Sorry, I was not able to follow the handmade discussion, so I
might repeat something that somebody already said. But here is an
example that is really bothering me. At any of the handcrafted
wholesale shows, there are more and more “designer” jewelers, who
"make" their jewelry. The reality is that they choose the stones
(I am sure there are a handful of choices) and the jewelry is
made in Bali. Almost all have the same motives, so if you know
Bali jewelry you know what I am talking about. I talked to
several of these people, and they very indignantly refuse that
their jewelry might not be handmade. After all they designed it
(whatever that means) and it was manuhactured in their studios
(in Bali with Bali workers).
Actually it probably was handmade or hand fabricated- just not
by the “designer”. There are quite a few designers who just draw
up designs- some do have bench experience, some hire modelmakers
or wax carvers to produce master models, some have pieces made by
bench jewelers (my friend Paula Crevoshay does not sell cast
pieces). Some people are better at conceptualization than acually
making things. My old roommate Jill designs for a Providence
costume jewelry house- she is also capable of making models (she
likes sculpy clay). Designers get well paid if their designs sell
well. Jill came to me when she wanted her diamond reset, but had
her own rendering of the piece that she wanted. It came out well,
we were both happy.
The problem is if they mis-represent their work. A local shop
owner spends his winters in Bali and brings back local jewelry.
It is light weight, cheap, and though not something that would
leave my shop, is decent low end jewelry.
Richard D. Hamilton
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography