Thursday, August 15, 2013

Watching sufferers of Craft Show Delusion Disorder

Freshly fired jewelry pieces in the kiln.
Today, I was reading an article (blog post) over at The Survival Mom and she mentioned Craft Show Delusion Disorder (CSDD), and I could not help laughing--because I have seen this firsthand at both craft shows and in my regular profession.

As a writer, I have noticed (especially now that you can publish your own ebook though places like Smashwords) that everyone thinks that they can be a writer...which might be true; after all, I can do it, and I am not the shiniest apple in the barrel. Of course, the self-published market has became one giant slush pile as a result of this mindset (at least, I have cashed checks from magazines in the print market before going indie). But the trend does count down on the number of people who have a great idea, and want me to write it up for fifty percent of the net, so that is a positive...I guess.

I can understand why everyone thinks that they can be a requires little equipment, and we all get told in school how great our writing is by our peers (no one ever tells a friend or classmate that their writing blows chunks). But I have watched people at craft shows (which my wife has made me help at) suffer from Craft Show Delusion Disorder about crafts that they should not be suffering the delusion over.

Right in front of the two of us. And one of us happens to be the ceramic artist; the other just is a knuckle dragging spouse brought to the show to lift heavy things...and be bored out of his cotton-picking mind.

It is the people who suffer CSDD that believe that they can reproduce my wife's pottery that fascinate me. I have watched people believe that they can reproduce paintings, drawings, and jewelry...some of which I can understand believing that one can do (not everything at a craft show is top quality work). But my wife's pottery?!

My wife has been doing pottery longer than I have known her--she has twenty-three years of experience doing ceramics. And in the seventeen years I have known her, the product has improved greatly. I have lost track of the number of mortar and pestles that I have photographed for her over the years.

And we have watched people with just a semester of pottery under their belt, who have not touched clay in years, plus have none of the required equipment (an awful big expense), believe that they could make what my wife is making. Ok, maybe they could make a mortar and pestle...but it will probably look like a melted marshmallow. For the record, I am the person who does shop at the local college's biannual pottery club sale--and the stuff I see there, my wife would call seconds (items that are flawed and possibly buried never to be seen again by any living human being)--and that is what a semester or two of pottery class produces.

Is there a cure for Craft Show Delusion Disorder? Actually, yes--become a professional craftsperson yourself. I find that artists tend to be realistic (and far too busy with their own specialty) about what they can and cannot do (which is why a certain amount of barter happens among the artists at a craft show).

In other news: my wife's Facebook fanpage recently gained its hundredth fan, and new items are currently being listed on the Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery Etsy shop page.

One of the latest mortar and pestles that my wife finished.

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