"Made by Hand"

hand·i·craft  \ˈhan-di-ˌkraft, -dē-\

manual skill
an occupation requiring skill with the hands
articles fashioned by hand

When I say handmade, I mean it.

All of my work starts with a sheet, bar, or wire of silver. I only use my hands and simple tools to create my final products. I don't use machinery or assemble items. I don't pour liquid silver into a mold or "cast" my jewelry. When you do these things, these shortcuts, it creates a huge distance between the artist and the art. You know your craft more intimately when everything is done by hand.

(Note: I am not referring to applying a finish to pieces. Using a motorized buffing wheel or electric rotary tool to polish jewelry is perfectly acceptable.)

I value craftsmanship

I admire the skill and experience required to take basic materials and turn them into one-of-a-kind works of art. The concept of creation by hand is precious to me. I hope all admirers of jewelry recognize the difference. It is frustrating seeing the various perversions of "handmade" and often insulting to people who dedicate the time and effort required to create beautiful work.

This post illustrates my point.

Etsy began as The online market place for all things handmade. In the beginning the majority of items on the site is were genuinely handmade or vintage. Unfortunately, I've seen a gradual change. Now, successful shops mislead customers with terms like unique, handmade, vintage, rare, antique, and even retro. These items tend to be factory made, assembled, and occasionally unaltered "resells".

I'll try and show you the best and worst of "handmade" :

And now the proper method from Stuart Nye who specializes in hand-wrought jewelry:

I'll end with a quote I derived from the same website:

The beauty of jewelry does not come from the tools or material used. It comes from a man who takes the time to master the skills required, has pride in his work and reputation, and dedicates himself to a heritage of craftsmanship.

Handmade is just a word until you see it done.

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