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of challenges: for some their craft is their livelihood whilst others have other jobs in order to support their craft.


There is, however, albeit a generalisation, a difference in their use of the internet. Whilst craftsmen have a presence online, with their own websites and/or blogs, overall they are less likely to be involved in online communities. The majority of participants in, for example, online marketplace forums are women, perhaps men feel uncomfortable or slightly intimidated about joining in or are concerned about being ‘socially awkward’ or inadvertently causing offence … or, simply, don’t see it as a priority. This means that men tend to be less visible in these environments.


90 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2010


This also feeds into a wider debate about what motivates people to start selling handmade goods online. If we approach it as a spectrum, at one end, there are people who enjoy crafting for its own sake and sharing the fruits of their hobby with a community of likeminded individuals; at the other end there are those who enjoy crafting and are looking to make a living from it, selling to the broader marketplace. Both ends are equally valid but they are different. There is an interesting podcast, ‘Professional Crafters, Hobbyists, Etsy and Viable Businesses‘, that discusses this in more depth. My perception (another generalisation) is that craftsmen tend towards the latter end of the spectrum.


So, what have I found out at the end of my quest? There are still many men


heavily involved in crafts, producing beautiful, inspirational pieces and facing the same challenges and having the same concerns as many craftswomen. They may not be as visible in internet forums but are well worth seeking out. Here are a few craftsmen whom I would like to thank for their help with this article and whose work I highly recommend:


Olinda Jewellery - www.olindajewellery.com


mrYen - www.mryen.etsy.com


Hairy Growler - www.hairygrowler.com www.luckysixpencejewellery.co.uk. www.thebirthspoon.co.uk www.theweddingcakeknife.co.uk


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