Last weekend, I was a vendor at the No Coast Craft-o-Rama, a rockingly huge event at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. I should have plugged it here, but I was too busy sewing to remember to do so. My bad.
Anyhoo, on day two a family of women came to my booth, fawning muchly over my bags. It's great when anyone does so, but something about a whole group makes it kinda cool. One of them really liked one of my across the shoulder pieces, but was debating. After many waves of back and forth, she mentioned the strap was too long. Her mother replied, "Well, I can fix that," and the sale was made.
I was happy for the sale, and the ladies were all very nice and complimentary, but that comment kept gnawing at me. How is she going to fix it? How much deconstruction of that bag will take place to get it just right? I've been torn as to how to feel. On one hand, the sale is complete and it's theirs to do whatever they want with it. If I went to Goodwill and found something that was almost-but-not-completely ideal, I would have little qualms as to making changes to suit my needs.
On the other hand, if I were a shopper at a fair like No Coast, I would not mess with someone else's work. I wouldn't add my own paint to a completed canvas because I think the piece could use a bit more blue. I consider what they make to be artwork, why wouldn't I consider my own to be as well? Is it because my pieces are functional they lose that status and are by default open for manipulation?
As long as it doesn't mess with the structural or design integrity of the piece, I don't mind making adjustments as needed. But the second someone else takes a seam ripper to my work, it ceases to be my work. While there is nothing I can do about that, it still bums me out a bit,