Thursday, March 03, 2005

Working for the man


Reading Amy Karol's site this morning I found out that one of my favorite quilt designers, Denyse Schmidt, has sold out to the Man. Apparently she is designing mass produced quilts for Crate and Barrel.

Don't get me wrong. I love the quilt she designed and I love the price but something about it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Amy talks about this too. Part of the attraction of hand-made, crafted goods is the fact that they are hand made. That they are individual, special, one-of-a-kind. That an artist put in blood, sweat, tears and time to make that unique item. The simple fact that every other person in America can buy the same quilt from Crate and Barrel makes it unattractive. I'd rather just make my own.

Then again...I love Crate and Barrel and I'm sure Denyse could use the financial support from such a deal....but it just feels like she is selling out. I'm quickly learning that ideals don't pay the bills.... sad, sad, sad.

Another taste of reality... turns out freelancing isn't all it's cracked up to be. Alex and Amy have both given up on freelancing and are returning to the 9-5 world. I realize freelancing works for some people...but I think your talent ratio has got to be out of this world to make a living. Then again I think Alex and Amy are both SUPER talented, so I'm kind of surprised it didn't work for them. Maybe there are other factors at play? Unfortunately it doesn't really give me any confidence that I could make a living from my art if the others I admire can't make it either.

Then again, there is Jenny, whose husband just left his job to help her with her website Frecklewonder fulltime. She has more business then she knows what to do with!


chasmyn said...

Admittedly though that is a beautiful quilt. And I agree about the uniqueness of quilts. And then there is the money....

Lucy Tartan said...

Hi Sara,
I know what you mean about the bad taste in the mouth - but I can really see the other side of it too. Quilt making is such an intensive and costly art that I figure any quiltmaker offered a chance like this is justified in taking it. Not to mention the number of people whose lives will be enriched by having something aesthetic but affordable in their homes.

Elaina said...

This has nothing to do with quilts. I am also a friend of Chasmyn's. Sharon and I are planning a suprise for her and wanted to see if you would want to help. You can email me for more info @ Thanks and sorry for using your space this way!

funkyjunkie said...

sara, thanks for your words on the appeal of hand-crafted goods. i agree but needed the reminder right now ... i'm feeling a jewelry-making slump. :?

i'm enjoying your posts. :)