To Everyone who reamed me on my definition of hand made jewelry,
and everyone else who contributed to the topic of handmade
I appreciate hearing all the feedback on this subject. It is a
touchy one at best, and everyone has opinions on what is and
isn’t hand made. I personally hold that if you make a piece of
jewelry by hand (and by hand I mean the metal construction of the
item) using your assorted tools (such as pliers, rolling mills
and draw plates, torch, polishing machine, snips, saw, and
whatever), that you have the right, under the FTC guidelines for
the jewelry industry, to call it hand made, hand wrought, or hand
fabricated (to me these terms are synomonous) and to stamp it
such. I have been a goldsmith for 17 years and this is how I
produce my work. I do art shows and I agree that there are alot
of “designers” out there that “design the piece” and have it
"handmade" (by the thousands) in Bali, or Tiajuana, or Thailand.
I personally consider that production work. I do casting of ring
parts in my work as well. But, I don’t consider that handmade,
even if I assemble all the parts, and won’t stamp my rings as
handmade. This might offend some, but it is the way I feel about
handmade. And yes, I do sometimes spend hours carving a wax for
casting. And yes, I do sometimes spend hours designing a pendant
or earrings. But it is just part of a continuing process.
Handmade refers to the metal construction of the jewelry item,
Thank you for all the feedback. That, afterall, is what Orchid
is all about. Here’s the governments version of our topic.
FTC Guidelines for the Jewelry Industry, Feb. 27, 1979, final
revision April 8, 1997.
Section 23.4 Misuse of terms HAND-MADE, HAND-POLISHED, etc.
" (a) It is an unfair trade practice to represent, directly or
by implication, that any product is hand-made or hand-wrought
unless the entire shaping and forming of such product from raw
materials and its finishing and decoration were accomplished by
hand labor and manually controlled methods which permit the maker
to control and vary the construction, shape, design and finish of
each part of each individual product.
NOTE: As used herein, “raw materials” include bulk sheet, strip,
wire, and similar items that have not been cut, shaped, or
formed into jewelry parts, semi-finished parts, or blanks.
(b) It is an unfair trade practice to represent, directly, or by
implication, that any industry product is hand-forged,
hand-engraved, hand-finished, or hand-polished, or has been
otherwise hand-processed, unless the operation descrived was
accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which
permit the maker to control and vary the type, amount, and effect
of such operation on each part of each individual product. "