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Christine

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Following on from another thread I thought I would ask for everyone's definition of handmade.  We are all aware (or many of us are) that elsewhere the definition is somewhat lax.  I am curious as to what are your thoughts, both for items you create and for items others create.

For instance, should we be one person/couple shops or incorporate helpers and to what degree?  Should art prints be printed by the seller or by a professional lab and possibly drop shipped.  Should two items of clothing/accessories such as hat and pompom be purchased, sewn together and sold as handmade?  When does using mechanisation change things from handmade to mass produced?

Jewellery - what do you consider handmade, how much artistry should go into it.  At what point does putting mass produced items together become handmade?

As an example would you consider my nail art mass produced or handmade?
I can produce (within reason) as many sets as anyone would want therefore mass producing them.  Before and after printing comes the initial photography, often going to dog shows specifically to get different breeds, putting them on computer, digitally editing to get the best printable result and extracting from background. Creating the layout ready for printing, printing (at home), checking for print errors, cutting, bagging and labeling. I think these are handmade although they can be mass produced but other people's thoughts may differ.

Prints, I feel these should be produced at home, the range of papers that an be purchased these days is wide to get the best result.  This way the artist maintains full control and they can be considered handmade. Once you start involving outside printers and possibly drop shipping the item the handmadeness has been lost - although maybe some customers prefer this?

Enough rambling from me, what do you think ?


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Lesley Fry

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Reply with quote  #2 
How about not acceptable if the item can be used for it's original intent without adding something to it? Won't work. A hat is still a wearable hat without a pompom even and a pompom alone would be a supply, but yarn cannot be worn until it is knit into the hat (or made into a pompom). On the other hand, a plain silk scarf can be hand painted and become a work of art yet the same descriptions apply. This is a toughy. We all know it when we see it but can't define it.
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Christine

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Lesley, you found the original thread [smile]  so I am going to copy and paste your answer here as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesley Fry
For a handmade definition, how about the artist has to actually make every single thing they sell? In other words, they can't paint a picture, take a photo, and send it out to have 100 greeting cards made. They would not have made the cards, just the original painting. Once the cards are made elsewhere in quantity, they become a manufactured product, Every single manufactured thing was designed by a person and might be assembled by hand, yet you wouldn't say an IBM computer or a plastic trash can was a hand crafted item. How about mass produced items all have to be made by the designer? I knit duplicate hats, but I personally hand knit each one on two needles, I do not write a pattern and send it out to be machine made. Etsy slipped over a slippery slope because they ignored their own original line in the sand.




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Christine

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Reply with quote  #4 

You are right Lesley, it is tough which is why I started this thread - that and the fact that Craig wrote:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyah
I like the idea of creating a handmade definition, guideline of the various different handmade items.


Thanks for the idea and hope we can get a few people to chime in here.



At the moment we are turning to Craig for everything so maybe if we can all give our opinions and have a discussion about this, it will be easier for him to eventually define Artyah Handmade ?


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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think that handmade and hand-embellished are related, and most venues do too. Sellers who use craft blanks should be allowed to sell under handmade. To be considered handmade, a crafter should not have to make everything that he/she uses. Pure handmade would be like this, but in order to be successful at selling, most of us don't have time to do this. Most of the time we have to start with something pre-made. If someone buys a felt cloche and embellishes it with silk flowers and beads, using their own design, that is handmade. He embellished it to produce a product didn't exist before, and there is not another one like it. If we start with purchased handmade stock and supplies, and put that together to make a new creation, that's handmade.

If a bride orders 150 of my handmade invitations to be delivered in 2 weeks, I am going to need help in producing them. I would get that help however I could. My invitations are still handmade.

I don't consider drop-shipping to be handmade, because the product did not originate in the studio of the crafter.

I consider as handmade a designer having his/her graphic artwork printed on cards by a printer, for instance, who then ships the cards to the designer, and the designer lists them and ships them to customers. They're the designer's artwork and the product was shipped from the designer's studio.

To me handmade is broad, while being specific. While we do need guidelines for that, I wouldn't want sellers to be cut out because of requirements that are too strict.

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martique

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Reply with quote  #6 
These are great points everyone is making. I like the phrase "in the studio of the crafter" that ArtsyCrafteryStudios said. Most art requires materials not made by the designer. I would not raise cows to get leather for the cords on my necklaces. I have my supplies and then hand assemble or use some tools in the process. I had a "friend" visit once who would not eat my cookies because they came from a mix. I added the water, eggs, oil etc and baked them but she said they were not handmade from scratch. Very interesting discussion.
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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by martique
...I would not raise cows to get leather for the cords on my necklaces. I have my supplies and then hand assemble or use some tools in the process. I had a "friend" visit once who would not eat my cookies because they came from a mix. I added the water, eggs, oil etc and baked them but she said they were not handmade from scratch. Very interesting discussion.


[rofl][rofl][rofl]  I respect other's wishes, but REALLY! Some people try to be so pure that it's laughable! I guess you just crammed your delicious cookies into your mouth and smacked and chomped on them, and was happy. [rolleyes] I know many old people (older than me [rolleyes]) have that attitude of turning up their nose, and even going so far as to ridicule you if you use kitchen mixes. They REALLY don't know what they're missing!

But you know, Martique, someone somewhere is raising their own cows and making their own cow hide leather for their creations. [rofl]

Anyway, we are just having fun to blow off the steam of working hard to create, market and sell. I don't want Christine, the OP, to think that I am ridiculing her post. It is important to have parameters for handmade.

Now I do know that juried art shows do not allow any type of patterns to be used in crafting. For handmades designation here's an instance, I feel that whether sewn garments are made using patterns or couture, I think it's both handmade.

A handcrafted jewelry org, whose logo I see on many jewelry makers sites, says that to join your jewelry must be handmade. The guidelines stated that if you just buy some cord and string some beads on it that is not handmade. Well I beg to differ, because that is their designation for their purposes. If they want their members to cut and hammer metal and to use blow torches then ok, that is them. There's a lot to be said about stringing some beads on a cord to make something pleasing and desirable to wear. There are so many people who wish they could do that.

Handmade is creativity. [thumb]


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byEmilie

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Reply with quote  #8 
Martique Said: 
 
I had a "friend" visit once who would not eat my cookies because they came from a mix. I added the water, eggs, oil etc and baked them but she said they were not handmade from scratch. Very interesting discussion".

I worked in a bakery for over 10 years .... you are so right ... if people really knew how much does come out of a box even from a bakery and I mean out of a box where the contents are already mixed and all one does is unthaw and bake they would be appalled. Yet there are many things made from scratch that don't always taste as good as some of those beginning mixes  or boxed goods, because the process of making that cookie has been refined and gone through with certain ingredients and baking processes where the end result is very good and always the same. 

Than Sandi said: "I respect other's wishes, but REALLY! Some people try to be so pure that it's laughable! I guess you just crammed your delicious cookies into your mouth and smacked and chomped on them, and was happy. [rolleyes] I know many old people (older than me [rolleyes]) have that attitude of turning up their nose, and even going so far as to ridicule you if you use kitchen mixes. They REALLY don't know what they're missing!"  Being one of those older people and I do bake many things from scratch, one can give the same recipe  to 6 different people and I would say two of them would turn out different from the other four ... Ü Just saying ...it's all in the do process and technique of baking whether your older or not ...

With that ... my definition of handmade ... I'm going to go with one of my most popular products. My fabric hearts. I sit and cut out all the pieces and parts ...now I could hire someone to do that for me and than I could assemble ...yes, that would be handmade by me with some help from my friends. ...or I could have my design sent out to a manufacturer after all it is a very simple design ...what's to really making a heart. Cut out a bunch of fabric in the shape of a heart, cut out the base parts. Sew it and glue it all together and Wahla! ... there's a heart.

However, to me there is much more to it than that ...there's a technique to making my simple hearts and why they turn out so nice that baffles many and no I'm not going to divulge that technique. If I have all the parts cut out I can make about 30-40 in a day easily. If I had a manufacturer making them where the parts are cut out by press cutters etc. they could probably produce over a 1000 an hour if not more.  Man, I could be making a mint with selling them all.  However ...would the colors coordinate, would I be offering all the seasonal prints available, would they look as nice as the ones I make ... No ...I don't think so. I've had many people contacting me as to how I make them so I know they have attempted to make them and they probably don't turn out.

Technique is part of a learning process in many handmade things, whether one is assembling other pieces and parts from others or making your own pieces and parts. ... and how one goes about putting it together. With my hearts there are colors and fabrics and all sorts of things that come together to making an end product that people are happy to display or give as a gift. If I'm sending my design and idea out to a manufacturer to me that has lost the handmade aspect of my product and it no longer is really mine it's just another factory made product....

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Christine

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Reply with quote  #9 
Don't worry about ridiculing my post, I asked a question and gave a couple of examples, i have no problems with anyone disagreeing with me providing reasons are given, that is what makes a discussion [smile]

I had a feeling that there were no "real" crochet machine and that all crochet is handmade.  I did a google search and found this result for AliB

Alib offers 142 crochet machines for sales products. About 100% of these are knitting machines. A wide variety of crochet machines for sales options are available to you, such as belt, sweater, and elastic band.

This result amused me anyway.  There are commercial crochet machines available but they do not produce the same stitches as real hand crochet does.

What bugs me is someone purchasing mass produced, for example, hats from one of the Ali sites in China, adding a tiny embellishment to it and calling it handmade.  It would usually takes hours to produce real handmade hats and they therefore cost a lot more than the ass produced ones.  Maybe we should ask Craig for additional categories to be shown on the item description such as :

handmade
hand embellished
etc [smile] 

so they are perfectly clear to those customers who care about these things and feel cheated when they discover their hand embellished hat is not hand knitted by the seller

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byEmilie

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Reply with quote  #10 
Christine ...I myself would not have a problem with having separate categories. For Handmade and than one that would be Hand Embellished. I myself  buy aprons and homespun towels in which I applique on with my own designs. That could be explained within my description, and in the past on other sites I've already done that. Sometimes I make my own towels and than I could put those within handmade. However, I just don't have the time to also make aprons in which I applique. 



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Krochet Kingdom

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Reply with quote  #11 
Maybe we should ask Craig for additional categories to be shown on the item description such as :

handmade
hand embellished
etc [smile] 

so they are perfectly clear to those customers who care about these things and feel cheated when they discover their hand embellished hat is not hand knitted by the seller .

Christine I agree with you 100%.  I crochet all my items by hand.  True, I must purchase the yarn in order to do so, but all the ideas and creativity are mine.  I would feel guilty using a crochet machine, that would take all the fun out of it.  My handmades are made by hand - my hand only.

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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyCrafteryStudio


[rofl][rofl][rofl]  I respect other's wishes, but REALLY! Some people try to be so pure that it's laughable! I guess you just crammed your delicious cookies into your mouth and smacked and chomped on them, and was happy. [rolleyes] I know many old people (older than me [rolleyes]) have that attitude of turning up their nose, and even going so far as to ridicule you if you use kitchen mixes. They REALLY don't know what they're missing!



This was meant as a joke, but sometimes what sounds like a joke to us does not to others. It can sound like ridicule. You know how when you were young you used the term "old people" a lot and thought it was funny, and didn't relate that you'd be there soon? Well, that's the spirit in which I used it.  I am well-past middle age and well-into senior living, so I am old also.[smile] And who cares? Really old to me, rather than age, refers to people who never want to change and ridicule others for being progressive and different. Also people who are aggressive in letting you know that yours is not as good as theirs because you did not do it like they did. Young people can be like that also, and they are usually seen as having old ways.[smile] Just laughing and having a good time. Not calling out any person or group of people.

Hope everyone is having a good day.

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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #13 
I don't have any, but I feel that products made on knitting or macrame or crochet or weaving machines/looms or devices are handmade. The yarn or fabric has to be chosen and coordinated, the crank turned (if there is one) and there has to be manual dexterity to produce the product. As homeworkers (and other places of work) in the cottage industry and being extremely limited in what we can produce, and often not being able to charge premium prices because we would price ourselves out of the market, we need all of the help that we can get in producing more. Also for those who are advanced in age, and those with joint problems and other issues that reduce movement, they need all of the help that they can get.
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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine
Don't worry about ridiculing my post, I asked a question and gave a couple of examples, i have no problems with anyone disagreeing with me providing reasons are given, that is what makes a discussion [smile]



My joking can put people off. I don't like to sound cruel. I guess I could just call a halt to all joking, rather than often clarifying stuff? [idea].........[idea].............[idea]..........  Nope.[rofl]

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Christine

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Reply with quote  #15 
If we cannot joke and tease each other then this world would be a much sadder place - see the last couple of posts in the giveaway thread for an example for friendly teasing taken as intended 😉  

If we do not have conversations about subjects how will we ever learn what others are thinking about something?

I would also feel that using a single knitting machine at a time be termed handmade - although if you get automated ones and have lots of them going at the same time then that would be borderline


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