Judith Browning wrote:I had some wandering thoughts in this area...
Marketing is always the most difficult part of craft production especially in the fiber arts. When I was weaving full time it was not the area that I wanted to spend much time but was so necessary.
Steve used to put the number of hours he spent on a coopered bucket tag rather than the price...it made for some interesting conversations and gave folks another way to look at his work.
i knew one sculptor who did this with all of her work. it helped probably that she made gigantic sculptures, maybe...but she never priced her work. only kept track of her exact materials cost and hours, and then asked her buyer to pay her the same wage they received for that amount of hours.
I think it would be marvelous if we listed an approximation of how many hours we spend on a project. I don't think it should be required, of course. But, some things take a lot more hours than another person might expect. If I see it takes someone usually 30 hours to knit a scarf, I'm going to want to make sure that what I offer in trade would take me a similar amount of hours, and maybe throw in some PIE to make up the difference if I have nothing to offer that they want that would take a similar amount of time.
Simbi.com is an interesting trade/barter site to look at. It seems to have a wide variety - - local goods and services, digital trades, and material goods that can be shipped. Some seem awesome (local pastured eggs, an hour massage). Some offers I wonder what the person is thinking... But I'd love to see it grow with more handmade, hand-crafted items.
I think that a what i know as a math trade (from the board game community) could would be a good way to shift some stuff and get something useful in return. How it works is this
1. You post something you want to give away
2. You look through this list of things other people want to give away and choose what item or items you would accept in return for your item.
3. At a given date, all trades and wants are matched. you ship your stuff and await the arrival of the item you wanted