C1 Orly Nezer: Handmade Domestic Objects. July 31st 9.30 CET

Orly Nezer

Podcast

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In times of hyper-consumerism, some western households use only handmade

tableware. I would redirect the attention to the special relationship practiced only in domestic life, between the objects and their beholders, and I believe the Covid-19 epidemic has charged my research with extra value. My interviews took place at the homes of handmade pottery-ware buyers, and since Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, I keep in touch through WhatsApp video calls. I interlace my discussion on the social function of handmade objects at home environments with research in art and aesthetics.

My research has shown that people who tend to buy and use local handmade pottery are not professional collectors, have no expertise in pottery-making, and don’t collect pottery of various established potters. Instead, their exposure to their appreciated potter was coincidental but involved a uniquely personal experience that has attached them to the maker and her work. Owners of pottery-utensils find the personality of the maker as inseparable from the aesthetics of the object., and they stay loyal and buy for many years more work of one potter. I have learned from my interviewees that at home, the live performances of selecting, grouping, and using are perceived by owners as secondary creative processes.

From the theoretical aspect, I engage the framework of material residues of subjectivity to clarify the unique contribution of handmade objects to the aesthetic experience of consumers in their homes. This aesthetic experience involves a sense of ‘existential authenticity,’ theorized in Anthropology studies. By surrounding themselves with particular objects, individuals enhance their self-experience as authentic and unique, and specifically for consumers of handmade objects, this genuine and unique experience is facilitated by referencing the makers. Preferring handmade pottery wares is an acquired taste that becomes a necessity: the energy of the material, the weight of the object, the awareness to the human hand, change the quality of daily personal experiences.

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