Folksy Ltd

I see a thing happening here

(IridescentSnail) #1

I don’t know how to describe this, but whenever I look at handmade stuff I feel slightly inferior. Here’s how it goes:

Person: I am a humble artist. I made this thing by using £14198346193864.99p worth of machinery and very sensitive super-computer technology that costs just a few thousand pounds and I make a profit in 0.23523 seconds. Meanwhile I have an unrealistic schedule in my life that include photos that look like they’ve been professionally taken with the top-market cameras with 3283 size lens. By the way, did I mention I am a humble artist?

Me: …I have tacky glue and nail clippers.

Some people just seem to magic all these expensive equipment out of nowhere while working in studios befitting a catalogue that is a physical embodiment of P*nterest (<–Is that a bad word?)

Like, where do they buy those kind of things from??

(Amberlilly) #2

:joy: well I have no idea! My equipment is a average priced Singer sewing machine and Jewellery Makers tools, though I do have a nice little camera that hubby bought me for my birthday a few years ago, but that’s pretty much it!

(Elaine) #3

I’m at the very low end too (and love it!). My sewing “box” is a set of drawers on wheels that I salvaged from outside someone’s house (with their permission) and my work station is usually a lap tray!!


(Sasha Garrett) #4

My camera is on loan from the other half along with his tripod, I made the rest of my studio set up from a wine crate, some old silver wrapping paper, a couple of sheets of card and some rocks I found on the beach. My original tools were a birthday present from my grandparents and my boyfriend but I have added a few more as and when profits allowed. My work bench was a birthday present from my father in law made from 2 desks he recovered from a skip.
You can achieve a professional product without the need for expensive stuff, you can also produce utter tat whilst spending a lot of money. Don’t worry about it.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #5

Amen to that Sasha you are so right :slight_smile:

(Jane Marshall) #6

Tee-hee @IridescentSnail @SashaGarrett… You just made my evening. If only people could see the dreadful lash-ups that are just outside the frames of my carefully cropped product shots! :scream_cat:

(Natalie Franca) #7

I’m with you there Jane! :wink:

My equipment consists of knitting needles, ranging from over 50 years old that were passed down to me, to a beautiful brand new set of KnitPro circulars in a lovely case that I got for Xmas. I must have around 100 pairs of needles altogether.

My studio for photos consists of 4 big white artist canvasses that I bought from The Works and a Cannon digital camera (not a fancy DSLR, although I would absolutely love one!).

As Sasha says, don’t worry about it. We all work differently!


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(Helen Healey) #8

My main bit of kit is a fairly basic Janome sewing machine and some of my scissors, pins etc have been knocking around for donkey’s years. My photography “studio” is hastily cobbled together on a bright day with balanced canvasses in front of the French windows covered with the same velvety fabric I use on my tables at craft fairs. I have a fairly decent camera but that was bought for general use before I started the crafting business.

Reading through this thread, I thinks it’s great that people can produce quality workmanship without spending a small fortune on state-of-the-art equipment.

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(Helen Smith) #9

This is my ffflowers photo studio (although I have moved it upstairs now because the light is better since we got the misted up DG window sorted) with a compact camera that is definitely feeling its age these days (please ignore the cracked window, it’s much worse now!)

Light Box?
by Helen Smith, on Flickr

It’s amazing what a good bit of cropping and lightening can hide!

I am lucky enough now to have (some) expensive equipment (a kiln for starters) but I started small (years ago now) with a good idea that didn’t need much stuff and the move into glass and all the necessary equipment has been funded from profits. It takes time.

ETA - I’ve just been to check, I opened my first shop on Etsy in 2007 (Folksy didn’t exist back then!)

(Sue) #10

I think people sometimes borrow really expensive equipment, or maybe have the use of machines through institutions, however I have to say I do like to buy the best, I buy professional paintbrushes, top quality paints, scissors that actually cut fabric, and I treated myself to a fabulous sewing machine, however I have dedicated my life to arts and crafts, and have built up my tools over nearly 40 years, the thought of cutting and painting with child’s scissors and painting with cheap children’s paintbrushes is unbearable, I also have a fairly decent camera, which seems to need replacing too frequently, but these are the tools of my trade. I’m not sure anyone can tell from my work that I spend lots of money on my tools or use the finest fabrics, but I find they are a real pleasure to work with.

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(Samantha Stanley) #11

The truth is that some people out there have a great deal of money before they even start to work. Back in the C19 the upper and upper middle classes looked down on artists, gardeners, musicians and actors and left those jobs to the lower middle classes who had enough education to do the job but didn’t expect to be paid more than a servants’ wages. However, during the latter part of the C20 the upper classes realized that there was money in these jobs so it didn’t take long before they became acceptable professions for the second and third son.

In some ways, because the risks of making no money at all if you’re not famous already, are so high, then it suits people who already have money because they don’t need to worry about the rent/heating/food and they can just get on with it. Just have a look at the nominees for the BAFTAs if you don’t believe me when it’s on telly. When my great, great grandfather was in music hall you would have had to drag these guys kicking and screaming into the acting profession, yet today, here they all are :unamused:

However, as @SashaGarrett has said-Just because you have money and can buy all the kit, does not make you talented or good at what you do. I’ve also seen video after video of people in South America or South East Asia doing incredible work with the most rudimentary facilities imaginable.

Oh, and as Charles Dickens shows in his novels (and he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps) , just because somebody says they are “humble” doesn’t make them so :wink:

Love Sam x

(Lowri of Twinkle and Gloom Art) #12

They’re just lucky I guess!

I used my student loan to buy my sewing machine/scanner etc. (May I add that most people didn’t spent theirs on art equipment… They drank most of it)
I bought myself a laptop with my student loan too but after a while it was becoming really difficult to use for Photoshop etc, I had to constantly re install it and I’d lose work, so my very very kind parents surprised me with a Macbook as a Christmas/finishing college/setting up a business present years ago that I’m taking good care of and making sure it lasts forever!
Apart from those things everything I use is cheap, there are things I’d love like a badge maker but at the moment I just can’t afford it. Maybe one day.

(KibbleTraders) #13

Hi all, we did get hideously into debt buying a kiln and other pieces of equipment to make up a studio which is in what used to be (and still is) the utility room on the side of the house. It is freezing in there so work production is reduced to a minimum! It will take ages to pay back the money so I’m not sure it was worth it but sometimes you just have to follow your dream.

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(IridescentSnail) #14

Hi, everyone, thank you all very much for your replies! They’re entertaining and rather educating to read.

Things do look difficult when starting out, especially with handmade crafts, but we could just celebrate that we took a step forward rather than just thinking about it, because who knows what will happen when you take action?

I’m going to improve the photos of my products later on and see if I can sell the stuff before the listings expire.