|Cue the EDM! But remember, PLUR!|
It started small, with more pendant options and some beaded chain. At first, I thought that the growing popularity of jewelry-making would just make it easy for me to find a wider variety of findings, clasps, and gain better access to high quality crystals and beads.
|Ooh la la..|
But then, the pre-made market exploded. With so many units to push, the jewelry supply business has visibly become less about making supplies available to CREATORS and more about pandering to people who have no passion for the craft. It's about making ready-to-wear jewelry options that only need a new clasp attached. That is not creating, it's wearing a pre-assembled, mass-produced thing without any application of your own personal vigor and saying, "I made it."
|Courtesy of imgur.|
I understand that everyone has to start somewhere, but I feel that when the crafting market makes a 'craft' so easy that there is no crafting involved, it has failed. When craft stores begin to offer classes to bolster the sales of these color-by-numbers 'crafts' instead of classes that use available materials to turn creative sparks into blazes and infect the students with a desire to push it further than it has ever been before, they have failed. When they are so successful in their marketing schemes that more creative-minded crafters repeatedly encounter hoards of wannabes who lash out at anyone who doesn't follow their color-by-numbers strategy, they have failed. It cheapens the experience and appeals to a kind of person that makes crafting a generally unpleasant experience.
|You're doing different things from me, I hate you!|
I know it sounds like an awful lot of vitriol for something 'trivial'. However, I am a creature who finds joy, peace and inspiration in the craft aisles. I enjoy exploring the different sections, laying out inspiration pieces next to each other and scratching a quick work-up of what I intend to do with them in my notepad. A trip to the craft store, for me, is an experience that brings me closer to where I want to be as a creator.
|It's almost a religious experience.|
When I am forced to encounter 'artisans' who ask why I'm buying so many 'bracelets' as I pick up strands of Jesse James beads and become they angry when I tell them that I'm making necklaces, it is a little obnoxious. When I have people telling me, "that's for making earrings," because I picked up a packet of Blue Moon Beads chandelier forms that I intend to use for a multi-strand necklace, it is a little insulting. When I have to deal with 'artisans' who get angry, tell me that I'm doing MY craft wrong, and starting an unnecessary, one-sided argument about how 'stupid' I am for even thinking to make something different than what's posted in the promotional pamphlet or what's written on the packaging, it is a BIG problem.
Here is why: the creation of easy to use products that do not delay satisfaction has been statistically proven to increase impatience and aggression. Jewelry supply makers have turned a slow, progressive hobby into a mixed bag of volatile self-gratifying, self-absorbed, and spoiled tyrants, people who genuinely enjoy the craft, and dedicated artisans. One of those groups is not like that others in the fact that they are much more aggressive and confrontational for no reason. Where the other two groups are content to explore the craft aisles, share experiences, encourage and inspire each other, this new group is focused so much on competitively reaching the finish line so they can wave their label 'artisan' in other people's faces.
The only thing that the craft store and the jewelry supply companies have done at that point is ruined trips to the craft store for me and forced me to locate and procure my own supplies, at a better price from someone else.
Images taken from Google search.