Myeuropeantouch Design

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How much “handmade” does it really have to be to qualify?

How much “handmade” does it really have to be to qualify?
This question arose for me when I looked at some of the so called "handmade websites" around the Internet and was surprised what I found.
Does it have to be at least 60%, 80% or 100% handmade to be called that? So  that the outcome is that of a “handmade item of superior Quality”? To be part of a "Handmade Website" for sale?

Hanging a purchased ear wire on a purchased pendant or putting a purchased pendant and a purchased necklace together is absolutely not handmade for me, buying clothes at resale stores and sewing on a purchased applique is not handmade for me. Taking a vase from a florist and sticking some artificial purchased flowers into it is not enough handmade for me.
So who defines this, who clarifies this “what is handmade”? Use your own judgment when you look to buy and look for the “superior quality” which is worth spending a bit more money on! It is unfortunate that Handmade Websites keep allowing just the "assemblers" on there and the "superior quality" suffers greatly and/or the "handmade folks" find themselves having to compete with cheaply made items from commercial sellers!
The definition of Handmade- made by hand not by machine, its pretty clear, but where do these “put two purchased items together and call it handmade” fit in? In my humble opinion – nowhere in handmade. 
Here is another definition: 
“Made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality”  Well, the purchased pendant and ear wire
put together, does not fall into handmade for superior quality, especially when purchased at a foreign country.
Purchasing  a vintage resale shop item and sew on a application on this item is not “handmade superior quality”.
Imported items made by hand in a factory setting by others, in a foreign country for cheap labor and material; and then
sell it in
the USA
is certainly not “usually handmade
superior quality” and it takes the jobs away from the USA peps that are unemployed.
Handmade is knitting, crocheting from the very first stitch, sewing from fabric creating a totally new product is, making candles or soap from numerous ingredients is handmade for me. Making jewelry designs by stringing pearl and special stone designs is handmade for me. Handmade is taking wood and making a totally new product out of it. Quilting is handmade, making dolls and  bears from scratch is handmade, making books and cards from scratch is handmade, drawings, paintings by the artists is handmade, spinning wool by hand is handmade, leather tooling is handmade, I could go on and on, .....and am expressing just my humble opinion here. 
There are some that just need to be excluded, just for the basic definition that the outcome is not a “usually handmade superior quality” of the finished product.
With the holidays approaching, I find myself looking for unique, up cycled or handmade gifts ideas.
Something made form scratch, becoming a totally new item.
Handmade gifts are of superior quality, can be personalized, are thoughtful, and avoid the waste and consumerism most associated with this time of year.
So purchase with care this year and really all other times too.

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