What does this mean - the soul in art? With each piece of jewelry I make, or each piece of pottery my fellow potter friend makes, comes a little piece of our collective souls. You are getting a culmination of our life experience in one little pendant or coffee mug. We put everything into what we do as artists.
When you buy a $2 ring or a $5 coffee mug at the big box store, you are getting a soul-less item - one often made by someone working in a factory under deplorable and inhumane conditions. When an artist makes art, there is a measure of love and pride that goes into his or her work. There is a level of quality that is unsurpassed by most factory made products.
As an artist myself, I want my jewelry to last for years to come. I feel horrible when I get a call or email from one of my customers telling me that something I made for them has fallen apart. It doesn't happen very often, but I am there for my customer. When your big box store coffee mug chips or the handle falls off, do you think they care? Are they going to fix it for you? Probably not. Unfortunately, those products are not made to last for years. They probably aren't made to last past the 30 day return policy.
When you purchase art, you usually know who made it. Purchasers have more of a personal connection to the maker of an art object than a factory made item. Frankly, artists are accessible, unlike factory workers. They are in your local galleries, farmers' markets and on your local studio tours. Artists want to be known and loved for their work.
Each art piece has a story - one that is as unique as the person who created it. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for the mass produced items in our big box stores. So, you can purchase items that will not only have a lasting impression on you, but last for years. Or, you can buy "things" that will quickly fall apart or fall out of favor with you and end up on the curb or at your local Goodwill store.