Crafting Without Restrictions

crafterspledgeI am a crafter. I make small quilted items and cards. I rely on the creativity of others to produce materials that I use in crafting. I have a nice, big stash of fabric and paper. When I get my creativity juices flowing, I end up with a nice big stash of handmade greeting cards and table runners. In the past I have given away most of the things that I made. Sometimes I receive a request to make a particular item.  My friends and family most often are the recipients of the things that I make (welcome or unwelcome, they are too nice to say no). As I live in a different state from most of my family, I have no idea whether or not they actually use or display the things I make. Ignorance is bliss, and I keep making stuff.

To spare my family from being overburdened by my creative efforts, I have opened a shop on Etsy. If you are curious, my shop name is Pretty Colorful. WordPress frowns on my putting up an actual link to my shop, and I like to abide by rules, mostly because I don’t like to get into trouble. Keeping with this philosophy of staying out of trouble, I have been very careful of copyright laws regarding crafts. It appears that there are artistic people in the world that are a little overzealous in maintaining their intellectual property rights. I have read comments  from people who are concerned about being able to sell items made from purchased patterns and fabric.  Why on earth would anyone want to restrict people from making and selling things from patterns and fabric? The quilting world has very few restrictions. The manufacturers want us to use their fabric, and to be honest, most of the quilting blocks are in public domain. But for heaven’s sake, who do you think buys the patterns and fabric? Restricting an individual from selling an item made from purchased pattern or fabric is not helping the artist with their own business. Honestly, you have to wonder what goes on in people’s heads these days.

Many companies that make products for use in paper crafting have “angel policies.” I recently wrote a blog on angel policies (https://prettycolorful.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/when-angel-policies-are-just-plain-silly/). I only purchase products from companies that have a liberal angel policy. A company or artist may produce some wonderful things, but if they place restrictions on how their items can be used, that places restrictions on my own creativity. I recently read  the angel policy from one company that only allows the consumer to make things to sell ( in limited quantities and restricted venues) to have the end product only contain items from their product line. Needless to say, I will never purchase anything from this company, mainly because I use items from more than one company in my cards. I often use products from two or three different companies in just one card.

I respect every artist’s right to protect their designs and not just because of copyright law.  But, if you don’t want someone to make something with your artwork, be it paper, stamps, punches, or whatever, why on earth are you allowing the manufacture of your designs? Crafters like to use pretty things to make even prettier things. We are artists too. We often come up with unique ways of presenting images and words in our own creations. If I see a scrapbook page or card that uses an image or paper that I like, I will buy it (unless, of course, it has a restrictive or nonexistent angel policy). That means that there is one less consumer for your product, and I am pretty sure that there are other crafters who think just like me.

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