Monday, December 15, 2014

me on Monday pondering craft markets


pausing in my elf work of putting up more decorations and Christmas list making to thank Sian for suggesting we all wave on Monday and hoping you all have a good week.

I went to 2 more craft markets at the weekend (following 1 market last weekend) and on the bus home from the 2nd was thinking about why I bought so little.  I went to these markets with the intentions of doing my own bit of quantitative easing – intending to spend at least £10 at each in support of local crafters.  I was surprised at how hard it was to meet this goal.

The biggest category of crafters seemed to be jewellery makers – which I am not in the market for.  Even if I still maintained a work wardrobe I would only be likely to buy 1 new piece at the markets.  I do wonder if there is an audience for so many different jewellery makers to make a living.

The next two biggest categories were graphic designers and consumables.  I admire the many pictures, cartoons, catchy word art and designs that are presented in the form of cards, cushions, coasters, mugs and bags.  But again there is a limit to how many of these I can make use of, especially as I make my own cards and don’t use coasters or cushions.

I did sample and buy food but they are often low cost items.  I was surprised at the number of dog treat stalls – a real 1st world phenomena I think.

There was also a number of up-cycle stalls – toys and hot water bottle covers made from old jumpers; decorations made from old books; sculpture from found bits; wooden furniture from pallets.  All lovely but I tend to be more interested in how I could do that than in buying them.

I had been hoping for a nice potter as I want a new mug but potters seem to have disappeared from the craft market circuit.  I’m always on the lookout for new things too and was interested in a guy making quirky items from resin (eg animal skulls, chicken feet plus commissions for hands or feet), amazing cut paper sculpture and some lovely felted wool accessories.

I know that making a living as a crafter is very hard but I do wonder how many people are making what the enjoy making rather than what there is a market for.

Have you been to any craft markets recently?  were you tempted by what was on offer?


Sian said...

You make a very interesting point here. I wonder. Maybe some of the offerings were things that would make good gifts rather than things you might buy yourself. Mmm..though maybe that doesn't make sense because we shouldn't be buying it to give if we wouldn't want it ourselves lol Good question!

I love your hat :)

Karen said...

I've just been to one very small craft sale in someone's home. Like you, I had a hard time spending much money. You raise some very interesting points here. One reason I haven't been to any of the Christmas craft shows is that we have no need of any of it, and the folks one my gift list aren't much interested either. I try to stick to things that are useful or support someone's hobbies.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Great pstM just typed a long reply which got eaten by my iPad. I love jewelry and potters

Sandie said...

I did go to a couple of Christmas fairs and I also put some of my own work in a small pop-up craft shop that was open for just 10 days. My daughter bought a lovely mirror for £45 but unless it is something really special or specialised I often choose to make it for myself. It is a lovely idea to support local crafters and I had this in mind too, unfortunately I also saw little to interest me. Though I did discover a wonderful online crafter who makes jewellery out of old coins. I'm not someone who buys or wears much jewellery either but these are really unique. I've not succumbed yet, but I am sorely tempted!

Anonymous said...

Great question. I haven't been to a craft fair in quite awhile but was interested in your take on what you saw.