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.
HANDMADE IS BEST!!!!