Although I cannot call myself a jeweler, only a dabbler, I have to
echo Marks sentiments. I think there is already a huge movement
towards a rebirth of Arts & Crafts, and the number of dollars spent
in that market prove it. There is a resurgence of interest in
quilting, hand bookbinding, jewelry making, handmade papers,
beadwork, and many many other crafts. Unlike some, I don’t find the
word “craft” or “crafter” to be a perjorative. I think of it in
terms of it’s meaning as a verb - “to craft” something.
As Mark pointed out, educating people to perceive the difference
between quality, and garbage is the key. This should begin with
teaching our children what to look for, in all kinds of objects,
that imbues them with “quality.” I am no expert on this subject,
but was raised to critically examine things to decide whether they
were junk or not. Examples (no matter what the art/craft is):
Is it handcrafted?
Is it handcrafted and a one-off design?
Is it well-crafted (able to last for hundreds of years as well as
Is it made with inherently “high quality” materials - materials
that will stand the test of time (ebony, ivory, precious
metals, silks, 100% rag paper, leather, etc)
Does it excel in both function and form?
Are there many many many others just like it in the world, or is
it one of only a few?
Could almost anyone reproduce it, or did it take skill, knowledge
and experience and an artist’s eye to produce?
These are just some of the criteria that come to mind, and I am sure
there are many more. What I hope is that my son will be able to
tell the difference “instinctively” someday. I believe he is on the
right track, since we often argue over who gets to keep cool found