Christmas 2010 Part 1: Craft Fairs

My wife says that I have the patience of Job for coming to these Christmas Craft Fairs. While I admit there’s a lot of frou-frou knick-knacks that I probably would never buy or have any use for, I love these craft fairs. I love any kind of impromptu market, for that matter. Most of these stalls aren’t put up by people who are on salary. They’ve devoted their free time and energy into creating a saleable product. They are not necessarily there to make rent or credit card bills. If they make a profit while they are there, it’s more of a tangible measure of how well they plied their craft.

People talk about how money sullies the creative pursuit. You can’t really love what you do if people have to induce you with a reward, right? But what if the goal is to get better at what you do? How will you know that your quilt, ornament, or christmas treat is any good? You could show them off to your friends, you could give them as gifts, but to have a complete stranger give money for your craft! You have to be really good at what you do if you inspire people to trade the fruits of their labour for yours. If you really know how good your craft is, I can think of no better way to find out than to put a price tag on it.

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