We have chosen to specialize in American
Art for several reasons. The number one reason is that America is where we
live, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We believe in our country and
we are very proud of the progress we have made as a relatively new nation
and in the contributions we have made to the world. America is an idea. It
was conceived of by our founders who risked everything they had to give
birth to their vision. The concepts they fought for changed the world. They
gave us the freedom to imagine and fostered the courage to take risk in the
marketplace of ideas. Unlike in most countries in the world we are free to
turn our creative ideas into useful products, services or works of art.
The artisans we deal with have become our
friends, some are our neighbors, all are our countrymen. We have found that
our business relationships took on more meaning when we knew the people who
made our products. Our artists in many cases are the people we grew into
adults with. We have seen them raise their kids, buy their houses and
develop their craft. This brings a depth to our lives that most other
retailers may not have the opportunity to enjoy.
Another reason we carry American work is that we have found it to be,
without question, the best quality craftwork we have been able to find
anywhere. This has made our choices so much easier over the years because we
were able to eliminate the myriad of decisions other galleries and gift
stores have had to make when they choose from the immense amount of
merchandise flooding our shores from other countries. It has kept our
product mix strong and true. It has allowed us to focus on one niche market
that we feel makes the best products in the world.
You can find less expensive versions of our products but you cannot find
better products on the market or for that matter better value. When you
factor in the environmental and safety regulations that our American
craftsman employ in their craft you begin to understand why their products
can be a little bit higher in cost than imported knock offs.
They are still a bargain when you consider the superior materials and
design. News reports are filled with stories of unsafe and inferior
products coming to our shores from overseas. Paying a little bit more for a
better product that uses safe, clean manufacturing methods only makes sense.
This may run counter to much of the press about American products but I can
only tell you about what I have learned from experience. American design and
craftsmanship is better, a lot better. American craftsmen actually place
more resources and time into their products than do mass marketers. They are
not throw away knock off products. You have not saved anything by purchasing
a product that is not well made or does not endure. There are many ways to
support your country, especially in these troubling times. I cannot think of
a better way than to support the American spirit of creativity than by
purchasing the products of American Craftsmen.
What is Art?
It is a question that has been asked for
thousands of years. I have been in the American Craft movement since 1970 and I
have been asked that question many times by clients and by artisans. Is a
beautifully crafted rocking chair art?
I like to shift the answer to the realm of creativity and the mystery that
surrounds it. It appears to me to be an innate drive of the human spirit. You
can also see it at work in the wonderful creativity of our natural world. I mean
could you really make up some of the strange creatures you see in the world in
your imagination if you tried? I think in humans it is a natural expression of
this same force that creates this exotic world and for that matter us.
The creation of a painting or the creation of a beautifully sculpted chair
are both art forms. Skill and a keen imagination are involved in the translation
from physical raw materials into art. "No-thing" is elevated to "Some-thing". It
is like poetry, only of the physical.
The important thing is that you see spirit infused into the tangible. It will
make your life richer when you appreciate this talent both in yourself and in
others. At Moonstones Gallery we attempt to bring you examples of this spirit
instilled into art forms so you can have and enjoy them in your home and work
environment. If you love it, if that love endures, then it must be art. Art is
the marriage of craft and imagination.