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Legal definition of hand made


#1

I just checked to archives for the discussion of which items we can
legally call Hand Made. It was very confusing and we didn’t come to
a consensus. I make the waxes for my jewelry and do the finishing,
but someone else does the actual casting. Sometimes I will make more
than one copy, up to maybe three or four, When I advertise, I want to
make it clear that these are not production items, but designed and
actually created by me. I consider the casting to be a technical
assist, like using the computer to design a piece of jewelry, or a
stone that has been cut by someone else. So --is there any new
about whether we can call our essentially hand-made
jewelry Hand made? or Any suggestions about viable alternatives. The
best I’ve seen so far is Hand Crafted–but that doesn’t make me
happy either. Any ideas? What terms do you use?

Sandra Buchholz
Elegant Insects Jewelry


#2

I am not sure what the Legal definition of hand made is, but I have
my own opinions on what my definition of hand made is, and it is the
manufacture of an item using your hands and hand held tools. I would
consider a CAD/CAM item as machine made. Cast items can be classed
as both. Sometimes a cast piece is added to a hand made item, such as
in silversmithing, but I would say an item modelled in wax and then
just polished or tumbled, should not be classed as being hand made,
perhaps it should be called hand finished. In my old fashioned terms
I would class hand made as something created from sheet and wire.
Just my opinion folks! Perhaps I am living in the past, but I do get
a lot of requests from beginers asking for my advice on how to make
things by hand with just bench tools as they cannot afford to buy any
machinery.

James miller FIPG


#3

If you were to give credit for every aspect of your creation, it
would probably look like a list of movie credits:

starting with where everything originated and was processed before
it got into your hands.

The literal meaning of the word ‘manufacture’, from the Latin, is
’hand made’. Time, culture and history have altered its meaning to
include mass production, which complicates things.

If your finished creation is your own design and you have fabricated
all the parts yourself, “hand-crafted original” or “one-of-a-kind” is
probably the best choice, unless somebody can turn up with a better
one. When it comes to casting…You made the design. You crafted
the wax. If you have only a few castings done,you might list them as
" original design: edition limited to 6…" or something of the
like. Interesting topic. What do other Orchidians think?.

D.


#4

check with the Federal Trade Commission regulations, there is a very
specific definition in them.


#5

I like the description ‘studio jewelry’

Judy
France


#6
I just checked to archives for the discussion of which items we
can legally call Hand Made. It was very confusing and we didn't come
to a consensus. 

The FTC controls the use of the terms handmade and hand-wrought.
Terms like handcrafted, hand-fabricated, and others are not
controlled. I haven’t read the FTC regs since the 80’s so I would
suggest reading them yourself. At one time in the 90’s GM tried to
say that Cadillacs were handmade in an ad. It lasted about 7 days.
Feelings, sense of, or ideas don’t matter in regulations, only
details do. If your unsure use handcrafted. The FTC isn’t looking for
craftspersons unless someone complains.

Dan Culver


#7

Sandra- I don’t think that there are any “Handmade Police” out there
looking to bust someone who farms out their casting. I also don’t
think that there are any lawyers out there willing to sue you on
contingency fees. Not enough money in it. Say, if you send your model
to Asia to have a mass produced design. Guess what? Hands do most of
the work.

So it’s still hand made. Just not by you.

Most folks purchase a piece of jewelry because they think it’s
pretty and they like it. I’ve yet to have someone ask me what
percentage of the finished product I did. I suck at pave and bead
setting and hand engraving. I get my poor overworked sweetie Tim to
do those for me. It makes for a better product. No guilt here.

So, try not to worry. Just make beautiful things, and sell the heck
out of them.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry
Jo haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#8
So --is there any new about whether we can call our
essentially hand-made jewelry Hand made? 

I remember that discussion.

It may be unfair in some cases, but if you cast, you cannot call it
hand made. The best way to understand this restriction is to actually
make something, fabricating each and every piece. The insight gained
would be invaluable.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#9

Here is the relevant section of the FTC guides.

23.3 Misuse of the Terms “hand-made,” “hand-polished,” etc.

(a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
implication, that any industry product is handmade 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 to paragraph (a): As used herein, “raw materials” include bulk
sheet, strip, wire, and similar items that have not been cut, shaped,
or formed into jewelry parts, semifinished parts, or blanks.

(b) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
implication, that any industry product is handforged, hand-engraved,
hand-finished, or hand-polished, or has been otherwise
hand-processed, unless the operation described 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.

It is my belief that cast goods do not qualify but, we have gone
round and round on this before and never resolved it. And as none of
us are lawyers with experience in this area who can quote case law I
doubt we can get a definitive answer this time either. So probably
best not to go there. Read the above and decide if your work
qualifies and mark it appropriately. OBTW use of terms like hand
crafted and others that imply a hand made item are also included in
the guide by the etc. in the first sentence.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#10

Full details here:


Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries


#11
I don't think that there are any "Handmade Police" out there
looking to bust someone who farms out their casting.... 
So it's still hand made. Just not by you. 

Well, no. If you’re selling jewelry in the U.S.A, you are bound by
law to follow the FTC guidelines regarding how jewelry can, or can
not, be labeled and sold. “Handmade” has a specific definition which
excludes cast work. It can be a bit ambiguous on some levels (such
as, is the use of a fordom flex shaft or other power driven hand
tool, including buffers, off limits? The answer is “sometimes”,
depending on the degree to which the maker retains complete "hand"
control. A buffing machine with a motor instead of bicycle driven
(don’t laugh. I saw one once. In Mexico. The jewelers kid was
pedalling the bike, which had been modified to run the buffing
wheels) is probably fine, but turning something on a lathe probably
is not)

Jo, you are not doubt correct that the jewelry world is not teeming
with “police” looking to enforce the rules. But the FTC does still
have those rules, and is still bound by law to enforce them
accordingly. Usually, enforcements are aimed at large violators, like
mass manufacturers selling 10K marked as 14K or worse, where there’s
real monetary damage to the buyers. But the law is still there, on
the books. If you mark it hand made for sale here in the U.S., it
has to still follow those somewhat outdated rules.

Peter Rowe


#12
It may be unfair in some cases, but if you cast, you cannot call
it hand made. The best way to understand this restriction is to
actually make something, fabricating each and every piece. The
insight gainedwould be invaluable. 

Unfortunately the ridiculous, stupid, totally taken out of context
law that this is, written by bureacrats that know nothing about
jewelry making or sculpture whatsoever, and that would be amazed to
even see how a file works, what it does to the material, how and why
it cuts, etc. and just melt with joy when they see a buff polish a
piece of metal or stand there in confusion if they were told to sand
a rough cast piece through grits to a fine piece, and all the
different tools that are used to do it, or how to solder pieces on to
other pieces to make different designs: Those people obviously have
no clue that 1 cast piece can be built on in a hundred different ways
to make a new design, different arrangement of parts etc, pieces can
be soldered on, and pieces can be cut out, then soldered on again so
that any cast piece can have an outcome of limitless designs, much
the same as taking pieces of tumbled down gemrough and cutting a
different finished piece from each.

So of course there is no addendum to this law to include these
methods. Also i used to work in a production place that soldered up
pieces that had 20 different castings together to make one piece,
using all the different solders, soft hard and med to do it, and all
the planning and engineering that goes with it. The funny thing about
all these people that decide for artists to make business run for
business sake, have no clue: they wear suits and ties as their main
gig, have desks, counters with papers, pens and computers, and
hallways and offices and cubicles, in fact even dentists who you
might think of as being closest to this trade, for the most part, are
in awe of the processes taken that go from models to waxes to casting
to finish, dave


#13

Hi All,

I researched this ‘hand made’ issue at some point when I was asked
by a friend whether the entire piece I presented could be considered
hand made.

The FTC, as mentioned, has the terms on their web site for a
gander…

I suggest everyone book mark this FTC page:

The above is a list of terms that the FTC considers jewelers to
misuse all of the time.

In particular, ‘hand made’ says:

/(a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
implication, that any industry 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 to paragraph (a): 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 unfair or deceptive 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 described 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./ 

Note that interestingly RAW MATERIALS includes wire and bulk sheet,
etc…

So, this would indicate that get your wire from Stuller, bulk sheet
from Rio Grande, and your bezeling from Otto Frei, adding in some
part from Metaliferous or such, and as long as you controlled how the
parts go together in shape, design and finish, then it can be called
hand made.

On the other hand, without the ‘Note’ section I would have expected
a rule that means you need to take raw silver from the rock, after
mining it ‘by hand’, doing the refining process by hand, and then
rolling, pulling the wire, etc.

The FTC rule appears to be reasonable.

HTH
Cheers!
Christopher


#14

I have used “designed and created by”-Original jewelry" etc- I
intensely dislike hand-wrought-- it sounds like you had to wring
something out of the metal–too painful!-. Hand made is so much
easier. But I guess it doesn’t pay to fuss too much about it. I am
not sure there are many people who really care anyway.

Sandra
Elegant Insects jewelry


#15
in fact even dentists who you might think of as being closest to
this trade, for the most part, are in awe of the processes taken
that go from models to waxes to casting to finish 

If this process is so awesome, why not advertise as such. It is
amazing how, regardless of all these wonders, people do not want to
admit that it is casting and want to represent it as hand made.

May be these bureaucrats in FTC do know something, after all. I do
not want to put Charles on the spot, but sometime ago I issued a
challenge, which he accepted - to produce eternity ring like it
depicted on my DVD, by any technological means: CAD/CAM, casting,
lasers, anything at all. It has been a few month and apparently he is
having some difficulties with it.

The challenge still stands. Use any technology, anything at all to
make the ring of equal weight, equal strength, and equal appearance.
Give it a try and the difference between primitive hand made versus
wondrous, awe inspiring, technically superior casting becomes
apparent.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#16

Hi Guys,

Just a question about this. Not meaning to stir up a hornet’s nest
(most probably will).

I know for some customers how it’s made is important, but isn’t it
really about the design, and if the customer likes it?

Isn’t it a matter of selling jewellery that the customer wants.

Is there anything wrong with selling a “18k white gold diamond
solitaire”, as opposed to selling a “hand made 18k white gold
diamond solitaire”?

Is this a marketing perceived value thing?

Just curious.
Regards Charles A.


#17

In thjis matter, following the regulations in your legal
jurisdiction is not the pointl. Ethical behavior is the point. If you
know the regulations and you choose to not follow them, what else in
your business do you also not follow the regulationns. If you do not
follow the regulations in one area, how can I trust what you say.
ETHICS is the point.

John


#18

Leonid

It may be unfair in some cases, but if you cast, you cannot call
it hand made. The best way to understand this restriction is to
actually make something, fabricating each and every piece. The
insight gained would be invaluable. 

While I agree you define an approach to making a piece is certainly
"hand made" you don’t admit the validity of alternative
possibilities. Some of my work is fabricated from sheet and wire
soldered together and even though I might include a stone that was
prepared by others I regard it as hand made. However a great deal of
my work is based on casting where my patterns are individually
fabricated by shaping, carving and welding wax sometimes
incorporating other natural materials. Sometimes the wax patterns
are produced by injection moulding into rubber moulds I have made
myself and at other times I use directly fabricated one-off patterns
to produce an essentially unique piece. Even where I use injection
moulded component I normally hand work the piece further such as
fabricating and attaching a bail or working a textured surface. And
yes — the pieces are hand finished.

Where a client is interested I inform them of the process used to
make a piece. It is their choice whether they see it as hand made.
Perhaps it’s just hand fabricated. I don’t really care but it’s my
work that expresses my creativity. It did not come out of a sausage
factory.

All the best
Jenny


#19
OBTW use of terms like hand crafted and others that imply a hand
made item are also included in the guide by the etc. in the first
sentence. 

I agree and stand corrected in my previous post. It’s good to read
it again.

Dan Culver


#20

Several adjectives with different meanings may be used to describe
your original jewelry design. Is it entirely handmade or are
pre-made components part of the jewelry item? Is that revelation
totally important in the first place or perhaps confusing instead?
We are assemblers of materials and tracing back the history of
materials goes right back to the hands of mother nature, a rather
silly path to take in giving credit. An assembler may produce work
of high art or bumbling rough formed horseshoes even the horse
cannot wear.

Consider digital art, for instance. The CAD of cad-cam fits her. A
digital rendering is made, whether totally original or using
libraries of pre-made digital components to greatly speed up the
work. Unless a duplicate of another design, what is made is
"original design". When the CAM comes into play, milled, cast and
finished the item is still “original design”. Components such as die
struck findings or available digital findings are made with the
specific purpose of being used in jewelry. The component maker knows
that and is not asking if a crown will replace a worn one or if the
crown will be part of an original design. The term handmade is not
totally relevant here but original design, one of a kind, etc., is
applicable in my opinion.

Maybe I should read the regulations for my country. Then again,
selling an original creation has yet to bring me contact with the
"handmade" police.

I suspect copyright infringement is of more enforcement concern than
how your work is described.

Tom.