Monday, September 03, 2007


Got back from Fibrefest last night. After an initial feeling of doom regarding the lack of signage (which meant we couldn't find the place and ended up driving around for ages looking for it) it turned out to be a very well organised event with lots of people attending. It was great fun and as usual a joy to meet other traders and tutors etc. Chrissie from Brightdyes was there with her lovely mum and her gorgeous and really cute boys and Woolly Wormhead was there teaching a workshop. It was so nice to see them and the three of us ended up camping next to each other. Our camping set up was only marginally small than the entire camp for climate change but I thought if we're going to be camping we may as well do it in comfort!

The two days trading wasn't so lucrative for me and I actually broke my mantra of 'The Customer Is Always Right' and was a bit rude to a couple of women. It really pisses me off when people claim that my work is unreasonably expensive. It's hand made, it's well made and it takes a hell of a lot of time and a measure of skill. Would we expect someone doing a 9 -5 to be paid less than the minimum wage? Would we heck as like - there's endless campaigning to make sure that employees rights extend to a decent, living wage. Why then are craftspeople expected to do it for love and buttons? I had this discussion with someone at the last fair I did in Cornwall. She'd massively underpriced her ceramic pots and she claimed that it was acceptable to so that because 'She enjoyed making them' By that logic if someone enjoys working behind the till at Tesco they should be paid less than someone who doesn't! Doesn't work like that does it? As designers, makers, whatever we have a responsibility to price our work realistically, ensuring that perceptions of value regarding hand made work don't stay skewed. We have as much right to a decent living wage as anyone working for an employer. So, next time you see a piece of handmade work and think it's too expensive spend a moment thinking about how it was made, the uniqueness of it, the skill it took to make it. Then, if you still think it's too expensive bugger off to Ikea and buy the same mass produced factory shite as everyone else! ROFL!

Rant over.

I'd like you to meet the most recent addition to the Cledry household

She's called Victoria - Victoria Louet! She's the newest folding wheel.

Could I afford it? No.

Am I head over heels in love? Hell Yeah!


Blogger Mary-Lou said...

Sounds like a perfectly normal rant to me - with you all the way on this!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

Stick to your guns! If people don't appreciate the time, effort, skill and angst sometimes, that goes into producing a true original, they don't deserve to own it.

Really pretty wheel by the way.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Quite right too. I've been asked in the past to knit items, wool provided, or help with a garden in my own time by people who wouldn't give their own skills for free. Not any more.

3:37 PM  

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