I seem to have stirred a hornet's nest with yesterday's post. Opinion seems to be split on the whole 'Artisan Good, Taiwan Tat Seller-On Bad' debate. I've had both support and dissent expressed via comments, email and on forums.
On balance I regard this as A Good Thing.
There are few opportunities in the public arena for artisans to express what they REALLY think about anything which affects them directly.
Several years ago I was a member of MINTA (Miniaturists Trade Association) which aimed to represent miniaturists. Sadly it withered on the vine and disappeared without trace, but while it was in operation it was possible to find up-to-date, accurate, unbiased information on all manner of subjects of interest to the miniature artisan, not to mention several which regularly plague us..... plagiarism and copyright infringement to name but two.
There are, of course, public and 'private' online forums, which serve to promote the work of miniature artisans in one form or another. However, generally speaking, potentially contentious areas of debate are discouraged in order to avoid internecine wars.
So where do miniature artisans go to express their opinions on the way our business operates? Are we to be restricted to seeking out a small, private group of like-minded colleagues and have a collective (but ultimately ineffectual) moan, or simply keeping schtum so as not to rock the boat?
Compare and contrast folks.........