A gift of craft is not always the way to show gratitude.
I’ve been a woodcarver most of my life and made at least part of my living doing that for years. I’ve fashioned many a gift for clients.
Here’s the thing: a handcrafted gift is not for everyone. Not everyone appreciates or sees the value of it.
Having worked boat shows and craft show venues, I’ve seen eyes light up with the thought of offering a beautiful bowl or spoon to a spouse and see the spouse try to politely tell the partner that it’s not quite their thing and they’d prefer this or that more modern object. It’s taste and education. It’s not for everyone.
Why? Because we live in a world where the mass-produced predominates. We can have dozens of rings and multitudes of bowls, and it’s all good enough, if not spectacular. Day to day, we all use ready-made for convenience and low cost. Mass production puts decent goods into the hands of millions that they otherwise could not afford. However, unique craftwork is more of a stand-alone treasure. Each has its place in our lives if that is your preference.
Education also enters into this. If you are never introduced to craft or learn to appreciate it, You are not likely to want it. It’s not such a fantastic show of gratitude to offer a gift that is so unwelcome.
The points I’ve raised above are why I’m cautious about expressing gratitude with gifts I’ve carved.
As a craftsperson, I believe I should be generous with my work, and I get as much from giving an appreciated gift as the recipient. So I usually consider what I know about the person before offering a handcrafted item and try to mate the gift with the recipient, whether it’s a small boat portrait, a spoon, a bowl, a small sign, or other work.