Saturday, March 12, 2011

Are you an artist or Craftsman? Handmade or hand assembled?

Is your work considered handmade or not? Are you an Artist or craftsman?
Hello everyone Im Jenny Reinhart.
Basically I need a break from the social networking!
I wanted to write an article addressing what seems to be two highly controversial topics among artists and craftsman on Etsy.
1) Are you an artist or a crafter/craftsman?
2) Is your product considered handmade or hand assembled and is there a difference?

I’ve been reading blogs, articles, and team threads on Etsy. I was a little surprised to see people putting down other crafters/artists because they felt their work should not be in the same category as their own due to the fact that they consider their work more 
handmade than another seller.

The thread that comes to mind was a person that has a jewelry shop on Etsy, and the seller complained that other sellers tagged their work as handmade instead of hand assembled. Which I completely get, except to outwardly put someone else down because their work isn’t quite what you want it to be, seems ridiculous.(and I do realize the importance of tagging)

If you don’t know the whole process of someone’s work you can’t really say it’s not handmade. I would have to say there are probably some people that throw some beads on a string and call it a handmade necklace. They put no effort into it, but then there are the people who care about their work and put time and effort into making themselves better at their craft. When you are new to a craft it takes time to learn about it and the range of things that can be created with that craft.

Example: My niece purchases beads and makes jewelry with it. She loves it. However evidently its not considered handmade because she doesn’t actually make the beads herself? That doesn’t seem right. Ive seen her sit down, come up with a plan, or design that she wants, and put that plan into action. There is an actual process to it. (She does not sell on Etsy.) 

I create fused glass and etched glass. Most people consider my fused glass handmade and my etched glass not handmade. Its funny to me because I spend more hands on time drawing, cutting and cold working my designs for etched glass work than I do to create a fused glass bowl. 

To me the fused glass I create is transformed in the kiln and even though I hand cut the pieces the biggest transformation happens in the kiln. Should it be called kiln made? My etched glass starts out as a drawing by me, cut and then etched. Its my hands on all the time.
Everything we create with our hands, passionately and with love should be considered as handmade. I realize not everyone is a master at their craft (myself included) but the process of getting there is wonderful and we should be encouraging people to develop their craft not putting them down. Believe me customers are aware of better quality merchandise and price differences. If your craft has  special processes add it to the description. Customers will notice. Don’t be upset people tagging their work as handmade let the customer decide for themselves. If you see someone selling a piece of jewelry as a beginner, offer up suggestions to create their own beads, charms or whatever. Are we afraid of a little competition?

As far as the difference between artist and crafter, Im not positive on this one but for me, I do not consider myself an artist however family and friends have called me one and I let them. I love it. I wouldn’t even consider myself a craftsman. I think to be an artist or craftsman you would have to master your craft. My craft personally is still about growing, changing, and learning new things. So what are we then?
We are creative minds learning and growing from our crafts in hopes of someday mastering the art!
Good Luck to everyone! Enjoy creating!
“Live Life Simply and Creatively”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...