Handmade in the USA
Artisans infuse personal attention and love into their work and it is evident in the pieces that they create. What does it mean when a piece of jewelry is “handmade”?
No Mass Production Machinery Involved
By definition, handmade jewelry is literally just that, made by the “hands” of the artisan or maker. The pieces are soldered, sawed, carved and shaped without the use of mass produced manufacturing machinery. A machine can crank out hundreds of units per hour while an individual can only make a finite quantity or fraction of the number of pieces in the same amount of time.
The Maker’s Process
The maker has a very intimate relationship with each piece or design they create. The design process is key to the value that is inherent in each piece. Emilie Shapiro talks about her process and says, “While creating jewelry, there is a very intimate relationship with my work. I know every curve and line (is) put there with intention. As a maker your energy goes into the piece.” Every handmade jewelry piece is unique in its own way, even if it’s part of a line of that designer’s jewelry.
In almost every case, the value of the materials involved in a handmade piece are of stellar quality. It’s difficult to regulate or even know exactly what alloys are used in mass produced factories where dirty metals are blended together to create costume pieces. Handmade materials are generally sourced from highly reputable suppliers. We use pure metals such as copper and brass in our handmade artisan jewelry. Most of the time the piece starts by a cut shape from a large piece of pure sheet metal! Using pure materials in handmade jewelry doesn’t cause any surprises to the wearer, or strange changes in the materials when used on a daily basis.
Smaller scale production is almost always higher quality because the ability to track and control the process from start to finish is inherent in the making process. Makers and artisans are extremely proud of the work they produce. They aren’t going to let something of inferior quality leave their studio with their name on it. Artisan handmade jewelry is special for so many reasons, as well as being made here in the USA.
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