When I ran the soap company I used to wonder, if I scaled up production to the level where I would need large machinery, would the soap still be the same as when I made it in a pot with a whisk? The recipe wouldn't change, the ratio of ingredients would be the same and the packaging could be identical but if the bars were made by the hundreds, by machines and packed by machines... would it still be 'my' soap? I can't help but feel that it would not.
Things made by hand in small quantities seem to have something that large mass produced items don't have. Its not really anything tangible, although sometimes the individually hand crafted item is far more beautiful than can be achieved by machinery, but often its just a feeling that the item evokes.
Like the copper bracelet made by my sister in law. I rarely take it off.
And she also made me these earrings. They are very simple but I love them because they 'feel' different from most of my other earrings.
The same could be said about clothing. I love things that have been made by hand... But the seamstress usually has a sewing machine these days... when do the clothes made by a machinist start to lose the hand-made feel? Is it perhaps when she gets to the 100th dress, she is so bored and so quick to churn them out that she disengages her brain somehow and 'bang' whatever it is that makes an item 'lovingly hand-made' is GONE.
Here is a cardigan that is almost certainly made on a machine.... but the embroidery has been done by hand. It practically sang to me from the rail in the shop and I had to buy it. I have worn it often and kept it for many years regardless of fashion trends.
Is it possible that 'things' do have a 'soul'? Or is it just in our minds? Would a beautiful thing still be beautiful if no one looked at it, or loved it? It's the old story about the tree falling in the woods, if no one hears it fall, does it make a sound? Gosh very philosophical considering I started out just thinking how nice my soap was! Enough! My brain says... It's Sunday... day of rest for goodness sake!