Shopping for an exceptional gift idea for that somebody special, or even yourself? Have you thought about hand-crafted jewelry? There are thousands of well-designed items of jewelry by handcrafted artisans of Seattle. Right before going to your neighborhood gallery or fine arts festival, take the time to think about a a handful of things. First off, you should always think about what their tastes are like when it comes to fashion and jewelry. Shopping for an addition to their collection can be a great decision, so check through the jewelry that they presently have and look for something which they could be missing, or any metals and gemstones which they would like. An example could be if the recipient has quite a lot of silver earrings, you’ll probably decide to try buying them a silver necklace or silver cocktail ring to add a little spice to their jewelry collection. You will surely find some wonderfully designed handmade silver rings by Seattle jewelry designers.
Don’t Choose Quantity over Quality When Buying Handmade Jewelry
Always choose quality over quantity every time when shopping for handmade jewelry. If prices are equal between two pieces, always look at the quality first. A larger, poorer made piece is definitely not worth buying just because it looks larger, and thus might be a better value than a smaller well-made piece. Speaking of price, those on a budget simply need to remember that good handmade jewelry is not always expensive. It is the quality and look that truly counts, not the amount paid.
Handmade Jewelry Over the Millennia
Throughout history, jewelry has changed in conjunction with advances in materials. From the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution (and seemingly back again!), styles have transformed, modernized, and then often returned to their most basic forms and essential elements. Even before the age of reason, men and women both adorned themselves with handmade jewelry. Early man employed flowers, hand woven grasses, shells, and stones as adornments to accentuate and beautify the body. We may have been wearing jewelry as far back as 75,000 years ago — 30,000 years earlier than previously believed — according to a recently available report by National Geographic News.
Today, jewelry is primarily machine made, allowing manufacturers to create uniform jewelry designs much more economically than traditional hand crafting and hand-casting techniques allow. CAD/CAM design and high-volume casting machines allow many Seattle jewelry manufacturers to efficiently turn designs into uniform molds and onto finished jewelry with speed and uniformity. Mechanized punch presses and forges are also employed by many Seattle jewelry manufacturers to simulate a handmade effect. Hand-hammered texturing is one of the more “handmade” looks created by this method, making the production consistent and highly profitable to the manufacturer.
Over the last decade, handmade jewelry has become quite sought after. The jewelry industry has seen a resurgence of demand for handmade jewelry due to a great perceived value of being unique and one-of-a-kind. Given this renewed interest in handmade, many Seattle jewelry designers are seeing greater demand for their talents and designs for unique handmade jewelry. it is not uncommon these days to see your favorite major department store or art gallery devote retail space to designer handmade jewelry. The internet has also made handmade jewelry very accessible to a world wide following. Many handmade jewelry artisans can enjoy the benefits of selling directly to a world-wide clientele.
The most basic definition of handmade jewelry is that it is crafted by hand as opposed to mechanically made by a machine. In its purest form, hand-assembled does not mean handmade. The consumer should remember that handmade and hand-assembled are unrelated and can be used deceptively by many jewelry designers and manufacturers to label jewelry as handmade, which in fact is hand-assembled. Attaching machine made components to one another by hand does not make the piece handmade. Jewelry designers that pride themselves in making handmade jewelry use old metalsmithing skills such as fabrication and simple tools and an extensive repertoire of techniques to create shapes and forms. One of the key indicators that a piece of jewelry is truly handmade is through observation of dissimilarity. Does the piece have uniform or varied hammer marks? You can also usually sense the cultural individuality, meaning, and even history behind many such designs, even if such information is not provided along with the jewelry. Making marketable and sought after handmade jewelry requires a considerable amount of dedication, skill, and creativity not often found in most mass-produced jewelry. This is clearly evident in a finished piece of handmade jewelry, making artisan designed jewelry a clear stand-out from most cookie cutter mass produced jewelry.
Mass-produced or machine-made jewelry typically looks more rigid and uniform. Although there are some imperfections to handmade jewelry, this does not mean that handmade jewelry is inferior to manufactured. High quality handmade jewelry will last a lifetime. Perhaps surprisingly, machine-made jewelry often breaks more easily than well-made handmade jewelry. Also remember that just because it says “handmade” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s high quality. Many department stores sell jewelry labeled as “handmade” but this doesn’t mean high quality, and also may not even mean handmade, but hand-assembled. More often than not, most mass-production jewelry facilities operate on a quota system that incentivises speed, resulting in short-cuts and lower quality jewelry. Look for handmade jewelry that is not mass-produced — not available in large quantities. Quality jewelry that is handmade in Seattle will not only have the artisan’s mark, but also have the reputation and guarantee attached to the finished piece. The careful observer will always be able to appreciate the uniqueness and quality of a handmade piece of jewelry. With handmade artisan jewelry, quality and uniqueness are typically are apparent to even the most casual observer.
Handmade jewelry affords the pleasure of unique, often rare designs, which are not-identical, typically made by a true artist, with great love and passion. Jewelry is an art form. This love for one’s work and the art of design comes across in the finished piece. Mass-produced items, whether it’s jewelry or anything handmade lacks this “soul.” Hand-crafted jewelry also better displays the wearer’s personal touch and style, conveying individuality and interest. To wear mass-produced jewelry, of a common style, lends the wearer the style of being somewhat mass-produced. Regardless, mass-produced jewelry usually brings with it no special meaning or history — no story, no life. When you wear beautiful Seattle handmade jewelry, it is a pleasure to be able to explain to admirers the actual story or history behind what you are wearing, or information about the artist, which is often possible with handmade jewelry bought from individual artisans or their representative galleries. Above all, it is simply a joy to wear jewelry that someone has personally and lovingly created by hand.