Sunday, 11 November 2012

When is a craft not a craft?

I pose this question because yesterday I went to a 'Craft Fair', one of three that were being held in a six mile radius of my home.  The advertising for this event emphasised the 'craft' element of the event both in the local paper but also on all the signage and when I got there crafts there were not.

Is there any craft element in selling Cash and Carry sweets (two stalls), a selection of 'made in China' type Christmas decorations, which had obviously been bought wholesale (I found the site they were bought from on Google in about three seconds), battery operated plastic helicopters, mass produced jewellery, tarot card reading, face painting?  There is absolutely no craft in the stall advertising the Pampered Chef franchise which was trying to get you to host a party plan selling thingy and nor in the stall selling second hand clothes.  What craft is there in a children's book stall with books from The Book People?  There was the essential to every craft fair - handmade card stall but this one was also selling rolls of Christmas wrapping paper and gift tags, baubles and garlands none of which had been hand-crafted.

So all in all a real disappointment - had been advertised as a Christmas Bazaar then this would just about have fitted the bill, but a Craft Fair it was not.  Perhaps I have been spoilt by the wonderful Fibre Festivals and 'proper Craft Fairs' but it seems that despite the supposed revival of making things - Cath Kitson and Kirsty Allsopp immediately spring to mind - there is still a mass throw away cultural with little or no thought to how or where things have be made.  My immediate thought when seeing a young girl spending her pocket money on a mass produced  Christmas robin (one that most likely had been made by a Asian child little older than the purchaser) was sadness and confirmation that Christmas is little more than a commercial festival which targets those who can least afford the tat that passes for craft.

To add to this - there was a entry fee of £1..............................  as most of the things on offer could have been bought from a £1 Shop it would have been cheaper to have had a morning out there...............

1 comment:

  1. I know the problem and agree with you. Our local council now insists that stalls at their craft fairs only sell goods made by the stall holder, also a number of new fairs are beinging arranged by crafters themselves who ensure that quality crafts and sold by the craftspeople who made them.

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