Learning and perfecting any craft is no easy task. But trust me, the learning part is easier than the perfecting part for me! I have always enjoyed being a “learner”. I find myself, on some days, reading and studying and web searching more than I actually weave. But the perfecting part will probably take a lifetime. I find it hard to even call myself a “fiber artist”, so for me to ever say that I have perfected my craft will never happen. For me, I am a work in progress both in weaving and in life.
When one hears the term “handmade” it generally makes one think of something done with love and care and attention to detail. All of us who enjoy making things with our hands can truthfully say that the items we make are “handmade”. (Duh, right!) However, not everything that is labeled hand made is actually -handmade. That is why it is often hard to see a similar item listed as handmade but the cost is $14.95! One couldn’t even buy the yarn for that same project for that amount. (So, just sayin’, buyer beware!)
If you look up the definition of hand made it actually says: “Made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality.” Many of today’s shoppers like the idea of someone creating an item with their own two hands and spending the time and effort to truly make something special. That’s why, for me, the second half of that definition is so important. I want each one of my items to be “of superior quality” to anything one would buy that was commercially made. And I can truthfully say, that each item I weave is made with love and a small piece of my heart. So, whenever possible, support handmade.
PS During some of my web surfing today, I ran across this article on TED ( http://blog.ted.com/8-talks-on-beauty-of-the-handmade-crafting-and-makers) which had 7 different speakers who spoke to the joys (and tribulations) of creating something purely by hand. My favorite was Janet Echelman. Check her out on TED.