"The High Street is history as far as interesting, stylish, handmade artefacts are concerned.... long live the web!"
As a craftsman designing and making hand made decorative and contemporary clocks and mirrors I have traditionally sold my work through galleries the length and breadth of Britain. Over the last ten years the number of galleries or independent retailers has reduced dramatically and those that remain have learned to play it safe in terms of the artefacts they stock. The fewer the galleries the less there are of makers like myself which in turn narrows the range of work they can offer -creating a downward cycle in terms of choice, variety and breadth of work available to the public.
Same old shops selling the same old goods .
Think of your High Street. I can predict what shops you'll find there and what range of goods and brands they offer -no matter where in the UK you reside. Is there a town that hasn't got the same old narrow, predictable mix of Boots, WH Smiths Curry's and the obligatory mix of mobile phone and charity shops. The reason for this is the cost of High Street rent and rates which mean only retailers selling fast turnover consumer goods can generate the level of sales to cover the cost of their rent and rates.
The consequence of this uniformity and lack of choice or variety makes for a bland shopping experience and a bland world! We define ourselves by the artefacts, clothes and lifestyles we buy into. Now imagine an infinitely long high Street big enough to accommodate an infinite number of retailers selling an infinite choice of goods and you have the web. Infinate choice, variet and stlye.
It's got to work!
I believe so but it can only do so if you the buyers and we the makers can find each other. I think the conditions are making it almost inevitable. There are ever increasing numbers of buyer like yourselves that are having to go to greater and greater lengths to find something remotely interesting or different made to the quality you require. At the same time makers like myself are desperately trying to find buyers like yourself who would appreciate and buy our work. I believe the web can facilitate this meeting of needs and hence me launching my new website.
A big experiment...
I'm hoping that the time and effort I've invested in my website will not only enable me to sell and make more of my work it may help to broaden and improve the range of work I offer.
One never designs in a vacuum....
A major draw back with selling through third parties is that you never get to meet your public and gain an incite into how they view my work and what they are looking for. This is tantamount to designing in a vacuum as the only feed back you receive is whether a piece sold or not. I believe that my website could help me building a dialogue with potential buyers which will enable me to gain an invaluable incite into ways I can improving my work and to come up with new artefact ideas, styles and finishes.