Crafters ettiquette?

Along with the other decisions I'm trying to make at the moment I've been contemplating the summer market season here. I love to sew and create things for sale but I hate the feeling of having to produce things. A friend and I recently had a discussion about market ettiquette. You know how creative people go round the market and think, I could make that, sometimes they'll even rudely state it standing at your stall, but usually they never get around to it. Market people or "stallies" will usually happily buy off each other preferring to support local crafters and appreciate the same back. I spent many years keeping my garlic plaiting technique secret as I'd seen people try to imitate it but it never looked as good. A couple of years ago I shared it with a few people who I trusted in an effort to get over my trust issues. It felt really good to share something with friends. Sometimes though great ideas get copied! I'd be interested to know what others think about it because we feel there are certain unwritten rules. Are some items OK to imitate? I do lots of knitting and sewing for my stall so I take no offence if someone else turns up to an event doing something similar. I'd probably get the pip if it was someone I knew well, or it was a "signature item". A good number of my freinds are also crafters so I think that ettiquette just comes out of respect for each other now. Is immitation just a form of flattery?

Enter online craft land. How does it then work in the craft/blog world? Is it a similar friendship/ respect thing? I've noticed bloggers who visit each other often offer similar items for sale in their shops. I've noticed tutorials which ask that you make only for private use and some that don't. What's good craft/blog ettiquette?


Nikki said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I had a conversation the other day with a friend over a certain type of jewellery war of "I made it first" when it fact it's been done forever.

It's a fine line between inspiration and copying too... and after Melissa's post today about her "twin" shop, it's changed my mind a little.

But here is basically how I feel about the online world (and to some extent it applies to the craft market scene too): I buy possibly more for the seller than I do for the item. The age of blogging means that you can get to know someone personally while they sell you stuff. No matter how innocent the motivation is behind blogging, it's a marketing tool.

Copying still isn't cool. And it's a shame that the crafty market is being flooded now it's the hip thing to do. But it's also cool that it's cool ya know?

(Gosh rambly comment.) Another tangent: what I don't think is cool at all is people undervaluing their handcrafts. This in particular happens in NZ because of the whole "I can make it myself" attitude. People need to realise that it takes time and effort to hand craft stuff and needs to be priced accordingly. If others come into the market and don't price their goods at what they are worth then it makes it impossible for those that do, if you know what I mean?

Right. That didn't answer your post at all. Perhaps I need to make a post of my own on the matter(s)


kate5kiwis said...

hey Gilly,
i'm kate and i live in The Sunny Bay, and i read a few bloggeurs who read you. lol, long intro, but don't wantcha to feel stalked...

i also read melissa's post on the topic, and i think it's fine to be *inspired* by an artist's work and go off and make your own, but copying and selling rubs me up the wrong way. having said that, i did make a set of wired paua flower necklaces that almost-copied some i had seen at on a jeweller's website that were out of the bride's price range.

but i made them for the bride and bridesmaids for *love*, not money. so i feel excused lol. and i added pearls, so ha! (can ya feel my conscience prickling too? lol)

and having said all that, i have been enamoured with melissa's refabrication of embroidered linens into baby shoes. and i am gonna try that myself, for gifties - certainly not to sell.

i do value the DIY culture in NZ, i think it brings out the artiste within.

blah blah.
funny how this question has inspired such rambly answers lol.
mwah X