There are craftspeople. If you aren't one, you might think we are competing with each other, but we are not rivals, We are kin. We want more of us around, because it can be a lonely trade, and we want to learn from each other.
So here come the new makers, who might be foraging the woods for ideas, or taking university classes on sculpture or printmaking and workshops in forging iron, or setting a loom, Here they come, those crafts people from generation X, millennials, and maybe a baby boomer or two. Thank the heavens they are coming along, livening things up with their ideas and energy. They are cooking artfully, turning chair railing, stripping bark, building a platform online, and are setting trends . They are seeking out the experienced maker and artist. They want to learn, The more experienced don' t have to be famous, or well known, just open and sharing.
The experienced makers and artists are giving new makers hope and inspiration. They are capable of sharing the lay of the land of retail, and giving suggestions for direction, as the new person develops and has opportunities and offers (good or bad), The experienced might be able to share connections and resources, or soften the blow.
Rejection is inevitable, even self-rejection, the experienced can be supportive there too, Revealing to the new if they want to live in the land of the crafts-person as a business or a curious creator who wants to develop ideas.
Be sure to look over the the last two blogs from founder Anne Bowers, about how to jury for this tour, right here in Jefferson County. You will learn so much from those that are on it and to connect to those that have made craft in West Virginia so vital.
Be on the look out in the spring for profiles of the new juried craftsperson in our blogs and on this web site. They will be emerging artists or veterans of their craft, and ready to give the Over the Mountain Studio tour a try.
It's grand to pass the torch, but it's even grander when there is someone there to take it and run with it.