It took me awhile to fully grasp what Etsy is, and what it offers to me. I had been making my own little mudpies from my obscure little off-the-beaten-path world, and selling them to gallery buyers. These buyers are generally fairly conscious and appreciative people, but the main conversations we have is about trends, sales, and What People Want. I had no awareness of the Handmade Revolution or craftivism. I have been an eco conscious person for decades, and was aware of the Slow Food Movement, but did not relate to myself as connected to those things through my pottery. I've thought a great deal about these subjects, and the diffence I can make by offering heirloom quality functional pieces that can be around for thousands of years, by packing with recycled materials, by firing in an energy efficient manner in a home and studio that we are retrofitting for maximum energy efficiency. I also see that by making pieces that glorify the natural world's beauty, I am doing my small part to make preservation a higher priority.
It has greatly excited me to see a clearer connection between doing what I've loved all these years, and the moral and ethical values that are dear to my heart. I also really enjoy the personal connection to people who are finding and buying my work. Today I packed a gift that a young man stationed in Iraq wants shipped to his girlfriend back home. I'm also shipping out a piece to another potter in the US northeast. It feels like an honor to be so chosen. So, thank you, Etsy, for bringing these new experiences to my life. You are so much more than a website. You are a larger context for all things handmade.