From the beginning of June to the end of August every year my city
Edmonton, Alberta, has a succession of summer festivities - the world
class Fringe Festival of alternative theatre, Jazz Festival, an
outdoor Country music concert, a Rodeo Carnival, food fests, sidewalk
art shows, craft shows, and some more - a real fun time to meet
everyone from all over the world and learn new things.
Then comes this vendor whose craft is black ink printed designs on
plywood panels varnished over. The designs looked mechanically
reproduced by silk screening. He was a kind of lonely because hardly
anyone stopped by his booth and frankly I wouldn’t know where to
place his ‘art’ even if someone presented me one.
Okay so tried to chat him up and asked him what technique he used.
Really builds rapport with a stranger if one shows interest in the
other’s work skills. Found out immediately why he was lonely. His
attitude was that his technique is secret and I had no business
Come on. In this time and day one can get any one wants
through the Internet and by the old fashioned way of looking up
books. The 'how to technique" used by him would hardly qualify for a
half page description in any crafts book.
No one ever gets rich being a craftsperson and some of the things I
had learned from chatting up all the other vendors is that they love
their work and the lifestyle the (paying) customer acceptance of
their work affords them. From a customer’s point of view I want to
know what makes his work different from the much better stuff
produced by third world craft workers or the mass production WAL Mart
stuff. Although I may even be able to make the same piece better
than a crafts vendor the chances are that I don’t have the time,
equipment or inclination to make a “one off” that I can buy for a
reasonable price. And even if I don’t buy any I would probably bring
up the interesting points of that craft during a conversation with
friends and direct them to the stall.
All in all the 'its a secret" attitude turns everyone off. I for one
felt very miffed that he believed someone would be his competitor if
he told anyone.