Wednesday, August 4, 2010

handmade

I met someone recently who really liked handmade items but argued that they were too expensive to buy. I tried to explain to her that you may pay a little more but what you receive is a beautiful handcrafted object that has often involved many many hours being made by one person. It is an object that often lasts a lifetime, it's unique, it's special, and it holds within it some sort of feeling/energy that the artist has imbued into it whilst making each and every component lovingly by hand.

The making of a handmade piece of jewelry requires so much of me it's almost impossible to describe. From the vision in my head, to the actualisation of that image into a piece of jewellery requires mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy, it requires art, design, mathematics, physical strength, patience, endurance, creativity, etc. I enjoy every aspect of the process and I feel proud of the end result.

I thought I would share the process of making this particular piece of jewellery, how an idea/image in my head and some metal sheet and wire ...




... is transformed into a beautiful handmade wearable object.


Sketching my idea and deciding what size the bracelet should be, the thickness and texture of the metal, and how I'll manage to solder it all together. The mountains in this bracelet start as thinner pieces of metal representing distant mountains and slowly increase in thickness and then decrease again, it was quite a challenge working out the layers and thickness of the metal for the design.

Ordering the metal I need and then cutting out each disc, mountain and ocean by hand.



Filing all the discs, mountains, suns and ocean to form neat little pieces. Each disc had several pieces to be soldered to it in layers so I organised everything into separate bags so I could make sure I soldered the right sun, mountain and ocean to the right piece.


Soldering the mountains, sun and ocean to each disc.


I've drilled the holes to link the discs together and then filed, sanded and cleaned each piece.


Making jump rings and chain to join the bracelet together. Each jump ring is made from sterling wire and each is soldered one at a time.



Each disc is given a satin/brushed finish and is ready to be linked together with the jump rings.



All the discs are linked together with soldered jump rings and the chain is added. Here it is fresh out of the pickle and ready to be cleaned and oxidised.



Finally it's oxidised, cleaned and polished.

Here is the finished product!




And then I then write up the materials I've used, price it, photograph it, upload and prepare the photos for uploading onto the net and then write a glowing description for it and it's all done; the making of a handmade bracelet! And when it is sold it is lovingly wrapped and packaged and taken to the post office and released into the post system for it's journey off to a wonderful customer who appreciates handmade!

And this entire process, I believe, is worth paying a little more for no matter what it is you're buying :).

6 comments:

willow and moo said...

Absolutely!!!

Thanks for sharing your process. It's a good idea to show what goes into your beautiful work. I think so many people just don't understand the labour involved.

Heather Fawn said...

Beautifully put into words. I agree. I think alot of people really have no idea how much time, energy, love, and labor are put into handmade creations. I know that every piece of handmade jewelry I own are my favorite pieces of jewelry. Each piece is unique. And each different piece from a different artist has a complete different flow. The stones are usually cut from individual artists as well, so they are each one of a kind. Handmade pieces in SO many ways are so much better. As a metalsmith myself I know so much time is put into all of the work. I really feel when someone puts that much work and thought into a piece, when it is shipped off some of the creators spirit comes along with it. Each new piece has a different vibe! I am totaly convinced that handmade is better! From the jewelry I adorn my self with, the stones that I set into my jewelry, some of my daughters toys, accessories, clothing, and sundries...the list goes on....Handmade, 100%!!!! I love this post and what a beautiful bracelet with a beautiful crafting process behind it♥

sassyglassdesigns said...

You bet it's worth it - that is one gorgeous bracelet.

Cathy said...

I agree. I have a few of your pieces now and they are worth every cent. I love that you have put some of yourself into each piece. Your handmade jewellery means so much more to me than any I can get from a jewellery shop.

road-dog-tales said...

Wow! Just found you on Etsy and your work is totally inspiring! I couldn't agree with you more about the process of handmade. Thanks for sharing your work here.

Deanne

SCJ Jewelry Design said...

Your work is absolutely beautiful! Well said post about the process/love/time that goes into each piece you make. I wish more buyers understood this and could see the value of handmade. We must continue to educate buyers!