What you are paying for when you buy a handcrafted work of art by an artisan?
-No Mass Production Machinery Involved
By definition, 'handmade' is literally just that, made by the hands of the artisan or maker. The pieces are individually sawed, carved, shaped and polished using small hand guided power tools and without the use of CNC, laser cutter and mass produced manufacturing machinery. A machine can crank out thousands of units per hour, while I can only make one or two picks in the same time.
Buying and maintenance of tools, replacement parts, packaging. The cost of materials and supplies includes their import taxes and shipping, all of which the artisan must pay to create his work. Research and development are also part of his personal expenses.
In my case, studying luthiery in a specialised technical college, learning to achieve skills and developing a unique know-how that requires years of practice through trial and error.
-Time to make
Artists do not work for free, especially in countries that have a very high cost of living such as Switzerland. (This might sound surprising but I am actually undercharging for my work since I am not charging you for my working hours)
Individually handmade = higher quality and I am extremely proud of the work I produce. I work with passion and perfection and would never deliver a imperfect pick. Tool scratches and cumbersome surfaces are not produced by me, but a unique handcrafted pick I’ve spent lots of time crafting and polishing to perfection is. That and only that is what I strive to achieve.
In some countries such as mine, you have to be registered in order to have the rights to practice your profession legally. This implies having to pay high monthly fees for social security insurances with no coverage in case of accident unless you pay even more in extra insurance.
Just like you, the artisan has to pay for electricity, health insurance, phone and internet access, online payment processing commission(s ) (think about your plectrum order. Anytime I sell a pick, 6% of the transaction goes directly to PayPal), marketing , workshop rental and related and other insurances, advertisements, photography, website fees and much, much more!
Thank you for choosing to support small business and buying handmade. This means the world to us, the artisans!
Next time you consider purchasing a handmade plectrum, remember that even though the piece may be an investment, you are supporting something even bigger. You should feel really good about your purchase knowing that you have an original piece of the artist in your plectrum collection. Please do not support plagiarism by ordering a cheap copy of my work because the person selling the item sells it cheaper. You may be able to find imitations and copies, but imitation doesn’t buy my personal skill and experience. Copies are not collectors’ items. Originals are!
All of my original work and designs are individually protected by copyright and an unfalsifiable proof of anteriority.