I instantly fell head over heels in love with these handmade teacups from Mr Sparrow – the feel of the rough clay against the palms of your hands, the cheerful irregularity in size and shape of the cups compared to each other, the cheeky glint of gold on the gorgeously rudimentary handles. Essentially, I was completely enamoured by how individually cast by hand they all were and so clearly made with care and love – you definitely feel it when you handle them.
I couldn’t wait to show them to my Mum, the lover of all homewares (she used to drag me around for hours through rows upon rows of Royal Doulton and Mikasa plates) who promptly laughed and almost scoffed when she saw them! She couldn’t believe I’d paid for something that looked so obviously handmade and rough.
Which brings me to my point. Nowadays technology and mass production is ubiquitous, and made objects are not. But in the fifties and sixties, machine-made regularity and sleekness that could rapidly produce multiple copies was marvelled at and lauded above old and “archaic” methods. But in today’s society where we are inundated with “perfect” and identical mass-produced objects, where knowledge and skills in old handicrafts are fading and becoming scarce, I find that I deliberately seek out the imperfect and irregular, objects that clearly bear the marks and character of their maker.