Tuesday, 8 May 2012

And that's all I have to say about that ...

I wanted to thank you all for the lovely comments I have been receiving lately.   When I first started Quisnam and this blog, I had no idea that it would be a doorway to such a creative and welcoming community that I am truly glad to be a part of. In my last but one post I talked a little about my father who died ten years ago.  My mum was very moved by the comments you left.

Oh, and the reason for the new layout.  I was mucking around on blogger and stuffed up my old layout so I thought I'd take the opportunity to try a slightly different look.  This is a standard template that I haven't altered at all and it's doing a few weird things (the followers column looks all strange) so I'll probably fiddle with it a bit more.

This Thursday (10th May) I will be putting my shop 'on-vacation' for 24 hours.  I am doing this  in solidarity with a group of hand crafters and artisans who are peacefully protesting the rise of re-sellers on etsy.  

There has been quite a lot of discussion on this gentle protest (much of it rather mean spirited and some of it downright aggressive) so I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why I am participating.

Firstly, I have no problem at all with people selling things that were made by others. To illustrate I purchase lots of supplies from etsy sellers - some are hand-made by the artists that sell them, others are not. For example some of the Czech glass beads that I am fond of using were originally produced in factories by the thousand (if not hundreds and hundreds of thousands).  I do however have a problem with those sellers that are not honest about the provenance of their items and imply, or flat-out claim, that they have made something themselves when actually they bought it on eBay (or wherever), and listed as a OOAK or hand made when quite clearly it isn't.  Etsy is very straightforward in its policy about this but I am fairly sure they are not doing everything they can to police this.

Similarly, I take no issue with the concept of a collective (or group of sellers using one shopfront) - in fact I think the idea of an artistic collaboration or, alternatively, a group of artists using the same shop to show-case their different work is rather wonderful. But, and this is a big but, there is a world of difference between a collective and say a factory!!

I have a little shop that generates an income that just about covers the costs of my supplies. I'm reasonably sure that people who like my stuff probably aren't going to be shopping the re-sellers! So this isn't about money or my sales.  But I am worried that the idea behind etsy (or at least the idea I thought was behind etsy) is slowly getting lost.  To put it another way - The etsy brand is becoming increasingly tarnished and there are no shortage of people happy to point this out - regretsy being just one example.  Of course, it is possible that etsy will choose to revise rather than police its policy on re-selling.    I get that, at the end of day, they are a business and need to have a commercially viable and sustainable business model. I guess what I'm lobbying for more than anything else is honesty. 

On the creative side of things I've been working on a couple of pieces which I will aim to list at the weekend.   This piece uses a vintage salt cellar (one of many that I have in my 'found objects' collection). It is similar in concept to something I made earlier this year.  I love the simple but powerful shape.

My husband (who is a sculptor) made me some lovely shapes from some ebonised wood that he has had for a while.  You can't see it in the photo but the wooden circle is thicker at the bottom than the top. I think it has quite a contemporary look but with a tribal feel to it. 

'til next time


  1. I have noticed an increase of re-sellers myself - and it bothers me that they can just pretend to have 'hand made' the products, that are obviously not made in accordance with the etsy policy - which is what makes etsy special, at least in my eyes. Thinking about joining the protest...

  2. I was hesitant to join in I must say but I think this is a good and relatively non-confrontational way to make a point.

  3. I have joined the protest and will be closing my shop for one day on the 10th. I like it since it's a non aggressive way of saying our point.

    I love the necklace with the vintage salt cellar :D

  4. the collaborative pendant with your husbands piece is lovely, really lovely.
    i also like the new layout - but then i like minimal layouts and plain backgrounds

    1. Thanks so much Alek - the wood lends itself to a much different aesthetic - much simpler.

  5. I'm joining in too... Thanks for encouraging me... Ha ha funny etsy is having " hiccups" right now ... System is jammed !!! We shall overcome!

    Try adjusting your column widths while looking at your members it needs to be moved that's all.

    I like how you say your shop is supporting your overhead... True in my case too! Keep creations. Love Cynthia

    1. I've been meaning to thank you for pointing me in the right direction on the column widths, think I finally got it sorted.

  6. You've stated it all so eloquently. I shall simply say that your new pieces are wonderful. Love them!

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