What’s the Difference?

22 06 2011

What’s the difference between a coffee mug from Pier Whatever/Pottery Stable/Sur le Dinette and a coffee mug from a local artisan?  What’s the difference between a jacket from Nordsnooz/Cheekos/Tallbutts and one from a local designer craftsman? How about a nice greeting card from the grocery store rack or a gallery whose inventory comes from gifted local hands?

Well, kids, one thing that might surprise you that is not so different is price!  So many of us believe we can buy cheaper through a big retailer than from local businesses and artisans (because the big retailers spend a lot of advertising dollars to tell us that.)  Saying it does not make it so. 

              At left, one of a jillion stamped by machine. 

Right one is hand made and one of a kind.              

  Really, a mass-produced-in-Asia cup or 

a finely-thrown-hand-glazed-8-miles-from-your-house mug?

You don’t want to know these are just a few bucks different in price – difference in quality and beauty is priceless!

I remember how amazed and thrilled I was to see the variety, quality, style, and affordability of works offered at the first show I ever attended.  I had no idea that I could own original fine art and craft on the same budget as if I’d shopped at a department store.  Now, I always shop first at fine craft shows and my favorite locally owned artisan’s gallery for home décor, apparel, kitchenware, gifts . . . did someone say gifts? 

Last Christmas, every single gift I purchased came directly from the artist who made it or from my local fine craft gallery. The recipients ranged in age from nine months to eighty years, men and women, tots and teens, artsy and practical. The gifts were extremely well received (putting it mildly) and I did not go over budget – and I did not have to hunt for a parking space at the (bleechhh!) mall.

Visit fine craft and art shows and see for yourself.  Yes, there are admission fees to some, but there are fees to belong to the mega-savings clubs, too.  Go ahead; go to a show or two. Visit some local galleries. See what fine craft is really about – it’s about better.

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One response

22 06 2011
Jennifer Daggs

Paula you nailed it again! So well put!

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