[adam mcewen, i was very disappointed, 2004, sold for $9,375, at phillips, de pury &co., march 31, 2008]
on the whole i like to keep this blog cheery and picture filled and light on commentary. not to dumb down the audience in any way, but we're all busy and sometimes a blog is just a lovely break in the day to view beautiful design objects and pretty pictures. but i just can't keep my mouth shut about last night.
i have to tell you that i was very disappointed in yesterday's panel discussion at vcu titled, making meaning and the marketplace. i had high hopes. so high that i showed up 30 minutes early so that i wouldn't get locked out as i have on many an occasion to see lectures at the grace street theater. first of all, the auditorium wasn't even full. i know 5pm is a tough time to get downtown. and i know that people have jobs and families. but i really felt like the crafting community would have come out in full force with etsy in town.
the good news is, if you didn't make it, you didn't miss much. first of all, i thought the panel selection was poor. one panel member had never really been on etsy. another was an artist who uses etsy but didn't have much to say in general. yet another was an actual etsy employee who seemed quite intelligent, but was so busy trying to hook up the virtual web cam lab thingy that he hardly even looked our way. and last, but certainly not least, rob kalin, etsy's founder.
not even sure i know where to start with this cat. don't get my wrong, i LOVE etsy. i love it's layout, the artists who sell there, it's philosophy and the fact that it has created a whole new marketplace for the handmade. but i don't have as many good things to say about it's creator. i found him to be a bit pompous and condescending and on many occasions insulting. he's quite the politician acutally, never really answering a question straight, but always dancing around it with some little antecdote. his ideas are lofty and his product is great, i'll give him that, but he disregards the economy and system that has made him so successful. i won't go on, but maybe one of the other 2 founders should accept these lecture invites in the future.
i guess my biggest complaint is toward vcu. we had a great opportunity here to discuss the handmade market and the place it is carving out in richmond and around the globe. and i thought the panel choices were odd and that a truly groundbreaking discussion opportunity wasted. maybe i'm just bitter they didn't ask a handmade shop owner to be on the panel ;o) i don't know. i just hope we keep talking about it and everyone in this community as well as others supports the local economy. and for all of the vcu art students, keep working and we'll keep selling. happy shopping! k&m