The more I am involved in creating jewelry, the more I am humbled by the artisans I come across every day. I have worked at the Barn Swallow for years and am honored to be a member of the Artisans Center of Virginia, so I have been exposed to the highest quality of craftsmanship possible. I know the struggles of trying to sell one's "art," not just financially but also emotionally, so I made a pledge to buy as much as I can that is "hand made" and I urge you to do the same. The site, www.buyhandmade.org, does a great job explaining why you should.
The Etsy Showcase is another very imaginative site with many, many pages dedicated solely to hand-crafted treasures. Several of us who show our work at the Barn Swallow also sell through Etsy. It is there that I read "a connection to the creator is part of the reward of buying handmade. Mass-produced pieces of art don’t have any meaning ." If you are giving your purchase as a gift, what better way to show your thoughtfulness than to give a one-of-a-kind piece of art (that IS what it is...a piece of art.) There is so much value in it for what you spend and you are helping to promote such an important way of life. I have several of my favorite "artists" featured on my "Links" page; take a minute to look at that - you might just find the source for the perfect gift - for yourself or that lucky recipient.