Friday, February 27, 2015

Authentic Handmade

If you support handmade artists, sell handmade art or generally think it's cool, this post is for you :)

If you haven't heard yet there is a story floating around the net about a "handmade seller" who makes exorbitant amounts of money on a certain website that claims to be "handmade".
Turns out, this particular seller actually has the products made OVERSEAS. That's right, they are mass produced out of the country and sold as American handmade items. 
Now from what I gather this person wants to twist the term "handmade" and make it "sort of" apply to them. It doesn't really work that way. Apparently this so called website is rife with this kind of deception.

-Not foolin' everyone!

Let me define the term handmade the way I see it, just so we are clear where I'm coming from.

Hand-made (adj).
   -describes a thing you produced with your own two hands
   -describes a thing you worked on for hours in your organized chaos of a craft studio you run out of a cramped room in your house
   -describes a thing you worked on in the car while waiting for your kiddos to get out of school... and worked on while waiting for a table at a restaurant... and worked on while waiting at the doctors office... and worked on it some more while sitting down to watch your favorite movie. ect.
    -describes a process where you take raw materials and change them into something completely different without the use of factory equipment or slave labor.

Now that I described it the way I see it, let's move on. I was growing weary of the question "You made all these yourself?" 
It came often and I was usually presented that sideways glance you often give your kid when you don't think they are being totally truthful.
But after I read (and fumed) over the a fore mentioned story, I realized how important it was to establish what handmade was in my realm of existence. So here are some pictures of where I work, the materials I use and the mess that ensues shortly after I begin working on a project.
and this is just TODAY'S mess

I have an extensive shipping department...
guarded by a ferocious terrier puppet!

Meet my secretary... "Post It."
her office is next to the adhesives department.
The supply department is overseen by Bustopher.
He's more productive than he looks.

I encourage all my artist friends to share similar pictures of their process. Give your customers NO DOUBT, you make everything you sell right here in the U.S. with your own two hands.

I encourage those who shop handmade to ask the question that previously made me internally roll my eyes
"Did you make all these yourself?"
I promise by the time I'm done explaining how I do it, where I do it and how long it takes, you'll feel a whole lot better about purchasing my products.