A handcrafted copper hook of the style I use on most of my work. For more information, or to buy a set of 12 of these hooks, CLICK here.
Last time I wandered into a gallery craft store, it was a good one. They featured many fine things, original and well made. But their whole front window had a problem. At least, for me it was a problem.
See, someone with real skill and design abilities had created a series of stained glass suncatchers, and these were all suspended by the window. The suncatchers were elegant and clearly the artist had invested a lot into each one. Well done! Ah, but a snag. Each was suspended by a length of horrible, cheap chain, available at any hardware store for a dime a foot. The chain was soldered right onto the suncatchers, not easy to change. For me, that's like taking a fine painting and slapping it into a cardboard frame! I suppose the artist was just so focused on the actual glasswork that no thought was given to the rest. But the 'rest' is important. You don't want a cardboard frame on a fine painting, and why should anyone pay top price for something with an ugly generic chain?
Design is one thing, and skill (putting things together) another, and then display is something else altogether. Things can be okay with one or the other, but for a really happy experience all three are needed. The painting may be stunning, but that crummy frame detracts. The suncatcher is lovingly made, but that junky chain is... junky.
Oddly enough, crafts people / artists who clearly sweat over every tiny detail of their work often seem to fall short on the details. A beautiful pottery vase, for example, on a less than well finished wood base. It's like they run out of steam at the end, or just stopped seeing.