This is a great thread, and I want to sit back and read through it all when I have the time later today.
My MIL (mother-in-law) is a quilter. She is a fantastic quilter, I would say she is among the very best. A true artist. When asked why she doesn't sell her quilts, she simply says "I wont give them to just anyone! I only give them to those who will truly appreciate the heart and soul that I put into it. People who will care for them and appreciate them. People just wont pay what they are truly worth, they don't understand, and I'm not selling them for less than their worth. So I will continue to make them with love, and give them with love." I've always told my children that when they sleep with Nana's quilt over them, or sit on the couch with it, it's like Nana is right there hugging them
Handmade pottery is an interesting thing in my life. Ever since I was a little girl it got into my soul, and I didn't know any potters and never tried it myself until later in life! I was just a girl, and I'd walk through potter's booths and my heart would tighten. Like I belonged there. I wanted to fill my home with pottery. I imagined the hands and hearts that made it all, yes, even when I was very young. I had a confidence issue, though, and didn't think "I" would ever be able to do that. I also didn't know how to go about doing it. Even in college I had no idea that people could take classes there, much less major in ceramics! I guess I just didn't live in or hang around an artist community. It wasn't until I was 35yrs old, had been married for 15yrs and had 2 kids ages 9 and 13 that my brain let down it's defenses and I made a comment to my parents about always wanting to learn how to make pottery. A few months later, it was my Christmas gift from them! So I had no choice but to get over my fear and self doubt and take the class. Here I am 3 years later and I haven't missed a class since, lol. No kidding. It's in my blood, my heart and my soul. Imagine if I had to explain this to everyone ;o) I still consider myself a "baby potter" with only 3 years of experience, and I so look forward to (God willing) 30-40 years down the line and seeing what I'm making by then. Like everyone else has said, you just can't put a price on any of this.
I wish I could tell them the feelings I had when I was 14yrs old and visiting an old pottery in England. Good friends of ours owned a zoo there, and we were visiting their zoo. They had many wonderful crafts people who worked and sold within their zoo. You can imagine this quaint little zoo, and quaint shops in ENGLAND!!!! The feelings inside of me right now are welling up just thinking about it. If I could have stayed in that pottery the entire 3 week trip, I would have been the happiest 14yr old girl ever. Um...how many 14yr old girls would ever say that? ;o) I feel it to myfinger tips. So hard to explain.