I came across this articlebuying handmade art pieces and which is well worth a read:
Why I Buy HandmadeI’m a crafter. An artist. An artisan. Whatever you want to call it. I make lots of stuff, use some, give some away, and yes, sell some.
I also buy stuff other people make. Why? What’s the benefit?
Actually, there are myriad and many.
Supporting the “Little Guy”
Those big conglomerates? They have their advantages, I suppose. But when I can get something from an artist rather than a mall store, I should get something from an artist. We’re losing the “mom and pop” aspect of this country. We’re losing our ability to create, to produce. We’re sending all our big production overseas. So we need to support those few who are local and still in the arts and the trades. Years ago, I saw somewhere this quotation that I really loved:
A person who uses his hands is a laborer.
A person who uses his hands and his head is a craftsman.
A person who uses his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist.
I love that. And you know what? I want to support our laborers, and our craftsmen, and our artists.
Knowing the Creator
When something is produced in a factory in China or Indonesia or Bangladesh, we don’t know who actually made it. We can’t. We can’t know if they like their job, if they take pride in their work, if they want it to last or couldn’t care less if it falls apart in a week.
When you know the creator, you know the passion behind the creation. You know the care that it took. Often, you know the process and length of time it took. There’s something to that.
Back in May, I got this gorgeous pottery bowl for my sister for her birthday from LG Potter.
My sister, knowing the company I keep, asked if I knew the artist. I was tempted to say “yes,” although I knew him ONLY from this sale. But this sale alone, the ability to communicate directly with the person who made what I gave her, made my initial answer “yes.” Which is really something.
Of course, there’s knowing and there’s knowing. Before that, in December, I got this awesome oversized mug from River Rock Arts as a Christmas gift for a coworker.
Now, when I’m asked if I know this artist, the “yes” comes a lot quicker. I “met” Shari here at Handmade Artists, and have been “talking” to her for a few years now. I was around when she was designing her business cards! And that personal connection is really something.
There’s just nothing like something created by someone who loves what he does and does it because she’s compelled to create it, rather than someone who’s showing up for the daily grind just to collect a paycheck. Paychecks are nice and all, for sure, but the quality afforded by someone who’s really excited about her work is a whole different thing.
I got this necklace for a friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah from Colette’s Boutique, and I wish I could show it in person, I really do. The perfection, the clean work, the impeccable design are attributes you can only get in really expensive, high-end designer jewelry… or from a handmade artisan who makes high end jewelry because it’s just what she must do.
Or how about these teething animals, made of solid untreated poplar?
I’ve now purchased these from Keith Hartman for two nephews and a friend’s daughter, and they’re terrific. I know I’m handing those kids I care about something of quality; I’m not afraid of contents, surfaces, or loose parts. I know these are well made.
I’ve been in love with the cards in Bethie’s Card Shop for ages, I’ll admit it. I’ve bought birthday, baby, and Christmas cards from her, and I’m proud to give them out. She’s nothing short of amazing. So it was only natural, when I was faced with the birthday of a friend turning 40, who’s decided to call it a 4th birthday for kicks and theme it with unicorns and rainbows, that I approach Beth for a unicorn card, none of which existed in her shop at the time.
Oh, wow. She made that for me! Try that in the mall card store, I dare you.
I like being different. I love being different. I was the kid in high school wearing gold shoes with multicolored rhinestones. I was the one dancing on the wall at the first college dance. I always prefer the red gown to the little black dress. And I want to give the gift no one else is giving.
I know when I bring in gifts to the office this Christmas, no one else will give the cards I’ll give… because I got mine from Bethie’s Cards. I know that in August when I go to a friend’s wedding, my card from Beth will be the only one like it she gets.
I also know that when I am compelled to wear a little black dress I’ve got the perfect knockout piece of jewelry to go with it.
I also know that nowhere, at no time will anyone else on the planet ever have the same one. Even people who wear Steampunk won’t have this necklace. It’s 100% unique, 100% mine, fitting, since it’s from Uniqlets. 100% different because it’s 100% handmade.
So, why do you buy handmade?