I strive to live by William Morris' wonderful quote:
"Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful."
In Florida, I was a patron of the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, an annual Art event. Trust me, this sounds way more special than it was; one merely agreed to spend $100 during the Festival and voila! you were a Patron of the Arts.
This "guaranteed" money allowed them to offer bigger prizes, which in turn begat more talented artists.
And I got me a green ribbon saying "PATRON" to wear on my bosom! It really just doesn't get much better than that.
$100 may seem like a lot, but it's only $8.33 per month or .27.397 per day set aside over the course of a year. Of course I never did it that way, because, hello, that's the smart way.
The Shrimp Fest was my first real foray into the pottery world. In 1997, I bought a gorgeous bowl by Mudflap Pottery out of Louisiana. It survived numerous moves, but alas not Finnbarr, who broke it soon after he arrived. Clumsy kitteh (but he's so cute!).
Later I started working at a small gallery called The Waterwheel,
where there was - Danger, Will Robinson! -
discounts AND a payment plan!
I kept trying to sell this painting (Abundance II), until a customer said, "Stop that, that's YOUR painting!" He was right.
I loved it and bought it, sloooowly, over a long period of time.
Then Slightly Off Centre opened. A whole new world for me and my fledgling pottery addiction - North Carolina, because she bought all the pottery up here.
When I walked into the NC Craft Gallery after moving up here, I recognized quite a few of the potters because I already owned their work. (My pottery boyfriends/girlfriends as I fondly refer to them)
Thanks to ole W. and his stimulus a couple of years ago, I was able to commission dinnerware from Cora Willow, who is at the Craft Gallery.
Did I mention they know me by name there?
Another place I love here in NC, is Vespertine in Pittsboro. I feel happy every time I walk in there.
Ginna always has some creative, cute new thing. She can work in any medium it seems - paper, clay, silver, beads, paint - you name it, she can do something fantabulous with it. I took in some old funky silver earrings I made back in the 1980's and asked her to make a new fab ring with them. I'm excited to see what she comes up with!
Of course, there's the ever awesome Shiny Adornments. Home of the "WTF" earrings.
If you love art, crafts, lovely handmade things, please find a way to bring them into your life and for Pete's sake, treasure them by using them - don't devalue them by secreting them away in a dark closet.
Sure, your goofy, ungraceful, bottom heavy, pear shaped, adorable Manx cat might break them. So what.
This is my mantra (I read this somewhere and it stuck with me): It's already broken.
Now go dig out Grandma's priceless heirloom china plates and use them - even if, or perhaps especially if, you're eating Top Ramen!