For the last year or two I have been working on a new TV series that premieres on Thursday night at 10pm on ABC1. Bespoke is a series about the rise and return of makers across Australia. It covers everything from leathercrafts to 3D printing.
Check out the preview:
Bespoke is an engaging, amusing, irreverent but thought provoking look at the return and rise of the handmade, the locally produced, the small scale and the artisanal.
Writer and presenter Marcus Westbury takes us on a journey from the lovingly crafted to cutting edge technology – from artisanal jewellers and wood-turners to craft distillers and 3D printers, from Newcastle to New York – to answer the questions of who is making, why are so many of us making, who is buying and is it here to stay? Is it an old arts and crafts movement in hipster clothing, a passing fad, a middle class indulgence or a profound cultural and technological shift that has the potential to remake our cities, our economies and our communities from the top down and the bottom up?
In the last decade the number of people making arts, craft and all manner of bespoke and artisanal objects in Australia has grown enormously. The number of people making jewellery alone has increased by 700%. Two million Australians are active makers and many millions more are buying and appreciating what they make.
Changes in technology have given artisans and entrepreneurs access to global communities and international markets no one would have dreamed possible only ten years ago. Meanwhile consumers are increasingly rejecting mass produced products and seeking out the handcrafted and the unique. The result is an explosion in the growth of the hand-made, the bespoke and niche production.
Making is a cultural phenomenon. The labels “handmade” and “artisanal” have become marketing gimmicks for everything from beer brands to breakfast cereal. Banks claim to be “For the Makers”, property developers are selling “handmade” apartments and ETSY, the Ebay for the handmade, is now a billion dollar business.
Marcus explores how genuine makers strike a balance between affordability and authenticity, and asks how big can you grow without losing something essential?
Finally, Marcus meets the geeks behind technologies and communities that are transforming who can make. 3D printing, hacker-spaces and open source hardware are all part of a global makers movement where technology and crafts are combining to transform the means of production. Marcus explores a movement that has been called ‘the next industrial revolution’ and unpacks the hype from the truly revolutionary potential of this meeting of the handmade and the high-tech.
Are we really on the verge of remaking the world?
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