Like handmade crafts, printed matter is far from obsolete, it’s just moved into a more high quality, boutique niche where the printed medium becomes an art form in itself. HAND/EYE Magazine brings these two together into an exquisitely designed volume that feels more like a collector’s item than just another magazine you would find in newsstands.
HAND/EYE was born out of Editor and Founder Keith Recker’s nearly 20 years of involvement with Aid to Artisans, which exposed him to the amazing handmade cultures of developing countries, as well as some creative pockets here in the U.S.—to which most people don’t have much exposure. He wanted to share the inspiring stories, the traditional techniques, the amazing creativity he found.
Recker felt like print was the right medium for telling these stories, because “without amazing images,” he says, “the stories really don’t come through completely. So we decided to focus on telling the stories we discover in the research that goes into each issue through incredible photos and words.” There’s no denying that images have power, perhaps even more so in today’s society when we are constantly bombarded with information from all directions. “We’ve learned over time,” says Annie Waterman of HAND/EYE,“that more pictures and fewer words work better.”
There has been a resurgence in all things handmade—from fashion and jewelry to food and home goods—and people from all walks of life seem to be interested in craft and making. Waterman believes that “handmade is an antidote to the homogenizing forces at work in our retail choices and our increasingly onscreen existence. Handmade is warm with the presence of other people, other ways, other practices. It is comforting—even as it entices us with more journeys to take, more to learn, more to know”
This ninth issue of HAND/EYE is themed around South Africa and covers everything from the madcap crochet of Maymott to the cool elegance of Gregor Jenkin’s designs to the conservation of the iSimangaliso wetland. From cover to cover, it’s jam-packed with ideas about man, nature, society, creativity, purpose, pleasure, and beauty.
You can subscribe to the digital version of HAND/EYE online, but to get the full experience you really need to seek out the print edition. The magazine has newsstand distribution at to Barnes and Noble stores nationwide, at select Whole Foods locations, and at really fascinating boutiques around the world, such as Vancouver’s Maiwa, the gift shop at the Santa Fe International Museum of Folk Art, and the Egg and the Eye at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in Los Angeles.