Does this sound dry? It isn't!
The Arts and Crafts Movement began to champion the aesthetic and social value of the handmade object over 150 years ago. Web communities devoted to craft such as Etsy and Ravelry, the upsurge in interest in local foods and artisan-made craft and design, 'Slow' anything, and even books such as Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods are akin to great-great grandchildren of the works of Pugin, Ruskin and Morris, taking up the same themes of the importance of the hand-made and the nature-based.
Since they set themselves the mandate to improve the lives of the multitudes through hand-wrought beauty, I wanted to know if these fellows had made any practical suggestions as to how that might be done, you know, in terms of a business model?
I really want to do good in the world; I don't want to just make more stuff, no matter how lovely it is.
Unfortunately, so far my search has turned up just this sobering quote from the unpublished Memoirs of Charles Robert Ashbee: "We have made, of a great social movement, a narrow and tiresome little aristocracy working with great skill for the very rich."
(as quoted in Gillian Naylor The Arts and Crafts Movement: a study of its sources, ideals and influence on design theory, Studio Vista London 1971
PS there is more to this train of thought.
PPS no image here tonight -- Wikipedia is blacked out to protest two bills in the US that threaten it, SOPA and PIPA, and it's got me thinking about copyright issues.