Handcrafted. When I decided to write a blog post about “handcrafted”, I had a vague notion of what I wanted to say. Something along the lines of….original, creative, not mass-produced. Unique, one-of-a-kind, different. Artisan, thoughtful, thought-provoking. The ability to be part of the creative process in a custom piece. All the descriptors I think of when I reflect on my work.
A little research doesn’t hurt however. But holy cow, there are a zillion articles, blog posts, forum debates regarding handcrafted. There are especially vehement debates on handcrafted vs handmade. As well as the “depths” of handcrafted. Is it handcrafted if you make a jewelry piece, cutting your own metal, shaping it, soldering, finishing, but you used a piece of sterling silver purchased from a supplier rather than melting your own silver, milling it, etc? Or does that take it out of the handcrafted category and into the “hand-finished”? Are there “levels” of handcrafted, depending on the level of creativity/work involved? Original design…..designing/ drawing/ weighing the visual vs. the comfortable/ cutting/ forming/ filing/ shaping/ soldering/ cleaning/ texturing/ polishing vs other handcrafted jewelry which may not be quite so deeply labor-intensive, or may rely entirely on purchased components.
It’s confusing. And largely a matter of interpretation. I do like this article very much…. http://www.articlecity.com/articles/marketing/article_4789.shtml. This is a site I’d never seen before, article city.com, with articles for reprint. I’ll just share the link as opposed to reposting here.
As for me, hand-crafted means unique, different, one-of-a-kind. It also means artistic, unusual, something that imparts a deeper meaning. I’ve always loved art shows and craft fairs; as a fun event to visit, as a source for wonderful gifts and different items for my own home. I hope that the artisan, hand-crafted community grows to be bigger, stronger and better as time goes on and that people will continue to enjoy our quality products and the special, more meaningful message that a one-of-a-kind handcrafted item imparts.
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