Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Going Local

Where things come from, what they are made of, by whom and how are becoming increasingly important questions as we learn just how much distant or huge manufacturers let things slide. This week alone these stories are revealed; the Gap lets an outsourced contractor use children to make clothing in horrible conditions, Japan's famous candy maker Akafuku is sloppy and Chinese drugs are found to be completely unregulated.

I don't know though, I don't really eat local food and use locally made crafts because I am afraid of this other stuff. I do it because I feel better on many levels for eating fresh organic food, living in a mostly DIY environment, etc. It is environmentally better for my family and the planet and it is ethically easier to discern the treatment of who's making my stuff. I am far from perfect. Actually, perfection isn't my goal. Far from it. There's so much fun good stuff out there. But, I am on a path. A path many others are streaming onto and that feels very good. Maybe, just maybe, the world isn't going somewhere hot in a hand bag. Maybe, our kids and grand kids will have something to work with when we are gone.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Local Currencies

The ideal of locally made in order to create a sustainable community, society and world is not new. I have lifted the beginning of a narrative from the E.F. Schumacher Society application for the Buckminster Fuller grant. Local currencies are part of this equation. Shifting to more local and regional ways of doing business is in everyone's best interest in the long run. I have posted the rest of the article here: Local Currencies

Buckminster Fuller Challenge
Application Narrative

Urgent Issue of our Time

E. F. Schumacher argued that if we are to achieve a sustainable economic
system (what he called an economy of permanence), then the goods consumed in
a region should by and large be produced in that region. With shorter
supply lines and fewer intermediaries between the producer and consumer,
fuel use is less and carbon dioxide emissions decrease. Individuals engaged
in their local economy may rely on more trips downtown but on fewer trips
across oceans and countries.

Consumers are more likely to tolerate poor labor conditions and
environmental degradation when they are made invisible by the distancing
effect of the global economy. Incorporating production into the local
economy helps to illuminate poor practices and their impact on the
community. Ultimately we learn that content workers, sustainable farming
practices, and a healthy environment lead to increased productivity and
decreased true costs to the consumer.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Chargers

I have a new 14" charger I am using like a work on paper- glazing as I might a unique painting. This size and format is suitable for this approach and I look forward to more of these in the coming months.

The background glaze is a new white satin matte that works really well.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Alice Waters

After hearing Alice Waters (of Chez Panisse fame) speak last month in San Francisco, I have been on a bit of a kick. I bought her new book, The Art of Simple Food and am reading her biography. More importantly, I have deepened my commitment to eating high quality, locally grown food and have also invested in some expensive olive oil. The results are delicious meals even my 12 year is willing to eat!

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