The True Reality of Making Things by Hand
Updated: Jun 24, 2022
By: Romula of RHaw Creations
(New Ammonite Hemp Necklace created by Romula of RHaw Creations)
For years, I have created many things by hand. I can walk into my mother and step-father's home and find remnants of my past, including a small brown figure that was to resemble a horse's head, which I made at the age of 5. There are hidden binders, full of child paintings, drawings, and paper cutouts, showing that creativity has been in my blood since I came out of the womb. I understand what it takes to create something, and have always appreciated others and myself, for what we can do.
The true reality of making things by hand, is that other people who see our items do not understand the time it took to make. I, every so often, step into the local TJ Maxx, Ross, or Target to see what's out there, despite not needing anything. I am always in awe of the basket work they have in those stores, especially the ones that list the country in which they were made (Nepal, India, Thailand, etc.). Those baskets were hand-made. One person took the time to take the material, bend and mold its form, and create intricate weaving for a laundry basket, woven food try, or whatever else the baskets were created for. The time...which is so key...is what created these amazing items that we just see the finished product.
An item that is complete, is a complete piece. Rarely do people ask how long something took to make, unless they truly are in awe of what was made. Often, people will assume no time went into the work at all. Or they may joke around and say "I can make that in seconds" or "I can make that with my eyes closed". (I, often, laugh when I hear responses like this. Go ahead! Give it a try!)
I've gone to galleries and have sat in presentations, where people will say "It costs that much! This little thing? This line? This Big Splash?" The list goes on at how shocked people can be when seeing the price tag. People don't always understand the time, the materials, the idea, the actual creating, and most of all.....the time, which I repeat again.
I'll give you an example. The image above is a new designed necklace that I made. It is made with two different types of hemp (more than 6 strings to manage), both from Romania, and an ammonite pendant from Morocco. (Yea, yea sound fancy, but I want the best quality that I can get and know exactly where they are sourced).
[Fun Fact: Ammonite is a symbol of change and positive motion, similar to a dreamcatcher, the spiral draws in negativity, filtering it through to become fresh positive energy.]
This beautiful piece, which is closer to a choker, took me 2.5 hours (Yes, two and half hours, maybe even three hours) to make. Even with me recording every knot I make, every color switch, and each position for each stone for me to refer to in the future, it will still take me the same amount of time.
Now, this necklace, in particular, has been debuted at the last two pop-up events that RHaw Creations has been too. I had an experience that inspired this very blog. (I have to update the Etsy Shop with all the new items, like yesterday!)
My lovely partner, while I was tending to a customer at one of the Pop-Ups, whispered into my ear "How much is that necklace?" (I had forgotten to add my make-shift price tag for this new item). I realized he was dealing with a customer who was intrigued. I simply replied saying "$$...handmade with two different hemps, plus an Ammonite pendant from Morocco." The potential buyer was shocked at the price and declined purchasing it. I don't think they understood why it was that price, but that's ok. Now in their defense, most likely, they were a college student, and really shouldn't be spending that kind of money when there's food, gas, and other college necessities (hopefully, not beer - wishful thinking). I, also, don't think the ammonite was a necessity for them. If it was, then maybe they would have purchased it, feeling the need to have it (that's happened to me plenty time in my life lol, "I must have it!").
Later on, my partner informed me that the person who was interested said they really liked the necklace, but thought it would cost only $5.
I wasn't mad. I understood. Its the same thing when folks mention that they used to do macramé as a child or make little string bracelets to sell while in elementary school. I don't take any offense. It brings back a happy memory for them. Or in this case, to them, it seemed simple enough to be worth $5. But the true reality is, the piece was handmade with natural products, took 2.5 hours for each knot, in each section, and included a unique pendant to make it. They only saw the finished product.
[Fun Fact: I work with hemp jewelry because I want it to be like refined jewelry. It is a beautiful material that is durable, eco-friendly, and light-weight which allows for so much more intricate designs. I have hemp jewelry and then, I have Masterpiece hemp jewelry!]
There's something organic about things that aren't machine-made. There's a certain satisfaction, a certain uniqueness, one-of-kind vibe that comes with hand-made items, products, artwork, whatever! The point is, appreciate what it takes for the items and products we see that people make. No one truly knows what went into it, the blood, sweat, and tears to finish it. Appreciate that something was made from someone's own bare hands (bear hands or bare hands...I think it's bare hands, I'm sticking with it). So when you walk into Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, wherever, take a few minutes to appreciate the hand woven baskets that look oh so nice! Someone took the time to make that, whether if it was their joy or their livelihood.
Hope you all enjoyed!!!
P.S. I didn't even talk about ceramics/pottery. That's a whole other beast of its own, and I'll talk about that another time. Might be written in a more meditative way, as ceramics tends to be my biggest stress-reliever next to Reiki.