Shopping for a creative present for that somebody special, or even yourself? Have you thought of handcrafted jewelry? There are many well-designed pieces of jewelry by hand crafted craftsmen. Consideration must be given to a a handful of things prior to you going out to your favorite arts festival or art gallery. First of all, you should certainly think about what their tastes are like when it comes down to style and jewelry. Another point you might want to explore is whether or not the recipient wears more silver or gold? Get signals as to preferences from an existing jewelry collection. This will guarantee that your present will be well received, because it will fit perfectly amongst their current jewelry collection. For instance, if they like gold, but only have a few gold earrings, then buying a pair will be a smart solution.
The most basic definition of handmade jewelry is that it is crafted by hand as opposed to mechanically made by a machine. To most purest, this definition goes further to mean that the total process is done by hand. Many consumers and artisans get this definition wrong. Attaching machine made components to one another by hand does not make the piece handmade. Jewelry designers that pride themselves in making handmade jewelry use old metalsmithing skills such as fabrication and simple tools and an extensive repertoire of techniques to create shapes and forms. One of the key indicators that a piece of jewelry is truly handmade is through observation of dissimilarity. Does the piece have uniform or varied hammer marks? Even if information is not provided along with a piece of jewelry, usually one can sense cultural individuality behind many handmade pieces. Handmade jewelry techniques require considerable concentration, time, skill, creativity, and dedication. This is often clearly recognizable in the finished piece, making fine handmade jewelry stand out from mass-manufactured, uniform items.
Mass-produced or machine-made jewelry typically looks more rigid and uniform. Although there are some imperfections to handmade jewelry, this does not mean that handmade jewelry is inferior to manufactured. High quality handmade jewelry will last a lifetime. Perhaps surprisingly, machine-made jewelry often breaks more easily than well-made handmade jewelry. Much of the mass-produced jewelry sold today as “handmade” may indeed be handmade, for example in department stores, but that does not necessarily mean it is of the highest quality. More often than not, most mass-production jewelry facilities operate on a quota system that incentivises speed, resulting in short-cuts and lower quality jewelry. You are better off looking for jewelry that is not mass produced, or available in large quantities. Quality jewelry that is handmade will not only have the artisan’s mark, but also have the reputation and guarantee attached to the finished piece. The careful observer will always be able to appreciate the uniqueness and quality of a handmade piece of jewelry. With handmade artisan jewelry, quality and uniqueness are typically are apparent to even the most casual observer.
Handmade jewelry affords the pleasure of unique, often rare designs, which are not-identical, typically made by a true artist, with great love and passion. Jewelry is an art form. This strength of feeling comes across in the design process, and in the finished jewelry itself. Mass-produced jewelry is just “soulless.” Hand-made jewelry also better mirrors the wearer’s personalized touch and style, revealing individuality and interest. Wearing mass-produced jewelry lends oneself to seem mass-produced and off the rack. Despite the fact that in most cases manufactured jewelry is more cost-effective to make, this doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s less expensive to buy. Simply put, mass-produced is just that…cookie cutter soulless jewelry with no special meaning, no story to tell, no life. Wearing handmade jewelry is definitely a conversation starter. It’s a pleasure to tell admirers a story of the gallery or artist you bought the piece from, how it was made, or why you bought it. Most importantly, to be able to wear jewelry that was created with lovingly care is simply a joy.
Across the ages, jewelry design has evolved in step with breakthroughs in materials and techniques of manufacturing. From the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution (and seemingly back again!), styles have transformed, modernized, and then often returned to their most basic forms and essential elements. Even before the age of reason, men and women both adorned themselves with handmade jewelry. Early man employed flowers, hand woven grasses, shells, and stones as accessories to embellish and beautify the human body.
Today, jewelry is primarily machine made, enabling manufacturers to create uniform jewelry designs much more economically than traditional hand crafting and hand-casting techniques allow. Modern production methods such as CAD/CAM design and 3D printing give jewelry manufacturers the flexibility to convert ideas into molds that are then used in high-volume casting machines, permitting complex and complicated jewelry designs to be created with speed and uniformity. Mechanical punch presses and forges, likewise, are also commonly utilized in the jewelry manufacturing industry today, to help ensure the manufacturing of a standardized, highly profitable product.
In the past decade, however, the modern marketplace has experienced a resurgence of interest in handmade jewelry, and a greater value is again being placed on unique and limited edition jewelry designs, made by hand with ancient crafting processes. Many jewelry designers are seeing increased interest by consumers for their unique skills and talents. Many specialty galleries — and even major department stores — now feature an increasing array of handmade jewelry. The internet has also made handmade jewelry very accessible to a world wide following. Many handmade jewelry artisans can enjoy the benefits of selling directly to a world-wide clientele.
Make sure you always choose quality vs.. quantity when buying jewelry that is handmade, especially if this purchase is a gift for someone special. If you are comparison shopping, don’t get suckered in to thinking a larger piece is a better value if the quality isn’t equal to smaller sized jewelry that is better made. Always go for quality! Remember that a good piece of handmade jewelry by a jewelry designer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s expensive. Remember that in the end, like many things in life, quality usually wins out, and this is especially true with handmade jewelry.