Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My handmade vs your handmade again….

tools of the trade, studio desk, bend it, torch it, forge it, make it
Tools of the Trade

It seems to be that time of year again. Applications are being submitted and juried requirements posted.
Handmade must have raw materials that have been hand manipulated  and physically altered by the applicant.  
That’s the legal FTC definition and the one many juried shows and guilds stand by. 
Artists everywhere get their feelings bent out of shape by it, but my art IS hand made by me, I made it. 

I’ve given this some very serious thought lately. I worked very hard to get to a point where I can begin by legal definition to call some of my pieces hand made. This is not my hand made is better than your hand made, I’ve seen some stunning works created by new jewelers still oblivious to the “rules” and some hideous pieces by respected bench jewelers. This is I worked very hard to gain these skills to earn my niche in handmade. Although I personally prefer the term artisan or hand crafted.

Art Comes From Your Soul
Found on FB after I wrote this post and I think it captures
perfectly what I'm trying to convey in todays post!

Creating jewelry is Art. It doesn’t matter which skill sets you possess, when you are making, you are creating. Some sculpt, some chisel, some play with fire. Some string, some glue and some tie knots. The end results are a piece of beauty that is worn around the neck, wrist, or on fingers and ears and many other body parts to boot. (Pun intended, I think boot bracelets are a fun accessory.) Materials vary and the degree of difficulty in manipulating them varies as well. But they are all art, even to the point of design aesthetics, some like this style and some like that style.

Tell you what…...Let’s stop trying to compare my hand made to your hand made shall we. The only thing it creates is hurts feelings.

Hand sewn Halloween Teddy costume, hand crafted is art no matter the medium
Hand Crafted Bath Towel Teddy Costume

For the first very large portion of my life, creating was art. Didn’t matter if I sketched out the design, drafted a pattern and made a teddy costume out of brown bath towels for the wee one, or if it was a mural on the wall for the oldest. It didn’t matter if my medium was cloth, paper, beads or metal. What mattered was the act of creation. It wasn’t until I joined a few groups on FB that I had even heard of my hand made is better than yours. Oh I had always recognized varying degrees of difficulty, but better? This was new, and little by little it had crept into my own head. You may haveread the posts I’ve written, A grade C grade doesn’t matter so long as it fits my vision of the end design.

The thing is, and what I recently had to remind myself of, is there’s a pyramid to making not just pricing.  Anvil, saw and fire are at the top of the pyramid. My pride was fine with that but until I heard my own words, that inner dialogue, that I took a step back and realized, different skill sets demand different  price points, there’s nothing wrong with having or not having a skill set it just puts you in different shows, guilds and sometimes a different place on the pyramid.

It doesn’t mean your art is less nor does it mean mine is. It just means we're all different kind of artists with different skill sets.

K? Nuff said! No more hurt feelers. Let’s all just make what we love, and allow ourselves to love making it!

Time for me to get back into the studio…..I have a new line/collections with a deadline looming and several almost finished pieces, several half done pieces and several still in sketch. I know…. all the snow and grey skies, I’ve been slacking.

till next time!
Thanks for stopping by!

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