Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Mass Production and Studio Craft Practice - definition from my dissertation-2006
Mass production is the process by which there is a division of labour where each task in the production process is specialised. For example, to produce pottery, one person designs, another makes a plaster model of the design, another a mould, another casts the ware, another fettles, maybe putting on handles, another bisque fires the ware, another decorates and another glazes and the last stage is to glaze and then ‘glost’ fire and maybe finally an emael and gilt painting and firing.The production and application of transfers was a specializsation all on its own, requiring the production of etched copper plates and printing. The effect of this is efficiency and standardisation and thousands of identical pieces can be produced in a relatively short space of time at relatively small cost, with a wide profit margin, especially when the workers are badly paid. The choice of materials has to be standardised so that the results are always the same and predictable and that losses are kept to a minimum. It is possible to draw conclusions from this that the workers, although quite often producing a well crafted object, would not express anything of themselves within these processes. Handmade tableware or studio pottery is when one person carries out all these processes, as De Waal(2003, online), defines it “..that is the making by hand in a small studio rather than a factory”. Handmade tableware, until quite recently has meant the rejection of the mass produced process. On the other hand, one of the things that craft manufacture demonstrates is the real cost or value of human labour and, as such, is humanistic in its expression, an ethical philosophy which expresses the worth and dignity of people. The practice of a craft discipline is liberating for the indididual.