I love handcrafted items. There is something special about holding something that you know someone made in their back yard, their garage, or at their kitchen table. There's love in it. It's not just about an hourly wage. It's usually a passion that drives the artist to create.
I'm no longer calling anyone who makes something at home a crafter. They are an artist. And if anyone who has an art degree disagrees, I am sure you will get over yourself eventually. I've seen talent come out of people who are not "professionally trained" that far exceeds anyone with hours of class instruction. I never look at those kind of credentials anyway. I look at the passion in the work that is presented.
That said, so many people are becoming more and more interested in handmade art. The problem with handmade art, however, is sticker shock. We have become a society where the expectation of price is based off of mass production, where items are made in the THOUSANDS. Handmade art is not made in the thousands. Lovers of handmade art should keep this in mind when admiring a person's work and hesitating on making a purchase.
Now, I'm not whining, ok maybe I am, but just a little. It's disappointing when people want what you work for for next to nothing. I know that it's not always intentional. A lot of the time, it's ignorance, and going back to my saying we are a society that is used to buying things based on a mass production scale.
I'm sooo done with mass produced items. I do try to buy locally as often as I can. If I do buy retail, I try to buy something that I know is of good quality from places I know people are being hired for their skill and not for how cheaply they can be hired at. If it means my having to pay a little bit more, then so be it.