Birthdays are one of those days which you generally give a gift. As an artist, giving a gift is always one of those dilemmas that you don't know what to do about. As a child, we're encouraged to make something for the person that we love, just to show them how much we love them. As an adult, it kind of feels self-serving. For one, when we give something that we've made, it sort of feels like we're showing off. "Look what I can do!" Then there's the insecure feelings that come on. "What if they don't like it? They can't very well return it, can they?" Then there's just the money side of it. We are a very materialistic society which looks at how much someone has paid for an item. Making something for someone feels like you didn't care about them enough to spend any money on them. But do they feel that way?
I have a really hard time giving my jewelry to people as gifts. When I do give someone my jewelry, I tend to do it only because I KNOW they will like the piece I've selected for them. As in, they have practically begged me for it. The only exception to this is giving jewelry to my sons' teachers. I like to give them my pieces because I spent time on them, just like they spent time on my children. I kind of feel like we've just made a trade. Perhaps not a very fair trade, however. They've spent a LOT more time on my children than I spent on their piece of jewelry. But it's a token of my appreciation for all that they've done for my kids, and I hope they see it that way.
I always hope that those who have received my jewelry as a gift enjoy it. I hope they don't feel like I'm just giving them something I've made because I had it laying around, and it was easy. I always hope that gifts I hand-make are seen just as my parents saw them when I was little, as a special gift made especially for them. Made with love.
This was originally posted on July 15, 2009.