Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Make Your Own/DIY
Nell Merionwen

Why handmade is "so expensive"

interesting blog post about pricing
earthmamma

Good on her. If people think it is too expensive they wont pay the price, but she is obviosly making a living from it so. These are peolpe that know and understand the time and work that goes into handmade things. The nay sayers just want something for nothing.
vegplot

Don't ask why something handmade is expensive, instead ask why mass produced is cheap.
earthmamma

Don't ask why something handmade is expensive, instead ask why mass produced is cheap.

I'll second that.
Wigan Pixie

I hate having to price my work, so much so that I'm thinking of giving it up Sad Last year I was asked to make a large wedding ring shawl, not only was I knitting it but also spinning the yarn. I worked as hard as I could and, due to it being a very difficult lace pattern and knitted on the finest needles, it took almost 60 hours work. This meant that if I just charged the minimum wage, it would cost over 300. I was doing it as a favour for a friend, so didn't mind as it was a labour of love but I do get very annoyed when people question the price of my goods. I don't think I've ever had a fair price for anything Crying or Very sad
jema

It's a vicious circle really.
If people don't charge appropriately for handmade it sets a standard on what people expect to pay for handmade, after all no one likes to pay too much whether it is mass produced or hand crafted.
Midland Spinner

A good well written piece.

I totally agree - if you work out how much time goes into one of our Handmade Things, take off the price of the materials, we are getting a pittance per hour and still occasionally get people telling us our stuff is too expensive (usually the same people who wander past with a coffee from the 'cappucino van' at 1.70 or 2 for a small cup while I drink tap water from a re-used bottle).

I try not to mind when they say things like that - I try to concentrate on the people who like our stuff and say it's beautiful, well researched, well made, from good materials and far far too cheap.
Midland Spinner

It's a vicious circle really.
If people don't charge appropriately for handmade it sets a standard on what people expect to pay for handmade, after all no one likes to pay too much whether it is mass produced or hand crafted.


I tried saying something like that on Ravelry recently and got so many angry replies about 'I can price things how I like' and 'I just charge pin money because I don't need the money'. It was deeply unpleasant and I won't make that mistake again.

We charge what we think is a fair price for our Things, bearing in mind the labour we put in, the materials used and our knowledge, balanced against what we think people can afford & what other traders charge for the same type of thing.
oldish chris

I think this argument first went round when "General" Ned Ludd started to complain about knitting frames.

Find someone who owns a sewing machine and ask them the difference between sewing a hem by hand and by machine.
sally_in_wales

yep, agree on all points.

As MS says, its a very fine line between actual costs and what the market will take.

I think I'm on an average of 3 an hour at the moment when I'm mostly working on knitted items, a few things we do give a much better return, a few things much worse, but it translates into a wage of about 25 a day for knitting. Can only do it because the occasional teaching or filming day gives us a return on the research we put in.

And yes, its my choice to do this, I could go and get a desk job, but I'm much happier doing this even if its always tight.
sally_in_wales

I think this argument first went round when "General" Ned Ludd started to complain about knitting frames.

Find someone who owns a sewing machine and ask them the difference between sewing a hem by hand and by machine.

Thing is though, they aren't really comparable. Different techniques for different occasions. For some things of course a machine is faster, for others, it just won't replicate the results. Am handsewing an underdress at the moment for a costume where it will barely show, but to look right, its essential that the visible bits aren't machined as the end finish will be different
oldish chris

I'm a pauper, that's why I have so few original artworks, certainly nothing by Damien Hurst. Similarly, I can't afford hand-made craft. IIRC the Arts and Crafts movement was led by bourgeois socialists.

I do hand knit, I realise the difference between handmade and factory produced. The biggest difference is that the kind of factory made wear that I can afford - they've skimped on everything. I'm well aware that costed out, handknitted is prohibitively expensive.

My minimal knowledge of the history of working class people suggests that the terms and conditions of contract knitters in Victorian times was worse than in a modern Asian sweatshop.

Buying handmade stuff is a middle class affectation. As the salesman in a Rolls Royce showroom said "if you want to know the price - you can't afford it!"
Rob R

There's one thing worse then either an expensive handmade item or a cheap handmade item, and that's a mid-priced handmade item which seems expensive but still barely covers the cost of production. vegplot

few original artworks, certainly nothing by Damien Hurst.

Art and Damien Hurst shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence.

Sorry, thread hijacking.
Nell Merionwen

few original artworks, certainly nothing by Damien Hurst.

Art and Damien Hurst shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence.

Sorry, thread hijacking.

Damien Hurst clearly raises emotion in you. Ergo, some might say that would make it art.
Frazzled_Barbie

Maybe part of the problem is that people don't really understand the amount of work involved in projects.

As a new knitter I now appreciate the amount of time etc but before I didn't have a clue. The same as I still dont know how long it would take to spin the yarn to knit with. Or that the sheep in question is highly prized for its wool or the time dying it etc

Also I think people now use the term "expensive" in different contexts. I often say "oh thats expensive" but what I mean is "no, not over priced, just more than I can afford right now."

For one off original bits of work, be that craft or technical I always ask for a quote so that there wont be any misunderstandings.
jema

I think this argument first went round when "General" Ned Ludd started to complain about knitting frames.

Find someone who owns a sewing machine and ask them the difference between sewing a hem by hand and by machine.

Thing is though, they aren't really comparable. Different techniques for different occasions. For some things of course a machine is faster, for others, it just won't replicate the results. Am handsewing an underdress at the moment for a costume where it will barely show, but to look right, its essential that the visible bits aren't machined as the end finish will be different

I think though the point is valid, even handmade stuff needs some eye to efficiency.
I saw a programme once on "handmade" furniture, and there were so many "jigs" involved it kind of took the soul out of it Sad
But at the end of the day unless it really is going to be sold as "art" there has to be some kind of process to it, that makes the pricing realistic. This matters both to the buyer and seller.
Frazzled_Barbie

few original artworks, certainly nothing by Damien Hurst.

Art and Damien Hurst shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence.

Sorry, thread hijacking.

Damien Hurst clearly raises emotion in you. Ergo, some might say that would make it art.

Sorry was reading this thread to my OH - as people under selling their skills is a bug bare of his and customers then say to him....your too expensive. Bah!

Anyway ......back to Damein Hurst

According to my lovely OH Damien Hurst could cause something to raise ....the contents of my OH's stomach apparantly! Embarassed

I think he is auditioning for the next BBC2 episode of The Grumpy Old Men
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I often say "oh thats expensive" but what I mean is "no, not over priced, just more than I can afford right now."


Same here Sad
And yet the cheap stuff wears out before I can save up for a decent version.
Sam Vimes Theory strikes again!
Jamanda

I just dragged a pair of expensive leather walking boots out of a dusty heap at the bottom of the shed - they are certainly more than eighteen years old, but although the soles are looking a bit worn they'll do again for this year and more with a bit of dubbing.

Sam Vimes was right.
pyrotech

The only problem I have with expensive (beyond my personal budget) hand made items, is that the trash massed produced stuff tends to get priced higher off of the back of it... In regards Damien Hurst , I was raised with the belief, that art is non functional,otherwise its design.

Hurst's stuff is certainly non functional, and his animal works..barbaric.
mochyn

First: Sam Vvimes is always right. Second: get Tahir going on this. Jamanda

First: Sam Vvimes is always right. Second: get Tahir going on this.

He is right. Especially on boots. The boots I'm wearing as we speak were hand made three years ago by these guys. They were no more expensive than a pair made in a factory in where-ever Clarkes make their boots these days, but they will last much longer and repairs are free.
mochyn

I had a pair of shoes made for me about 9 years ago. Tey've never needed repairing and they're the shoes I wear the most often. tey cost 100 but I reckon if I'd bought 'shop' shoes for, let's say 30 a pair I would have gone through more than 3 pairs.

I don't earn a huge wage for the stuff I make, probably not much more than minimum wage but I love what I do and it enables me to be at home most of the time. Charging 6:50 an hour or something for a knitted item (also designed by me) may make the price tag look expensive but I don't think it is. I explain all that to customers who say 'that's dear': some understand, some don't.
Bebo

I use Sam Vimes as a justification for spending money on quality items. I just need to work it around enough to justify buying the vintage rolex oyster perpetual I have my eye on........ NorthernMonkeyGirl

I need some Vimes-approved jeans (and socks Shocked ).

I'm down to one pair.

I kill a pair of supermarket jeans every 4-6 months Mad
Frazzled_Barbie

I need some Vimes-approved jeans (and socks Shocked ).

I'm down to one pair.

I kill a pair of supermarket jeans every 4-6 months Mad

I cannot afford new quality jeans either - however I can afford second hand pairs from the local charity shop. Very Happy
Mistress Rose

In our coppice group we ask part timers to think about pricing otherwise the full timers can't make a living.

Yes, hand made stuff is relatively expensive, but as several of you have said; it can last a long time. I used to make most of my own clothes, and although I haven't worn them for a long time, I still have some from the 1970s that are still in good condition.

If you can't afford to buy hand made stuff, try making it yourself. It is cheaper, and will give you an insight into what is involved. Some things are more difficult of course because you need specialist tools and a lot of training, but some things like sewing and knitting should be within most peoples abilities with some practice. If nothing else it will make you understand why craftspeople charge what they do, and you won't get an exclusive design when you first start either.
Midland Spinner

I think this argument first went round when "General" Ned Ludd started to complain about knitting frames.


Yes it's an old argument, but it still needs airing from time to time - if only to allow those of us who try to earn a living by handmaking things to air our frustrations to a largely sympathetic audience. Yes (like Sally said) it's my choice to live this way but it does get a bit wearing when people constantly tell you that your time isn't worth as much as theirs (which is what they are actually saying if you boil it down).
And like Mistress Rose said, there are a lot of well-meaning people out there who love their hobby and see nothing wrong with under-charging, without realising that they are devaluing the work of others (in her case, their own friends & colleagues). So it needs saying.
jema

Basically if you are doing it for fun, then do it for fun, give gifts to friends and family and enjoy.
Don't take it into a marketplace and screw over those trying to work for a living.
alice

I believe it's almost impossible to do it for a living. The best *reward* I can extract from the stuff I make is to produce gifts for friends and family. Very few makers profit from selling to the general public. The customer base for craft fairs and local shops is too 'broad'. If we want to charge what things are actually worth, we don't need customers, we need 'patrons'. And they are few and far between Sad woodsprite

A bit controversial but why do makers get hung up on minimum wage? It's a myth, hundreds of thousands of people earn below minimum wage and work bloody hard, I know, I'm one of them. As Sally in Wales said, we do it because we can't/won't do the alternative. If its money that motivates, go and get a job that pays well.
I am in no way suggesting that hand made isn't superior ( although not in every case, I've seen some shockingly awful hand made crafts etc) but it was always only a tiny percentage of the market. Well since the industrial revolution anyway and whether we think mass production is progress or not, the world couldn't function on only home made.
I guess what I'm saying is that after many years of making to sell and now offering a service that is not well paid, I'm fed up of artists moaning about it. Aldi are recruiting at 7+ an hour in Ludlow as I mentioned to a potter friend who was moaning about this very thing yesterday.
Ducks and awaits the onslaught.
alice

That's sort of what I was trying to say...... Wink lottie

I'm a pauper, that's why I have so few original artworks,

I do hand knit, I realise the difference between handmade and factory produced. The biggest difference is that the kind of factory made wear that I can afford - they've skimped on everything. I'm well aware that costed out, handknitted is prohibitively expensive.


Buying handmade stuff is a middle class affectation.



Ditto to everything
Having said that I wear ridiculously cheap hand made Mary Janes and mini boots and sandals in a variety of colours and he'll replace the soles when they wear out.Not perhaps for the fashion conscious I like flat.
p.s. Can anyone with positive vibes hope my vision pobs and hallucinations stay away--I can read and type today. cheers
Nick

I use Sam Vimes as a justification for spending money on quality items. I just need to work it around enough to justify buying the vintage rolex oyster perpetual I have my eye on........

Write it into your will. It's not a treat then. It's an heirloom. Good value at twice the price.
Cathryn

Can we stickify this thread please. Smile mochyn

Basically if you are doing it for fun, then do it for fun, give gifts to friends and family and enjoy.
Don't take it into a marketplace and screw over those trying to work for a living.

Smile Well said.
Midland Spinner

Basically if you are doing it for fun, then do it for fun, give gifts to friends and family and enjoy.
Don't take it into a marketplace and screw over those trying to work for a living.

Smile Well said.

Yes, thank you
Bebo

I use Sam Vimes as a justification for spending money on quality items. I just need to work it around enough to justify buying the vintage rolex oyster perpetual I have my eye on........

Write it into your will. It's not a treat then. It's an heirloom. Good value at twice the price.

Good idea, shame I have no-one to leave a womans watch to who would want to wear it. No kids and three nephews. Think I'll just say sod it and buy it anyway.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

A bit controversial but why do makers get hung up on minimum wage? It's a myth, hundreds of thousands of people earn below minimum wage and work bloody hard, I know, I'm one of them. As Sally in Wales said, we do it because we can't/won't do the alternative. If its money that motivates, go and get a job that pays well.
I am in no way suggesting that hand made isn't superior ( although not in every case, I've seen some shockingly awful hand made crafts etc) but it was always only a tiny percentage of the market. Well since the industrial revolution anyway and whether we think mass production is progress or not, the world couldn't function on only home made.
I guess what I'm saying is that after many years of making to sell and now offering a service that is not well paid, I'm fed up of artists moaning about it. Aldi are recruiting at 7+ an hour in Ludlow as I mentioned to a potter friend who was moaning about this very thing yesterday.
Ducks and awaits the onslaught.

I can see where you're coming from.
But I had never considered the effect of underpricing on the general market.
I wouldn't expect every craftsperson to earn millions, but I would expect a competent one to earn enough to cover living costs. Full time work deserves full time pay, no?
I do a job I enjoy, and I get by, but I'll never be rich - and yes that is my choice.

I think the "minimum wage" focus is just a handy way to compare like-for-like. Personally, if minimum wage was high enough we wouldn't need tax credits etc, but that's a whole other thread... Wink
Nicky Colour it green

A bit controversial but why do makers get hung up on minimum wage? It's a myth, hundreds of thousands of people earn below minimum wage and work bloody hard, I know, I'm one of them. As Sally in Wales said, we do it because we can't/won't do the alternative. If its money that motivates, go and get a job that pays well..

I agree completely.

I find the pricing of things very hard, because going by an hourly rate would be laughable, I try and base it on comparable items, costs and what I feel the buyer will stand.

I get tired of the minimum wage argument - if you used it for say - working the allotment - it wouldn't be worth it - you would be better off getting a cleaning job and buying your vegetables - but that isn't the point of an allotment - you do it because you do have the time,because it is an economy (if you take out minimum wage for the hours nonsense), because you know what chemicals were or were not used, because you get a better product, and the satisfaction.


My craft activities do not, in my case, replace a job - if it was financial reward I was only interested in, I would be better off getting a paid job. For me I see it as part of our smallholding activities. - just as i put in the hours to raising chickens, ducks, pigs, turkeys, sheep and a year's worth of vegetables.
We have some costs - such as sheep lick, pig food etc, and I am covering those with my sales. We could just sell the fleeces to the WMB and get maybe a quid each, or i could put in some work and add value.
I see it as part of the overall smallholding thing we are doing. We put in long hours for very little financial award, and that is because we have chosen this lifestyle. We are time rich and money poor, and so we try to make the best use of the time.
vegplot

Full time work deserves full time pay, no?

Not in this context. For the maker the only thing that matters is selling an item that people want are willing to pay a reasonable price for. It has nothing to do with the hours put in to produce that item, if you can do it well and do it quickly and sell it in quantity then you'll reap the rewards but no-one is going to subsidise you for incompetence.
earthyvirgo

few original artworks, certainly nothing by Damien Hurst.

Art and Damien Hurst shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence.

Sorry, thread hijacking.

Damien Hurst clearly raises emotion in you. Ergo, some might say that would make it art.

Did you ready the wonderful article in the Guardian last week.
Made my heart glow with joy.

Apparently, if anyone has any Hurst's, best get rid of them now as their value is plummeting (cos they''re not Art).

EV
sally_in_wales

Full time work deserves full time pay, no?

Not in this context. For the maker the only thing that matters is selling an item that people want are willing to pay a reasonable price for. It has nothing to do with the hours put in to produce that item, if you can do it well and do it quickly and sell it in quantity then you'll reap the rewards but no-one is going to subsidise you for incompetence.

I don't necessarily disagree- but lets look at a scenario:

Lets say a competent and experienced maker is approached by a customer to make a specific something, and it is known at the outset that it will take say 60 hours to make. Would it be wrong to base the quote for making on the minimum wage, even though this will make the commissioned item quite pricy?

If the answer is 'yes', as in the quote should be below minimum wage, than that implies that a skilled craftsperson is worth less than a burger flipper on minimum wage.
If the answer is 'no, minimum wage sounds a fair starting point', then why shouldnt other products made for sale also reflect the time taken? Always assuming the maker is skilled and efficient in their work
vegplot


I don't necessarily disagree- but lets look at a scenario:

Lets say a competent and experienced maker is approached by a customer to make a specific something, and it is known at the outset that it will take say 60 hours to make. Would it be wrong to base the quote for making on the minimum wage, even though this will make the commissioned item quite pricy?

If the customer is willing to pay that amount for the product then using minimum wage as a basis to arrive at that price might be a useful tool to use for that maker in that context.

There are a large number of variables influencing the market value. Minimum wage a poor model by which to price goods made by the maker. It may be useful as a benchmark although the danger here is that one can fall into the trap of valuing something based on the time to make it (or the materials used) but if it doesn't sell it's scrap and worthless.
Wigan Pixie

I always charge minimum wage if I'm doing a commission, mainly because it will be something I don't like doing, it's taking me away from something I would enjoy doing and the price is agreed at the outset. However when I'm doing my hooks and hats, etc, I price them at what I would be prepared to pay or I barter them, which is much more fun.

I do have a couple of people who buy my socks and don't mind paying a fair price for them, but they last so long that they don't buy many.
madcat

I only make stuff for myself, I was once asked to make a rag mat for a fairly well off couple but the woman changed her mind when she found out the price.
She said my nan and mum used to make them and you are too exspensive.What does that say for the value she puts on her mums time?
earthyvirgo

We've been talking about this a lot since this thread started.

I'm in a slightly different position in that the galleries that show my work have a good idea of the prices their audience will stand and this is what I go by. I'd be stupid to have work on their walls at 400 and never sell, when they know that dipping it just under 250 will mean sales.

With makers who are textile based, it's very different.

I think the only way to make a serious, sustainable, profitable business and sell at a price which reflects the work/effort that goes into creating the item is to build up the brand slowly until a big 'name' can be attracted to sell on ones behalf.

Rightly or wrongly, price is so much about trend, kudos and snobbery.

I've seen craftmakers (and textile based printmakers) struggle to survive until taken under they're featured in Country Living or similar and then, a one-person business suddenly needs to become a small production line.

As CiG so rightly said earlier, it depends what you want to get out of your craft/handmade business.

If it's a serious living salary, forget it, if it's more about lifestyle, it's a good option.

EV
oldish chris

Basically if you are doing it for fun, then do it for fun, give gifts to friends and family and enjoy.
Don't take it into a marketplace and screw over those trying to work for a living. I think that this is a bit harsh. There is something special about "hand-made". Some like to make the stuff, others like to buy it.

However, automation has had an enormous boost to productivity, and for many articles, machine made stuff is superior. So when a hand-made article is costed out, it can be prohibitively expensive (unless you are wealthy, when it becomes a status symbol - IMHO).

Where hand-made comes into its own is when someone makes something of value from cheap or free materials in their spare time. I think the rag rug is a case in point. With skill an attractive and unique rug can be made using discarded textiles. It'll never compete with a Persian carpet for example, and when the labour is included in the cost, it could be the same sort of money.

The downsizery smugness that is allowed is to show off a work of art, using rag rug making as the medium, with the implication that "I can make it, but you can't afford it".
Rob R

At the end of the day it comes down to supply & demand, produce something of limited supply but high demand & it'll be worth it. gz

Two Americans spent 80 on my pots at Usk Farmers Market this morning.
Their attitude is so refreshing...they appreciate hand made, local and markets.
(I'm very glad that they live near there and will be back!!)

There were some USA tourists there too, buying food...instead of going to the supermarket.
toggle



The downsizery smugness that is allowed is to show off a work of art, using rag rug making as the medium, with the implication that "I can make it, but you can't afford it".

or more, I can make it because i choose to spend the time making stuff for myself rather than watching crap on tv. someone wants it, they pay me fairly for it, or learn how to make it themselves.

i love the thought of some handmade sun dresses, should i think the popele on here who have them are smug? or learn to sew? or even ofer some of my skill on spinning and knitting in return for their sewing skills?


i think the latter 2 options are better.
Mistress Rose

I think fabric based crafts have always suffered from the 'I could do that myself if I could sew/knit etc'. It is not so bad with harder materials because most people know they can't do anything with them.

Some people look at our stock at the Farmers Markets and say " I can get that cheaper at the supermarket/garden centre". Sometimes they can, but often that is percieved; our log sacks last winter were cheaper than most superstores for instance. Otherwise they are comparing tacked together thin softwood with a properly made, more substantial product, for which they would have to pay at least the same amount in the garden centre.

If you take it as read that craftspeople, however skilled and efficient, are not allowed to make a living, we end up with the situation we have pretty well for the last 250 years where craft is just kept going as a hobby with a resultant loss of knowledge and often skill.
dpack

if i was to make a quality small note book to cover my time it would need to sell for 50 +

that aint a market i have found cos a similar factory product would be 10 ,

hand made is best in unusual things or simple transformations that add more value than they cost in time

pricing for the market requires economy of production and choosing the right products

if you have the materials skills and time make it well ,it is hard to cover ones time in a conventional sense but making it is fun

i recon choosing the right product for the rigt market can work

making spectacular pieces can work long term
earthyvirgo

I wonder how/where Kaffe Fassett began his empire and when he made the breakthrough from 'home knitter' to big name.

EV
mochyn

He was a partner in a shop in North London in the early 80s selling yarns and running workshops, but he'd already been going a few years by then. Rob R

I wonder how/where Kaffe Fassett began his empire and when he made the breakthrough from 'home knitter' to big name.

EV

Well I think he has a bit of a way to go - I haven't heard of him. Laughing
dpack

famous in textiles aint xfactor ,but it is nicer

i have been shocked at the quality of some pre owned hand made stuff

made by etc between 1640 to 1649 in etc small blade .perfect . still works best hand made i own ,

i recently got a small damascus steel kitchen cleaver for 50 new ,it could not have been made at nmw levels but it is hand made and will still be fine in 360 years
Rob R

famous in textiles aint xfactor ,but it is nicer


They have even further to go...
vegplot

I wonder how/where Kaffe Fassett began his empire and when he made the breakthrough from 'home knitter' to big name.

EV

http://www.kaffefassett.com/Home.html
oldish chris

I wonder how/where Kaffe Fassett began his empire and when he made the breakthrough from 'home knitter' to big name.

EV

Well I think he has a bit of a way to go - I haven't heard of him. Laughing The "alternative" culture is full of struggling people trying, and often failing, to make a go of things. The successful are those who do it for a bit and then write books about it. Kaffe Fassett doesn't make a living knitting, he makes a living selling books about knitting.

(The books aren't handmade BTW Wink )
dpack

yep Rob R

I wonder how/where Kaffe Fassett began his empire and when he made the breakthrough from 'home knitter' to big name.

EV

Well I think he has a bit of a way to go - I haven't heard of him. Laughing The "alternative" culture is full of struggling people trying, and often failing, to make a go of things. The successful are those who do it for a bit and then write books about it. Kaffe Fassett doesn't make a living knitting, he makes a living selling books about knitting.

(The books aren't handmade BTW Wink )

Yes, I've worked that one out in food - there are quite a few people out there 'making a living' on a small scale with farms & smallholdings, but I am usually dissappointed to read that they run courses or have holiday homes which usually provide the lions share of any income.
dpack

a bit less hippy "whatever" and a bit more punk ,"lets go" would be a start to getting hand made "normal"

we do that as much as we can but rather than expanding our activities seeking a market we should get more folk to make stuff and do swapsies

industrial consumer capitalism fades away gently

pre or post industrial revolution ;
hand made ,given ,received as required may have opposition from humans but as a sustainable model it has worked for most species
gz

famous in textiles aint xfactor ,but it is nicer

i have been shocked at the quality of some pre owned hand made stuff

made by etc between 1640 to 1649 in etc small blade .perfect . still works best hand made i own ,

i recently got a small damascus steel kitchen cleaver for 50 new ,it could not have been made at nmw levels but it is hand made and will still be fine in 360 years

I've just seen a vegetable knife bought in the exhibition at Rhuthun Crafts Centre.
Made by a fourth generation Japanese knife maker. Beauty and function- perfect.
Wigan Pixie

Kaffe Fassett doesn't make a living knitting, he makes a living selling books about knitting.

I've been on one of his courses and I was very disappointed. I thought I would stretch myself and do a course aimed at advanced knitters and, to be honest, I would have classed the instruction as aimed at just above novice level. The finishing techniques that were demonstrated were appalling and the class size was far too large (we didn't get any one on one help). He was far more interested in self promotion and he really didn't like anyone questioning his techniques. I'm just glad I didn't pay for the course, as it was a gift from a relative.
Jamanda

There are a couple of lovely hand made paper knives in the antique shop here. They are made out of WW1 brass cartridges and engraved "Bethune". This was the hospital where the the men who made them were sent. Beautiful things from an ugly place. mochyn

Kaffe Fassett doesn't make a living knitting, he makes a living selling books about knitting.

I've been on one of his courses and I was very disappointed. I thought I would stretch myself and do a course aimed at advanced knitters and, to be honest, I would have classed the instruction as aimed at just above novice level. The finishing techniques that were demonstrated were appalling and the class size was far too large (we didn't get any one on one help). He was far more interested in self promotion and he really didn't like anyone questioning his techniques. I'm just glad I didn't pay for the course, as it was a gift from a relative.

His 'thing' is really use of colour rather than knitting techniques. Ther's nothing challenging in his patterns as far as I can see, but the use of colour is good.
Mistress Rose

Kaffe Fasset was known as a designer before he started his knitting. I have one of his early knitting books, possibly the first, from the early 80s. I would not knit some of the designs because he mixes different fibres so the product would not wear well and would not wash. I have tried using the different colours with the same fibre, and that looks good.

As you say, most people who are 'famous' and make a good living at a craft earn most of their money by running courses and writing books. Kaffe Fasset isn't the only one who is a bit self promoting either.
dpack

i see a future for cottage industry via the web ,markets etc but hand made quality stuff has a different ethic and time scale to mass industrial things

the arts and crafts theme creates some ace things but a culture of well made things that last takes generations to get everything it needs

the industrial revolution took a few generations ,it wasnt /isnt pretty

high tech and hand made makes sense
Wigan Pixie

a bit less hippy "whatever" and a bit more punk ,"lets go" would be a start to getting hand made "normal"

we do that as much as we can but rather than expanding our activities seeking a market we should get more folk to make stuff and do swapsies

industrial consumer capitalism fades away gently

pre or post industrial revolution ;
hand made ,given ,received as required may have opposition from humans but as a sustainable model it has worked for most species

I can't disagree with this. I love bartering far more than selling. Hopefully when we get our project off the ground and have the workers co-operative fully operational, we'll be able to sell but mainly we want to encourage bartering on a large scale Very Happy
Handmade Lives

I think it is important to recognise that people who handmake things are standing in a very odd place to work out what the market will pay. Crafts people, as we have all been saying, earn very little, but there are still an awful lot of people out there with plenty of money who will happily buy handmade.

The monied want to buy handmade not just for the article itself but for the world that it represents. This was touched on earlier in this stream by talking about the monied buyers of arts and crafts.

Just because you earn, or have inherited, a lot of money does not debar you from idealism. If you spend every hour of the day working for an investment bank or the like, you feel thinned down and out of touch with nature and and old fashioned values, if you have things about you the represent a very different way of life you feel better about yourself. The more handmade and timeconsumming its making the more fulfilling you find it.

They are buying a chunk of our way of life, they will pay very well for it but we need to produce something worthy of their money and then put a big price on it, that way handmade can survive.

Art has patrons, so does craft, it really is not about the price. Sell it cheaply at a loss and you widen your audience, sell it for its real value and your market narrows but you need fewer sales and when you sell it keeps you for a month or so That is definately the way to go for any really skilled maker.

Craft is a luxury and has to be sold the comapratively rich or to those who will go without to buy it.
dpack

swapped a bronze for a saluki

both hand made Laughing
mochyn

We were in a lovely art/craft shop/gallery in CHester today. The excellent quality of the offerings was reflected in the pricing: nothing was cheap, but I wouldn't say the prices were outrageous: I considered the things good value because I can see how much time, skill and inspiration had gone into them. If I could have afforded it I would have bought several items there, but I am considering taking in some of my own work to see if they'd carry it.

Going there has actually boosted my confidence in what I make.
dpack

a bit less hippy "whatever" and a bit more punk ,"lets go" would be a start to getting hand made "normal"

we do that as much as we can but rather than expanding our activities seeking a market we should get more folk to make stuff and do swapsies

industrial consumer capitalism fades away gently

pre or post industrial revolution ;
hand made ,given ,received as required may have opposition from humans but as a sustainable model it has worked for most species

I can't disagree with this. I love bartering far more than selling. Hopefully when we get our project off the ground and have the workers co-operative fully operational, we'll be able to sell but mainly we want to encourage bartering on a large scale Very Happy


i give my pal some steak he gives me some pickles ,not even barter ,shareing and everyone wins
dpack

I think it is important to recognise that people who handmake things are standing in a very odd place to work out what the market will pay. Crafts people, as we have all been saying, earn very little, but there are still an awful lot of people out there with plenty of money who will happily buy handmade.

The monied want to buy handmade not just for the article itself but for the world that it represents. This was touched on earlier in this stream by talking about the monied buyers of arts and crafts.

Just because you earn, or have inherited, a lot of money does not debar you from idealism. If you spend every hour of the day working for an investment bank or the like, you feel thinned down and out of touch with nature and and old fashioned values, if you have things about you the represent a very different way of life you feel better about yourself. The more handmade and timeconsumming its making the more fulfilling you find it.

They are buying a chunk of our way of life, they will pay very well for it but we need to produce something worthy of their money and then put a big price on it, that way handmade can survive.

Art has patrons, so does craft, it really is not about the price. Sell it cheaply at a loss and you widen your audience, sell it for its real value and your market narrows but you need fewer sales and when you sell it keeps you for a month or so That is definately the way to go for any really skilled maker.

Craft is a luxury and has to be sold the comapratively rich or to those who will go without to buy it.

yep

for cash tis best to go top of the market

i make stuff ,i dont do it with a price tag in mind
Rob R

The trouble is that cost or price isn't intrinsically bad, even if we abolished money as a concept, bartered goods would still have a common value, else it would be impossible to trade them fairly.

At the moment I have half a dozen pigs for pork, I want to barter them for the erection of a livestock handling system. Knowing the value of each in money tells me that it is impossible, if I ignore money it is merely improbable but the difference between the two is a fine line.
Midland Spinner

I quite understand that some people can't afford to pay high prices for handmade.
I also understand that not everyone has the same taste.
And that people may not understand the career choice of craftspeople.
And that we have chosen lifestyle over income so it's our own choice.

But why do people feel the need to be Rude? - At the weekend a friend of mine was told "my father made me one of those when I was a child - but his worked far better than yours" - this was for a kid's toy jumping knight that she sells for 5 - it's hand made & hand painted! A simple "no thank you" would have sufficed! Rolling Eyes (and her knights are fine - nicely painted and work well if you bother to find out how.
dpack

bet it took dad more than a fivers worth of time Midland Spinner

bet it took dad more than a fivers worth of time Very Happy
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Make Your Own/DIY
Page 1 of 1
Array Home Home Home Array