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Hand Made?


G’day. Some while ago I was asked for an inexpensive sterling
necklace featuring dolphins. I got a bit of 1 inch by 1/8" square
flat steel and drew a dolphin shape on it, then cut this out using a
8/0 saw blade (yes, I broke 3 blades) I bent a piece of flat strip,
1" wide steel into a ‘U’ shape and fixed the hardened male and
female parts of my die precisely on opposite ends of the U, then
holding a piece of 0.5 mm thick sterling sheet between the two parts
of the die, squeezed them smartly together using a bench vice. I
repeated this to make about a dozen little dolphins. I drilled
small holes in the head and tail and connected the dolphin shapes
together with recycled sterling jump rings soldered closed and the
wire was drawn by home made draw machine. I fastened the two ends
of the necklace together with magnetic clasps, bought. Is this
assemblage to be labelled ‘hand made’, despite my stamping out the
dolphin shapes? And buying clasps? (I produced more than one of
these) Now suppose I used the male part of the die to cast waxes, and
cast the waxes in silver. What then?

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


John, Using a purchased clasp for your dophin necklace was the
sensible thing to do. The goal was inexpensive, right? Using the
techniques that get you to your design goals most efficiently is
important. Labor intense projects with hand-made findings are
wonderfull only if the goals support the choice, i.e. you have the
market for them or you are doing them for personal
satisfaction.“Hand-made” does not mean “made without tools and
machines.” We can all draw wire, but you have to decide when it
makes sense to do so. If the goal is to earn a living from this work,
we have figure out how much labor our designs involve and whether
they will be saleable. If the goal is only personal fullfillment,
it’s a different choice. Hope this helps. Jan