Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The handmade artists lament

I love beading ... have I ever told you that? No? Well I do LOL :) What I don't love is being told my work is not good enough, or that in certain sectors of my local community - told my stuff is too expensive. Do you seriously not realise how much work goes into handmade?

Now I have never been one to "blow my own trumpet", don't feel the need for it and will never do it. Over the years I have had doubts about my ability to do this craft that I love so much ... thought that I wasn't good enough. My sales record (which is low by the way) probably reflects that, but I do this for the love of the craft, not that I think I will make heaps of money from it. I'm forever thankful that I have so many beady friends who believe in me and encourage me to continue.

But what really gets my goat is when people judge my work sitting on a table or on my website, and then saying they can find better in such and such a shop for cheaper. Well whoopie doo for you, because you know something - its your loss!!!

I proudly source my beads from around the world - and where I can, I buy handmade ... direct from the maker. I'm a great believer in supporting other talented artists - not only here in Australia, but overseas as well. You will NOT find these beads being "mass produced". You will NOT find these beads in any $2 cheap shop that you may want to go to instead. These beads have been lovingly handmade by some of the best artisans our craft can give you. Another thing, when it comes to "mass produced" beads, the only ones you will find in my bead collection are the very gorgeous Swarovski Crystals - the BEST on the market, and the multitude of seed beads that I have in my collection. That's it!! That's what you get with my pieces - the best of handmade, and the best of the best when it comes to crystals.

I pride myself on my work, and I think the quality of my work reflects that. The reason it takes me hours to do say a beaded lace necklace, is because I meticulously sit there and sew on every bead. Then I sew through them again to make sure that none of those little suckers are going to go anywhere ... and you know what, for crystals, well I sew through them three times. That's what I do. That's why something that might look simple to you as just beads on a piece of lace, culminates in hours and hours of work for me. So forgive me if I add a little bit of that time into the price of my piece ... and believe me I don't have a huge hourly rate - in fact I'm sure my 13 year old son makes more of an hourly rate umpiring AFL than what I do when I'm beading.

Please, stop and think about what you are saying about a handmade artists work. We sit there for hours producing work that we are insanely proud of, and then to hear that its cheaper to go to a "mass produced" shop and get something ... well it breaks our heart. If you ask me - I would prefer a handmade article, whatever it may be, over anything "mass produced" any day. Why? Because I know the work, the pain, the sweat and tears that go into making handmade.



Natalie Monkivitch said...

Hear hear.... so true. Well thought out and articulated!

Bobbie Pene said...

I hear you loud and is so disheartening to have your hard efforts compared to something mass produced by someone who is exploited for cheap labor. Your work is beautiful and unique and don't let anyone tell you any different.

Susan Wellingham said...

Having done the market scene for many years, I have been in exactly the same situation as you where people who don't know any better say very negative and distressing things about your work. As an artist making unique handmade pieces, I know that part of your soul goes into your work. Thank you Marianne for being brave and speaking out. We have to educate the people who don't already know, the value of handmade. Your work is gorgeous and truly valuable.

Terri said...

Amen! :-)

Lyra said...

I totally agree with you ... They are so unfair those who can not appreciate how much work that have their wonderful pieces. But you know what??? ... these people do not value beauty because they do not recognize ...

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

What a lousy experinece. Your work is worth whatever you are willing to part with it for. If that is too much for any buyer, let them shop at Target, and keep their opinions about value to themselves. Hugs!