Handmade jewelry periodically peeks from store shelves and people’s collections when people feel jaded about the world and all its passing trends. But, eventually, people return to stuff that’s heartfelt and genuine, and nothing can be more heartfelt than wearing expression pieces.
No matter how old it is, handmade jewelry tends to speak more to people because it was made carefully by artisans who dedicated their entire lives to bettering their craft.
Just as we love eating food made by culinary greats who have mastered the process of making the food for decades, so do we enjoy wearing handmade jewelry or artisan-made jewelry because they often offer more meaningful designs that speak to our values and sensibilities more.
Vintage and Mixed Metal Jewelry Designs
Among the many selections on Xinar, no other jewelry pieces stands out more than Far Fetched Imports. Explore hundreds of designs you can’t find anywhere else and rediscover why artisan works stand the test of time.
Richard Wolf founded Far Fetched Jewelry after a 35-year journey to champion ethical jewelry.
He began as a student at Sonoma State University. Around the turn of the century, Richard began his nomadic career as a jewelry salesman.
Talented artisans from all over Guerrero called these unremarkable towns home. These people may have lived simple lives, but their jewelry designs had everything to offer the world. However, like the rest of us, these artisans needed steady incomes, and luckily, Richard Wolf had an idea for how he could help them.
Making a living while improving the lives of these artisans located outside of Taxco was an enticing prospect. For all parties involved, it was an ethical and enticing possibility.
These artists could create stunning mixed-metal jewelry pieces despite working out of one- or two-room homes that lacked basic conveniences like indoor plumbing or hardwood floors. The lack of consistent income and associated hardships, such as living on a dirt floor, was no match for their ingenuity and Richard’s vision.
It was not a physically simple task to realize one’s dreams. To locate the dwellings of these skilled artisans, Richard took to the nearby trails and long dirt roads. Initially, these artisans demonstrated to Richard that they had a natural talent for making exquisite abalone jewelry and that they also had a natural talent for wholesale on the West Coast.
Anyone who has tried to sell their handmade wares can relate to Richard’s difficulties. Perseverance, however, can lead to enormous success, and Richard’s efforts eventually bore fruit. Richard’s first major client was Disneyland, and he got them after his first California gift show. After landing his first big client, he set up shop in his father’s basement (temporarily, of course) and incorporated it under Far Fetched Imports, Inc.
What Makes Handmade Jewelry Tick?
The fast fashion industry has been dominant for many years because of its low prices and attention to current trends. Jewelry, alas, is not immune to this story. Nevertheless, the increase in artisan jewelry makers is a positive development.
Due to the public’s growing fondness for one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, countless new artisan jewelry labels have emerged in recent years. However, since there appears to be a lot of ambiguity surrounding handmade jewelry, it is crucial to define “artisan jewelry” before attempting to comprehend its worth.
Numerous companies out there falsely advertise as artisan jewelry brands and sell jewelry that bears labels implying that it was made by hand. We like to think of the creator and creation as central pillars.
A true craftsperson should create handmade jewelry with the “artisan” label.
Artisans are tasked to craft functional items. As they craft these items, they integrate beauty and aesthetics into the formula.
Craftspeople or artisans are not the same as artists, though many artists are also artisans. For example, an artist may be concerned with the object’s aesthetic value, but an artisan will be more concerned with how that value can be applied practically.
Therefore, artisans produce aesthetically pleasing products with practical applications (or a similar equivalent).
The Italian word artigiano, meaning “one who is actively engaged in making things,” is where we get our word “artisan.” It’s crucial to remember that there’s no inherent superiority between artisans and artists. On the contrary, we appreciate our artist’s and artisans’ work for the community! Two distinct creative processes exist here; neither is superior to the other.
Handmade jewelry is another primary characteristic of artisan jewelry. One-of-a-kind items are those that have never been made before or are entirely different from any other item.
Many jewelry pieces are mass-produced by machinery, but this is not the case for artisan jewelry. Craftspeople who make jewelry as an art form typically use only hand tools and pay special attention to historical methods.
The majority of jewelry is created solely by hand. However, for specific projects, some artists prefer to use electric tools. Is it possible to disqualify this from handmade status? Indeed, that’s what we’ve come to believe.
It could be argued that pieces made with power tools aren’t handmade, but they still retain the uniqueness of being made by hand because they differ from the processes used in mass production. We’ll let you draw your conclusions on this, as it’s one of the more nebulous points of the discussion.
As much as possible, a handmade item will have been crafted from raw materials. However, merely putting the parts together isn’t enough. To create their one-of-a-kind pieces, most artisan jewelers start with a flat sheet of metal, which they hammer, shape, decorate, and style. But there are also cases where assembly qualifies as handiwork. For example, consider the case of beadwork necklaces. The finished products can be genuinely handmade when the beads used are unprocessed or only minimally worked.
Using plastic beads would defeat the purpose of calling the piece handmade since mass production was involved.
However, “handmade” isn’t nearly as black and white in practice. Some corporations will label their products as “handmade” to attract a specific consumer base, even if their manufacturing methods are anything but. So if you want to avoid wearing jewelry that looks like millions of others, your best bet is to buy a unique piece made by a local artisan.