Something that needs to be said from a crafter's point of view.

page: 1
5

log in

join

posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 09:08 PM
link   
I would have put this in a current event or other forum related to what I'm about to say, but most of this is just my take on the matter at hand, and for me to let off a bit of steam as well.

Where do I begin? Oh yes. This thought occurred to me whilst I was working on my cross stitch portrait of a golden retriever pup: I work really hard on my cross stitchings and other crafty doodads (as noted from how well my Avengers were received), and I have dabbled in the idea of selling them at craft fairs or on a crafting site like Etsy, or Pinterest. I'm sure that there would be some interest, and if perhaps I cannot find a legit "job", I could go into full-time crafting or clothes repair like a couple of family friends.

Boy, am I building Buckingham Palace on a cirrostratus.

First off, as much as I take countries like China and India for granted for making fabric, beads, and other necessary items a crafter needs at a reasonable price through cheap labour, I cannot stand the fact that they, especially China, have to corner the market on such things that can be easily made by a person, or locally.

Case in point: Stuffed animals. I have made a couple, as well as a type of ragdoll, and usually supplies cost me about $20 to $40 for materials, which usually works out to maybe $15 dollars or so. (Don't quote me on this)

Now, that seems pretty fair, although I need to account for all expenses and profits, but that's on a different tangent. But what really get's my goat is how unbelievably chintzy everything has become. It just hurts me to go into a department store and browse through the toys, coming across some sad creature made out of cheaply made chenille, especially one that has patches of fur falling off it, when I can make the same thing with better material and have it hold up to the wear and tear of kids playtime, although at a slightly higher price.

To be fair, I'm not calling all toys made in China and other countries junk. I still have my panda from when I was a baby made in Korea, and it still looks brand new. But I'm just ashamed at how some just cut corners. When I see a stuffed animal, I see a good childhood friend, a snuggle buddy, and a limitless imagination. I, and my possible future children, wouldn't want some flimsy thing that gets a hole from a game of "Airplane".

It also comforts me that when I see handmade crafts, I feel better that they are not mass produced to an extent, and each one is just a bit different than the other, along with the relief that it wasn't made by virtual slave labor, even though the raw material could be. (that is another hairy subject I wish not to discuss at this time). Would you feel comfortable knowing your child was playing with a toy made here:
[img]http://www.lookingglassnews.org/articles/aug07/055Mattelfactory_468x310.jpg[/img
Or here:
?

And it's not just toys, it's clothes too. How many of you out there have recently got a hole or tear in a favorite article of clothing and had not the time/talent/materials to fix it? The easiest thing to do is either use it as a rag or as a lounge around shirt, but most people now are opting to just throw clothes away, even if they have a difficult to treat stain! The quality in fabric is lacking as well, because all the shirts I get that are being marketed toward women, are made out of a really sheer cotton that could probably last about 3 years tops.

[continuing in next post]




posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 09:30 PM
link   
[continuing]

My second pain is how people with an appetite for crafting, is looked on as a hobby, and an outdated occupation. Times have changed. A hundred years ago, running a clothes shop with entirely handmade clothes, or clothes made locally or in a large city could fare very well. Now, you could be basically laughed out of a bank for such an idea. Granted, there are some businesses like that, but they are quite rare in this day and age. I also partly blame the feminist movement, because apparently, staying inside the house and sewing all day is "oppression" and that "women need to be free from the house and get a powerful job and show they can be just as good as men!"

Blargh.

I would give anything to sit at a sewing machine, and whip out something like this:


This:


or this:


But it simply cannot be done today, because this society demands mass production and conformity. They'd rather sacrifice quality and creativity to something easily availiable, and when they get tired, just dispose of it.

-steps off soap box-

That's my thoughts. Man I hate humans.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 09:41 PM
link   
That's why I like etsy...I try to buy as much as I can on there..also there are lots of kids clothes made here..

Persnickety
Matilda Jane
The measure

All have very nice and very well made clothing



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 10:27 PM
link   
reply to post by TheToastmanCometh
 


Hey, I here you. I'm a long time knitter, embroiderer, sewer, batik painter, etc. etc. I went to work in a knitting store doing repairs for people and teaching classes - didn't make enough for my time. People have no idea how much time and skill is required for these things until they, themselves, do it.

My daughter has been trying to get me to knit custom socks for people and I tell her that I wouldn't be able to sell a pair of plane anklets for less than $150.00 to cover my time and materials (I only use premium materials). A lacey pair of knee highs for $800.00. Most people won't pay that kind of money for even a custom fitted pair of socks.

So I make socks for my friends and family who treasure them because they have seen me at work. When a friend is sick out comes the horde of hand painted sock yarn and there is a pair for them to where in hospital and in recovery to keep the feet warm. Ever stitch is a prayer. At the yarn store (and this is just for me - I know wonderful knitter's that create and sell magnificient pieces of art for a living) I can't knit for money - it has to be just for me and my heart.

I also learned to be careful of who you give your carefully made items too - many don't appreciate them and don't use them and think they are somehow defective being handmade and it can hurt.

My daughter grew up with few toys (Waldorf kid and all) but those she did have were hand made, expensive and packed away for the next generation as toys used to be.

Good luck and have fun.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 10:38 PM
link   
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I usually get my stuff reasonably priced or on sale, but the effort I put into my projects are top par, thus I try to make mine relatively easy to afford.

But I'm glad you're handing out the socks for your sick friends!

My aunt knits and sells her stuff at craft fairs, might ask her if she can sell some of my stuff.

I just wish I could make costumes/repairs/crafting a full-time thing.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 10:40 PM
link   
reply to post by TheToastmanCometh
 


Well Then, Continue to Create and Market Your Own.
There is a Great Micro Market for "Made in The USA."
Go Straight to the United States Patent Office and Solidify your Products.

www.uspto.gov... Best to your Creations! Wildmanimal


S&F



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 11:09 PM
link   
Just to let you know so you don't get into trouble, your crosstitch work would have to be your own design in order to sell it.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 07:48 AM
link   
This thread deserves more flags!

Also, we need a crafters' co-op.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 09:13 AM
link   
Your point of view, is just that, your point of view - not necessarily a crafter's. Now here's mine and, yes, I am a crafter.

I disagree with the feminist blaming part. I think that sewing/crafting or doing whatever indoors all day, every day for anyone including men is not a healthy balanced lifestyle. To expand one's experiences and learning should be a prerequisite on the journey of learning and living each day to it's fullest. Perhaps you do not need intellectual stimulation, but I do, hence my presence on discussion forums.

As for cheap labour in China, in the news recently, a letter was found in a product shipped from China with a plea for help. The letter read, in broken English, that people are in labour camps and forced to work 15 hours per day for an equivalnet of $1/month, with no vacation. So, before you buy a product from China or India think about how it is made.

I am an artist and crafter as well as a working full-time for the betterment of my family and myself. I also joined the Knitting/Crochet Club at my workplace recently to get back to what I enjoy doing, as well as creating items for the poor, sick, and elderly. With so many obligations put upon me at this time, it's hard to devote alot of my time on creative endeavours, but when I do it's all worth it.

"Everything in moderation".

I also self-studied embroidery, cross-stitching and crewel and when I have more time on my hands, i.e. semi-retirement, I'd love to open a website and sell unique handmade crochetted bikinis, hats, and embroidered and/or hand painted scarves, and perhaps motorcycle gas tank covers, which I am now designing a pattern that will be a universal design for all cycles. I also enjoy painting and switch back and forth from fine arts to crafting.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 12:48 AM
link   
reply to post by InTheLight
 





I disagree with the feminist blaming part. I think that sewing/crafting or doing whatever indoors all day, every day for anyone including men is not a healthy balanced lifestyle. To expand one's experiences and learning should be a prerequisite on the journey of learning and living each day to it's fullest. Perhaps you do not need intellectual stimulation, but I do, hence my presence on discussion forums.


I'm not trying it to make it sound that way. Yes, crafting is mainly an indoors things, but during the warmer months, I like to take my projects outside, or do projects that require outside work. What I was trying to get at was feminists think that sewing/crafting is an archaic artform that reminds women of how they are chained to domesticity ie be the good June Cleaver housewife, and we should ditch such professions.

As for intellectual stimulation, I like to leaf through some good classic lit, like The Cooley Cattle Raid, as well as browsing around ATS. In fact, tomorrow I start my course on Sound and Color in Film.



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 11:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by TheToastmanCometh
reply to post by InTheLight
 





I disagree with the feminist blaming part. I think that sewing/crafting or doing whatever indoors all day, every day for anyone including men is not a healthy balanced lifestyle. To expand one's experiences and learning should be a prerequisite on the journey of learning and living each day to it's fullest. Perhaps you do not need intellectual stimulation, but I do, hence my presence on discussion forums.


I'm not trying it to make it sound that way. Yes, crafting is mainly an indoors things, but during the warmer months, I like to take my projects outside, or do projects that require outside work. What I was trying to get at was feminists think that sewing/crafting is an archaic artform that reminds women of how they are chained to domesticity ie be the good June Cleaver housewife, and we should ditch such professions.

As for intellectual stimulation, I like to leaf through some good classic lit, like The Cooley Cattle Raid, as well as browsing around ATS. In fact, tomorrow I start my course on Sound and Color in Film.


That sound and color in film course sounds fabulous.

Who are these feminists that are eluding to crafting/sewing chaining women indoors? I would think the feminists would view creative endeavours, along with the other life's pursuits I mentioned, as personal growth activities.



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 04:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by TheToastmanCometh
I'm not trying it to make it sound that way. Yes, crafting is mainly an indoors things, but during the warmer months, I like to take my projects outside, or do projects that require outside work. What I was trying to get at was feminists think that sewing/crafting is an archaic artform that reminds women of how they are chained to domesticity ie be the good June Cleaver housewife, and we should ditch such professions.


Given the recent upsurge in 'crafters' and the numerous stores catering to their needs, I don't think the feminists are doing a very good job if that is their aim


However, the emancipation of women and the feminist movement generally, have, very successfully, aided in placing a greater value on women's time, and more importantly, upon their ability to choose for themselves how to use it. If you want to consider such crafts in a historical context, then I suggest you first remove your rose tinted sunglasses, the needle arts, particularly, have since the dawn of civilisation, had little intrinsic value to the crafts people, the lion's share always having gone to the middle-man. Since for the most part women were not allowed to market their produce, they were reliant on such middlemen, who set the price.

My grandmother, when she married, wasn't permitted to work outside the home, and was totally dependent upon my grandfather for 'housekeeping'. Like many women, that money seldom extended to 'personal' items. In order to have some 'rainy day' or 'pin' money, she did piece work for a major high street chain, smocking mostly. Piece work meant that you were paid by the finished item, not for your time. Relative to the time she spent on her work, she was paid a pittance. Nowadays, smocking is done by machine, so she wouldn't be needed anyway...not the fault of feminism, but industrialist, as was the low return she received for her endeavours.

Going much further back, much praise is laid upon the English for having offered refuge to the Hugenots. Little emphasis is placed upon the fact that we offered that refuge on the basis that we could then exploit their craft and thereby further our monopoly of the textile trade. Those Hugenots came to England, were ghettoised in squalor, and spent every waking hour producing the finest and most sought after linens and laces known at that time for a pittance. No feminists involved there either.

You cannot compete with major manufacturers because you cannot buy in bulk. You skill is not valued, in pecuniary terms, because you do not mass produce. A machine can make 1000 times more in the time that it takes you to make one. Nothing whatsoever to do with feminism...just industrialised production, purchasing and import methods.

However, there are still people who will pay premium for hand made, individual items. An acquaintance of mine is a full-time weaver, and she lives off commissions, not lavishly, admittedly. Bridal wear is niche where people will pay the premium for high quality fabrics and finishing...something that automation cannot provide them with. But you need to access those customers, and that means producing samples of your work and going to trade fairs and the such like to reach customers. While people won't pay high prices for items that they can get in the shops for much cheaper, there will always be a market for items which are individually created for them...but you have to get to those people, and market yourself and your produce.

What I have always done is trawl jumble sales and charity shops for fabrics, or garments which I can disassemble and make into something new, or customise, or bought remnants and roll-ends. Which, if I was so inclined, would be a good way of building up enough stock to get your own stall or website started...and whenever you make something, take photos, and display it as an example of your capabilities in terms of custom-made one off pieces, that can be made to order. Design your own fabrics...batik and tie-dying are both reasonably cheap ways of making something plain, into something unique. People will pay for unique. In short, it is not about the cost, but about accessing the customers who have the money to spend, and then producing what they want to spend that money on.

Where there is a will there is a way


CX

posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 05:04 PM
link   
I've had my moments too....here's a scarf i made for my daughter...




and more for a kids charity...



I know what you mean about the money, most crafts will never pay what they are worth when you take into account the skill and time taken.

It's when you find something quite different and sought after, or when your skill level rises that you tend to see some money come in. Nice to hear of other crafters though.

Very therapeutic though, whatever the craft you may be into.
(Says the man who felt like going on about a dozen killing sprees due to the stress of learning to knit!)


CX.






top topics



 
5

log in

join