Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CPSIA blog-in

oh, yes, another post that is CPSIA related. Don't you all wish The Law Makers of Congress would hurry up and change, amend or repeal it, already!! so that i would stop blogging about it. I mean really!?
hand made

today is BLOG IN day, an idea from the Etsy community which is a big voice in the battle for a change to the CPSIA. So for my contribution i have a few words-- well i have more than a few. I have a few points, let's say.

I feel strongly about needing a change to the testing requirements simply because of how it affects Handmade and here is why:
  • hand making things has always been a part of my life. there is value in learning to make items or clothes or home made food. there is value in knowing how these things are made and taking pride in what one can do with one's hands and body.
  • hand-work is a part of my everyday. how lucky am i that someone would want to buy it!
  • handmade is typically done in small batches. Small, thoughtful and carefully done batches.
  • handmade is supported by other people who VALUE handmade. just like the people who make things because they enjoy the process, people who buy handmade like knowing who made it. It also has value because hand-made is now more of a luxury than a necessity. There was a time when handmade had little value because it was cheaper to make something than purchase it. One is no longer considered poor because one's clothes are handmade.
  • handmade has added value because so much of our stuff is mass made, in factories, overseas. The handmade items we have in our homes often have special places, memories and stories. Obviously, I can not hand-make my cell phone, my television or even this here computer i type on. I know that I can't make it all, but what i can make i try to. And then I try to share that with others. And with this law, I feel penalized (by the outrageous prices and time consuming paper work) because I want to sell something hand-made.
  • Hand-made holds memories, thoughts and personality.
I think what i am trying to get at was best said by a ceramics teacher I once had. While making a pot he commented on the value of hand-thrown pottery. Of course I can not remember his exact quote, but to sum it up he said: hand made items will always be valuable because people will pay to have something hand made. Why? I asked. Because the more we (we, the society) embrace and depend on technology, become more fast paced and impatient, and no longer learn trades for a living will still want something hand made in our homes (it makes us feel safe and comforted. It speaks to our senses.) and we will pay for it rather than take the time to learn how to make it (because come on ya'll, you know it takes years to master a hand-work trade or skill).

so that's my post for today's Blog In. I don't want to complain about the law. I'm no longer very confused. I got my XFR testing done for my products. I feel 'okay' until August. But I also don't feel marvelous about this law. It's disappointing: i'm disappointed that Law Makers didn't take the time to think of how damaging this would be. I'm disappointed that Big Toy Companies didn't value their products and let the lead levels get too high for children. I'm disappointed that small businesses are already closing because of this.

today, I have diaper making to do. But i also am ready to stuff envelopes with letters to Congress, the CPSC (even though their hands are tied) and the media. I'm so thankful for the great community that has come together .

thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Rebecca S. said...

well said! i appreciate you verbalizing these sentiments about handmade. it makes even me (a handcrafter) appreciate handmade even more!