What People Are Saying About Penny

"I like to think of you as a high priced call girl that the unwashed masses can't afford--like Woody Allen's Whore of Mensa. It's not your fault that people offer $10 blowjobs on the street corner. It's not an insult if somebody doesn't buy your art." -Alexandra J Walters

"Once Penny was making her own silk thread, and a midget appeared. Before he could open his ugly mouth, without looking up, she exclaimed, 'Rumpelstiltskin. Now get the fuck out of here.' Fairytale Over."- Beth Featherstone

"Penny can push a needle through a telephone pole without a thimble." -Shane Blaufuss

"When a man asked Penny, 'What’s the meaning of life?' She looked at him for exactly 3 minutes, completely still, until he cried. That man’s name was Steve Jobs."- Beth Featherstone

"A demon from the pits of bitch cunt." -W.C. Hurst

Friday, July 23, 2010

Side Project

I have a theory.

Do you make stuff? Are you an artist? A crafter? 

Have you ever spent 40 hours on a project, only to be offered 20 dollars for all of your hard work?*-See note

I think it's because most buyers don't understand how long it takes to make stuff. I think it's because buyers think what we do is "fun", so somehow, we haven't earned a fair hourly wage. 

The truth is, this stuff takes forever. Hours and hours and hours. I have pieces that I've spent well over 100 hours on. And as far as fun goes? In my experience, only about 10% of it is actually fun. The rest is tedious and demanding and I do it because I'm a crazy person that freaks the fuck out if I'm not working.* -See Note

So I've started a new blog called This Is Hand Made. All it is is 5 minute videos of people working on projects. No tutorials, no guides, no talking to the camera, no explaining, just 5 really really boring minutes of what it looks like to actually make something. I only have three up so far, but I want more! 

If you make stuff, I want to see it. Especially the boring parts that you have to thole through to complete the project. I don't care if you're a knitter, a cobbler, a mosaic maker, whatever. 

Did it take you 2 minutes to thread that needle/bobbin? Perfect. Did it take you 2 hours to scour that fleece? Yes. Did it take you an hour to warp that loom? THIS SPEAKS TO MY INTERESTS. 

Send me links to you doing what you do at donkeywolf@gmail.com

Let's change the market by boring people into submission, because if they can't watch a five minute video of us working, they don't get to bitch about pricing. 


Again- NO tutorials, guides, explaining, just you working. And if you're worried about looking silly or dumb or weird, don't. Nobody's going to sit though these anyway, that's the point. 

Special thanks to Shae who kick-started this project by picking up my slack and making the first video


*I'm assuming your work is good, but buyers are still trying to sweatshop you. 
*Drinks whiskey


37 comments:

  1. Did it take you 2 minutes to thread that needle/bobbin?

    I have done that. I've also spent a ridiculous amount of time picking out knots. The worst thing was buying embroidery floss that had a knot in it before I even started using it. I ended up struggling with it for 30 minutes before throwing it away in disgust.

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  2. Yep. I can't even tell you about my struggles with products. Nightmares. Although, I think my erotic product review of Habu Stainless Steel thread would be right up your alley!

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  3. This is amazing. I'm going to share it with everyone I know. And probably some people I don't know. Thank you for being awesome.

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  4. Thank you Lady!
    I know it's kind of an aggressive asshole-ish idea, but I think it's time has come! Make people send me videos!

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  5. this is awesome!

    you're so gonna get videos of me doing stuff 0.0

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  6. I don't think it's asshole-ish at all. I think people need to see what goes into our work. I'll be making you a video as soon as I get motivated to make something again.

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  7. this is such a cool documentary art project in itself! i'm psyched to make some vids!

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  8. Yay! Multiple submissions are accepted! I'm glad you guys are on board! Sometimes I get crazy ideas and I can't tell if I'm nutzo or preaching to the choir. People seem to be interested though!

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  9. Is it ok if we get pissed and mutter/curse under our breath? Because I do that at times...

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  10. Absolutely. I'm going for honesty here.

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  11. Great Idea! I have to see if my computer has a camera! B.

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  12. Well, I have a lot of quit in me. But I will try to post something. I love you , Penny.

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  13. Woo! A loop of these videos running on a small screen in the middle of an art gallery would be a great piece of ... whatever kind of art that would be. I'll try to remember to make videos and pass them along.

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  14. I think this is an excellent idea, people have no idea of what it takes to make something. I seriously hate having my picture taken & generally hide from all cameras. I will try to get over my fear & post something, even if it's 5 minutes of me thinking about/designing what I'm going to make or searching for a bandaid after poking my fingers with a needle or piece of wire...

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  15. Maybe tonight I will hook up the little camera and make it film me. What a groovy idea. :D

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  16. I got this fabulous idea to make purses out of granny squares. So I went and got a book with all sorts of different patterns and I have been making them trying to desperately get them to work together. So far not going well but I do have a huge pile of the stupid things.

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  17. LOVE THIS! Seriously, the best idea ever. I'm gonna post a bit about it on the ReadyMade blog tomorrow morning; hopefully it'll generate a bunch more awesome videos. Check it in the AM:

    http://www.readymade.com/blog/category/craft

    Time is such an important part of the craft process; it's what makes handmade so special. You nailed it!

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  18. This is brilliant! Love the absolutely justified snarky-ness of it! I had someone come into my tent in a juried art fair one time and tell her friend that she could do what I do... so I said to her..."then why don't you go home and do it!" What's so funny about it is that even though I was being rude (or maybe because of it) she ended up buying some of my items!! Gotta love it!

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  19. Ugh! That's so aggravating! It completely overlooks the time and effort and genius that goes into to coming up with the idea, and the many hours it takes to suss out how to execute it well.

    I look forward to your video! :)

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  20. Aaaaaa! This is the third time I'm trying to post this comment! Every time I go to click in the word verification box, the page shifts, and I click over to a different blog and lose my comment!!! (I'm going to copy what I type this time, *before* I lose it!!!)

    I linked to this post from my blog, in this post. (Where I rant about crafters at the local farmer's market seriously underpricing their wares. And then buy something at the prices they charge.)

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  21. Excellent. I'm very camera shy so I'm not sure if I will contribute. It would sure be the a very boring video to watch with all that unpicking I do on my embroideries. This is exactly the reason why I sell patterns not finished embroideries. It's labour intensive (nothing wrong with that btw) and on top of that I'm extremely slow. A couple of times people asked me about buying my embroideries but after I gave them my ( very low) estimates I never heard of them again!

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  22. I prefer gin for when I'm working.

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  23. Nice Rose! I've recently been trying out Akvavit. It's like the gin of vodka, if that makes not even a little sense. It tastes like rye toast.

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  24. I think this is right on. Someone told me the other day I would need to 'market' my work as fine art if i wanted to ask for the amount of money that reflected the skill and hours gone into it. But this smacks of trying to 'dress up' something that doesn't need dressing up - why will someone pay thousands for some paint chucked on canvas (not that there's anything wrong with that either), but scoff at 40 quid for my cross stitch miniature that took 15 hours?!
    *coughs* rant over.
    My video is imminent! Thankyou!

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  25. Oh yes ! Thank you for this ! I'm practising bobbin lace...

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  26. We tatters express this too. We have lots of tutes on YouTube which show how long it takes to make a single ring but most people complain that it's too fast to see how the stitches are made. LOL! I find my students have a whole new appreciation of the skill involved once they struggle with it themselves. It takes a lot of practice to be good. Period.

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  27. emsoe and Gina-
    Thank you so much guys! I would love to have more lace submissions, so far I only have one tatting video. Please feel free to send me videos! I've recently become interested in lace making, I want to see what you do!

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  28. BLOODY BRILLIANT! :-)

    Already addicted and now trying to decide between five minutes of me stuffing around measuring and choosing needle sizes, then threading and stitching. Then unstitching due to the minute color difference then, then, then. Luv it.

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  29. Oh, this is awesome. I have so far only been selling things to friends (who I know don't have much money anyway) but am trying to figure out how to price things for etsy. Whenever I try to convince myself that my handmade stuffed dinosaurs (which are entirely hand-sewn, and have embroidery on them to boot)are worth more because of the time they take(2 hours each, I think)I start to worry that nobody will want to pay that much money for something that fits in the palm of their hand. I will do my best to make a video and send it to you.

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  30. I did sit and watch 2 whole vids. It was sorta hypnotic.

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  31. I think your project of your brother is pretty cool. I would like to know how you did it, how you put his picture in stitches. I use a program for cross stitches, but not in embroidery. I prefer to do faces in embroidery. Thank you for letting me see you work, i like your work.

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  32. Thanks Maxine!
    I do it all by hand, one stitch at a time. I don't have a program, I just stitch the drawing.
    Thanks again!

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  33. fucking genius. really. i'll make a video this week.

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