I met my Mom for breakfast at an artsy little café in a small historic town in Florida. When we walked in, we were greeted with the wonderful smell of coffee. We stopped to adjust our eyes from the bright Florida sun and looked around the café. In front of us were the tables, and behind those, the counter. Off to the right we spied a quaint little area with handmade items and local art for sell. This immediately captured our attention and we of course headed straight for it, hoping to find some little trinket to purchase.
We walked past the paintings and jewelry and spotted a section with crochet for sale. On one stand that looked like a coat rack, I found hats and scarves on display. In another section you could peruse through felted slippers and handbags. When I turned over the tags to see the price I was surprised. On each tag, right under the price, it listed the Artist Name. Here’s where I found myself asking the question,” When did the good old-fashioned hobby of crochet become an art?”
Most people at some point in their lives have found themselves standing before an item they would like to purchase and thought to themselves, “I could make that.” Well, in this case it was true. I really could crochet. I had never thought of it as an “art”. In the past crochet was something to keep you occupied on a cold winter day. Mothers and Grandmothers for generations would lovingly create beautiful and functional items such as blankets, hats, gloves and scarves to be given away at a baby shower or to family members.
Instantly I found myself wondering how I could get some of my handmade items into their little store. Imagine me, an “artist”, selling my items at a trendy café while making money for something that I already enjoyed doing. I asked the woman at the counter and she told me that an Artist could just bring in some of their items and a few would be selected to sell. I thanked her and wandered off to locate my Mom, all the while mentally picking out which items I would like to make and submit to sell. When I found my Mom a few minutes later, I found out she had entertained the same idea.
But here’s where common sense came in. We calculated the cost of yarn, the length of time to make a scarf, for instance (2 hours), the amount of money you would make by selling it, and how much gas it would take to drive to the Café. (It was a 30 minute drive from my house.) I would make about .50 cents per item. Suddenly it didn’t seem so exciting.
As flattering as it seemed, I really had to admit to myself that making articles of clothing from patterns that have been around for many years and used by generations of women, would not really qualify as “art”. I’m sure that someone has found great success in creating something new and artistic in the world of crochet, but it wasn’t me. With my dreams of becoming an “artist” dashed, I sat down at the table with my Mom. We enjoyed our breakfast and settled on being ordinary people.