definitely know it's possible to make over a thousand bowls. Not only that, but we can walk away with a new set of skills, or more honed ones. We could even start a business! And, to highlight Kim's comment, we bonded with a community of people - with people we haven't met before - who worked in the same environment. Also, now that we've made a "factory," it doesn't have to stay there. Anybody can make a thousand bowls -- one person, a group of people, or a company. What's crucial is what happens to those bowls -- how and where they're displayed, how they're handled, who owns them and what the owners do with them, etc. Could the bowls be sold/donated for a good cause? To a charity or organization? Or what if something fun happened to those bowls, like a scavenger hunt where the person who finds a bowl with a certain number gets a special treat? Bottom line: what if the community who produced the bowls did something with them that a production company wouldn't normally do with theirs? That could change how people would perceive a thousand bowls that appear to be made by a typical "factory."On the other hand, if we don't keep the objects themselves, as individuals, in mind, then working in a factory simply becomes labor-intensive work for the sole purpose of reaching a goal -- a number of objects, for example. The process becomes tiring, and over time has the potential to lose the interest of the ones helping to reach the goal, especially when there's a lack of personal investment in an individual object. Therefore, something needs to be added to the "factory" -- or something done afterwards -- in order to make it much more than a means to make a number of things.The point is that we can take this "factory" to a whole other level, and not just stop once a goal is reached. The possiblities are endless...