Handmade jewelry is jewelry that has been put together and/or formed with the hands and without the use of machines. The Federal Trade Commission defines “handmade” as work that must be created solely by hand power or hand guidance. Handmade jewelry artisans may use tools such as drills, lathes or other machinery guided by the human hand and not produced in massive numbers in short periods of time.
Men and women alike have used handmade jewelry for personal adorement for centuries. Notice older photographs of people wearing garlands of flowers, bracelets of woven grass, bracelets, necklaces and earrings made from shells and stones. You will find many of these photographs in magazines such as the “National Geographic News,” which suggest people many, many moons ago sought for ways to adore themselves with handmade decorations.
Throughout time as with all other things in our life, jewelry styles and materials for making jewelry changes. Notice the differences in jewelry adornment from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age and then from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and on toward the Industrial Revolution. Styles change, transform, modernized and often return to a former style or combination of former styles. A few years ago from the time of this article writing of the year of 2014, “hoop earrings” were very much in style. It seems now it is more the “dangle earrings” as opposed to the basic hoop, yet the basic hoop styles are now adored with an array of colorful beads as well. Beads of all kinds is all the rage especially in handmade jewelry in the year of 2014.
Of course, machine made jewelry is still going on allowing manufacturers to produce same exact pieces of jewelry designs economically by the trillions if not more. Casting machines can very quickly process all the jewelry components of metals, plastics and resins into uniform molds. The process allow manufacturers to produce very complex jewelry designs in great speed, numbers, and exactness. Many people still prefer pieces of jewelry produced by use of mechanical punch presses and forges in manufacturing facilities ensuring each jewelry piece is consistently created over and over again. It is a highly profitable process.
Handmade jewelry can also be produced economically but not nearly by the same numbers and having each piece exactly the same, which actually in my opinion is more desirable than acquiring a piece of jewelry that millions of other people have on just exactly like yours. Handmade jewelry artisans may not earn nearly as high profits as the mass productions lines of jewelry manufacturing facilities simply due to the speed a manufacturer can produce these items, however, each handcrafted piece created with patience and care can demand sometimes very high prices. Quality may win out over quantity all according to the skills of the individual jewelry artisan.
Our modern marketplace is experiencing a “flooding” of jewelry artisans from all walks of life, social class and culture around the world. There is a growing interest in handmade jewelry as opposed to mass productions of jewelry. People are busy providing individual jewelry components to handmade jewelry artisans allowing for a much greater amount of individual creativity from each jewelry artisan. The final result is many, many beautiful somewhat alike but yet somewhat different and some even more unique than anything else pieces of jewelry.
A person with just the very basic jewelry making skills can choose each piece of jewelry to suit their personality, style and/or color of clothes all by choosing individual jewelry components rather than looking in the local jewelry shops. There is a certain amount of greater individuality when making one’s own jewelry, a special statement is being made by that person that would not occur with the same old borings style that everybody else might be wearing. It is an exciting time for the hobbyist who enjoys working with their hands and creating these tiny treasures. There seems to be a growing greater value being placed upon these limited edition jewelry designs handmade and often using ancient crafting processes. Jewelry hobbyist and enthusiasts are now sitting in their homes creating beautiful sets of jewelry consisting of matching bracelets, necklaces, earrings, key rings and so on, and using many of the stones created by people in the early 19th century and before who also sat in their homes to create these stones and other jewelry components. For example, the “Cherry Brand” Japan cabochons with all their flowery details were created by Japanese jewelry artisans at night in their individual homes as they worked during the day in the rice fields. There is definitely a renewed demand for handmade jewelry in the year I am now writing which is 2014.
With this new demand handmade jewelry artisans around the world are enjoying greater sales and recognition for their skills and talents. Major department jewelry stores and shops are recognizing the demand for handmade jewelry and are increasingly featuring displays of handmade jewelry as well as displays of jewelry components for the handmade jewelry artisan. The Chinese and Japanese cultures have always embraced art and designed extraordinary pieces of art….these as well as other international handmade jewelry artisans in remote areas are now enjoying direct sales opportunities via the internet. It is a very exciting time for handmade jewelry artisans worldwide to share with the world their own unique talents and skills.
Handmade jewelry then is…….
- crafted by hands most often in small quantities instead of mechanically made by the millions
- handmade jewelry artisans use old metal-smith skills, simple tools and a variety of techqniques to create their designs
- handmade jewelry is a reflection of individual uniqueness often giving clues to the artist’s culture, meanings in their life creating jewelry and personal history to passed on generation after generation of people
- handmade jewelry requires a considerable amount of mental concentration, time, skill, creativity and dedication which is reflected most in the final piece or collection of jewelry and making handmade jewelry stand apart from the mass-produced exactly the same jewelry pieces and collections
- handmade jewelry is typically not identical to other pieces of the same design and/or done by the same jewelry artisan lending even greater uniqueness and value to each piece
- handmade jewelry satisfies our emotions for pleasure of uniqueness with rare designs that are not identical, made by a true artist with great love and passion. Quality over quanitity should always be the goal of an inspiring handmade jewelry artisan, and that is exactly what handmade jewelry truly is!
Fifi is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Fancy Dangle Earrings Collection. She hangs about one inch from the hook. Her focal point is the Blue Diamond 12×9 mm Glass Crystal Rondele bead.
2 antique silver plated 21×12 mm French earring hooks
2 antique silver plated 2.75″ head pins
2 antique silver plated 2x6mm 4 leaf bead caps
2 antique silver plated 3x11mm multi-leaf bead caps
2 antique silver plated 4x10mm Curley 5-leaf bead caps
2 antique silver plated 9x6mm 6 point bead caps
2 antique silver plated 1.5x4mm Rondelle metal beads
2 antique silver plated 4mm ridged round metal beads
2 Blue Diamond 12x9mm Glass Crystal Rondelle beads
2 Mint Alabaster 8mm Swarovski Crystal Bicones
Meaning to name Fifi: Fifi is a French baby name meaning “May Jehovah add addition to the family and is a feminine form of Joseph.
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Purchase Fifi here: Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry