Monday, September 18, 2006

Taking Back the Art!!

Okay, okay...It's time to start a new movement! To all the crocheters out there, I'm speaking to you!! We need to take back the art of crochet! Why do knitters get to make more money on their items (if they sell them) when we use even more yarn, take just as much time (especially if we work with thread) making the items, yet make barely more than the cost of the materials on our work?! THIS IS NONSENSE!! Okay, I'm venting. but there is a very good reason for my vent. I was a vendor at a flea market yesterday, and there were a few other vendors who had either crocheted items, or knit items available. The knit items cost more, and people were willing to pay those prices, yet I had heirloom-quality christening dresses available (made of thread, using 16 hours of work, and lined with hand-stitched linen with French seams, no less!), and I had people gasping at my prices, saying they weren't going to pay $25 for a hand-crocheted dress (mind you, readers, this was my least-expensive dress, no less!) that was lined with 100% linen, hand-stitched! Granted, I know my venue was a poor choice for showing off my wares--although I was able to generate some interest from a select few who understood the amount of work I put into my Tiny Trinkets Garments--but still, HOW RIDICULOUS! (I was selling off my entire Coca-Cola collection, as well, and was very successful at it) I was so steamed at the comments I heard! (One old lady said, "who does she think she is, charging that much? I ain't payin' that! That's made of sewin' thread! Why should I pay $25 for something I can buy for $2?" !?! Does she not realize that time is also valuable?) I do know of a few craft shows I'd like to enter in the spring, and I'll probably have better luck there.
I just had a thought...perhaps people at flea markets don't realize how long things take to hook together? But then again, I even tried to show the lady my portfolio (which had approximate time-tables next to each garment) when she asked what else I make, but she wasn't interested. Oh well, win some, lose some. Not only this, but also crocheting is a common liesure art. It is so common, in fact, that when you tell a non-fiber person (one who doesn't work with yarn, string, thread, etc) that you crochet, that person--more often than not--immediately thinks, toilet tissue covers, tissue box covers, towel toppers, etc. Stuff that takes less than an hour to make and thereby costs less than $5. It's so bad in my area, and in the town where I grew up, that anything crocheted is devalued unless it's a garment from a department store. I have to go to higher-income areas where most people don't do hand-work (especially with thread) and sell to a boutique, and even then it's iffy.
For those of you who knit, as well, please don't misunderstand me...I knit, also. I'm not great at it, but I do appreciate the beauty of the hand-knit item. However, crocheted items can be just as beautiful, and just as valuable. I don't know of 1 fiber artist who does not take pride in his or her work.
What are your experiences with this, readers? I'd like to hear from you!

1 comment:

Catlady said...

Well, I'm with you. I agree, that we fibre artists never get what we should, be it crochet or knit. Or quilt, or cross stitch, or....

One of the reasons I don't even try to sell anything. Just give as gifts - and only to friends or family, who *KNOW* what love I've put into making it....

I will, however, add that I cringe when people refer to the craft as "art" - I mean, to me, art hangs on a wall. And collects dust. And fades into the background eventually. But the things I make, I want to see being used. Worn, cuddled, loved - to me, the highest compliment was when I saw that some candle wax had been dripped onto a doily I'd made and given to a friend - it meant she actually USED it :)

(ps - saw your reference to your blog from the CP list....)