It’s hard to make it in this world. Literally. Artists and artisans have an especially difficult time juggling the production of their craft, let alone the delicate art of being compensated fairly. Many work multiple jobs to afford supplies, a studio—let alone life’s necessities for self and family. And this compensation can only take place after one’s work has been “found.” Ironically, it is precisely in this world dominated by the image (and its fetishization in our new pubic mediums) that artists and makers have difficulty finding way of being “seen,”—especially those who can’t afford a publicist or know someone connected to media outlets that can promote their work.
It is for this reason that Regina Connell captured our eye with her wonderful project, A Handful of Salt. Besides being courageous enough to offer a very public critique of Etsy, Connell has a respect for artisans that rooted in a deep understanding of how beauty, passion and a sincere respect for the cultural value of art and design can transform lives. Connell is committed to offering a public space that respectfully allows people who have spent years perfecting their craft to show the world what’s possible when one pursues their dream.
We are thrilled that Connell took the time to answer our questions about cultural capital, craft and the moving ahead in a world of “choice.” And agree or disagree, in a world where it’s easy to try and shirk from tough issues, we think it’s refreshing to meet a woman who’s not afraid to consider tough questions. Cue standing ovation.
Regina, one of the admirable things about your work is that it’s expansive. What do you think connects all of your projects and passions?
I have three sites that are all related but which have slightly different orientations (which is why I keep them separate!) and yes we do cover the gamut from traditional craft to food to fashion. The common theme is....