I’ve never been terribly consistent about blogging, but now that I’m running a business I’m finding that this type of outlet is a necessity. You see, one of the main reasons that I was motivated to begin learning to make jewelry in the first place was the same thing that motivated me to learn how to knit, and drives me to learn how to sew, and quilt, and fuse glass – it’s the idea of the handmade movement. And I’m losing touch with it.
When I was growing up, we had several quilts in the house that were made by my great grandmother, each stitch painstakingly sewn by hand or on the antique machine that now sits in my mother’s alcove. Our garage was full of ancient cast iron woodworking equipment that my great grandfather used every single day of his career as a carpenter. My dad made our kitchen table with his own two hands, and my mom sewed most of my clothes. All of these items have an inherent value because they were made by a person, carefully and lovingly crafted by two simple hands guided by years of training and practice.
Skills like woodworking and hand quilting are vanishing quickly. Our culture is losing its understanding of value – we buy things that are cheap and easy to obtain, unwilling to spend hours of labor on something we could find at Target. But to me, skilled artisans are worthy of our respect and patronage. I can’t stand the thought of losing these trades forever, of women like my great-grandmother being irrevocably and completely replaced by machines. Of course there is a place for cheap and easy consumer goods, but there is also a place for heirlooms. And that is the place I hope my jewelry will fit.
The problem is that I rarely have an opportunity to really interact with the people who purchase my art. I spend my hours at work in my studio, listing items online to be purchased by people whom I only know by their transaction number. I hate this. I don’t want to be some anonymous brand hidden behind an online storefront! I want to be human, to connect with my customers. And that’s what this blog is about. I may never get to meet every single one of you, but hopefully at least through this outlet you can have the chance to get to know me.