Anyone that has regularly visited the market can attest to how much we have grown in the last several years. That brings new concerns as new vendors want to enter the market.
The latest concern, for lack of a better term, will be referred to as provenance. Much like we do our best to guarantee our produce and food vendors are growing and/or making their goods, the same effort must be directed at our crafts.
With technology greatly enhancing our ability to easily reproduce what previously took some craftsmanship, it has become necessary for the market to introduce some guidelines for crafts that will secure the integrity and provenance of crafts being sold at the market.
The guidelines set forth should not affect any craft products currently sold at the market. The guidelines being adopted are addressing future scenarios and are mainly focused on securing provenance through originality.
But I Sold It Before
As it is, there is very little that has been prohibited with our crafts as long as some assembly required some form of creativity or skill or patience.
For example, a necklace where a crafter strings multiple purchased beads with a purchased pendant is allowed. This is also known as “the line.” A vendor simply stringing a purchased pendant onto a purchased necklace is not allowed.
While this may seem like an arbitrary line to draw, it is a line that must be drawn, and is a line that even our youngest vendors can meet.
This guideline attempts to address specific technology outlining what is and is not allowed. Much of what is below has always been true if never put to print.
Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother have made creating products with vinyl cut stickers (e.g., t-shirts, wood plaques) very popular and those products with applied stickers are allowed to be sold regardless of the originality of the vinyl cut design.
However, unapplied vinyl cut stickers that are often sold separately as car window stickers or laptop stickers are prohibited UNLESS it is an original design available only to the vendor.
The reason, aside from wanting originality, is to avoid the possibility of anyone coming to the market after purchasing hundreds of stickers of “Calvin peeing on Ford/Chevy” and just selling them. As mentioned earlier, provenance is the concern.
Embroidery machines, while very advanced, still require a non-trivial amount of work to create multiple items. Nothing embroidered by the vendor is currently prohibited. However, items such as patches which are sold separately should strive for originality.
As mentioned, provenance may become a concern as it would be very easy to just buy hundreds of patches. I do foresee a time when unoriginal patches will be prohibited.
Heat Press Printing, Vinyl Color Printing, DTG Printing, Infusible Ink & Sublimation
All products using heat press printing, vinyl color printing, direct-to-garment printing, infusible ink or sublimation must use original artwork, photos, or designs. Vendors are not prohibited from having someone else create original artwork or take photos for them to reproduce; however, the artwork must be only for the vendor to reproduce
The reason for this is due to the ease of reproduction of non-original artwork regardless of the source or copyright. The goal is to prevent multiple vendors all selling what is essentially the same products as well a guarantee that provenance is with the Vendor.
Exceptions to this require that the unoriginal artwork be only a portion of the created product. For example, a handmade tie-dye t-shirt with an unoriginal artwork directly printed to the garment. Another example is a t-shirt combining multiple unoriginal assets to create an original design.
However, once original designs under this exception that are too easily reproduced or become widely reproduced will be prohibited (e.g., T-Shirts with Calvin peeing on Tesla instead of Ford or Chevy).
All original artwork, photos, literature by a vendor is allowed reproduction in any medium and does NOT require the vendor to have done the labor. Note this creation must have been done by the vendor not commissioned by the vendor.
- An author does not need to have bound their books being sold.
- A photographer does not need to have framed their photo being sold.
- An artist does not need to have made the t-shirt featuring their artwork.
- An artist does not need to have cut the vinyl featuring their design.
Regardless, of what it looks like or transforms in to, no weapons may be sold at the market. This is for liability reasons.
In short, the goal is to ensure the integrity of our crafts by making certain the crafts are selling skill or creativity.
By requiring certain technologies only be used toward original designs, shoppers become more confident in the provenance of the craft.