Craft Rally at Manchester

Attended a 'Craft Rally' event at Manchester yesterday.  An event for professional makers run by the Crafts Council and Design initiative, it's aim was to 'provide an inclusive, dynamic and inspirational platform for makers from around the country to come together, discuss and exchange ideas and share information around broad themes.'

I was delighted to find something in Manchester aimed at makers, although I think I misunderstood the theme: It was called 'The Industry of Making' and I took this to mean that it would explore a wide variety of approaches to making, industriousness, collaborating with industry being just some of them.  Actually, it was really focused on encouraging makers to work with industry; to look at up-scaling their production, or outsourcing.  Since I make one-off work which leans towards to fine art end of the spectrum, it wasn't all that relevant to me.  There was also a general tone that can only be described as patronising - they seemed to assume we were all fairly dim; there was a 'you'll never guess what this silly maker said to me the other day' flavour to some of the presentations.

Still, it's always useful to take time out and reflect on where I sit in all of the possibilities open to me, making wise.  It reminded me that I must be serious about getting paid for what I do, and paid fairly.  Having just done a Pop Up Art and Craft event, it is easy to slip into charging what people are prepared the pay.  But if that just gives you only your materials cost or less, then maybe they are not your market.  I has a great time at the Pop Up, and it keeps people in touch with what I do, but a careful path should be trodden to avoid selling myself short.

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