Handmade? Handcrafted? Artisan?
A brief roadmap.
What do all these terms mean?
You’re totally into supporting artists and small businesses – you might even be gung-ho and invest in your local entrepreneurial designers. Yay you!! Thank you!But is the handmade you are buying as handmade as you believe it to be?
- Handmade is hot these days as we try to find a balance in our speed-of-light overnight advancements in technology. We are humans. We crave connection, intimacy and meaning.
- Handcrafted...does it add more value than "handmade?"
- Artisan is another value-added word being thrown around now. Artisan-made bread...beer. This awesome video made by Chris Kelly ingeniously pokes fun in his Maker Series: Artisanal Firewood
Myself and my colleagues are all over the place trying to differentiate our work from the Etsy masses. Jewelry makers are near a dime a dozen these days! This Portlandia excerpt cracks me up:
Jewelry, by nature of its size and complexity, usually has at some point of creation a human involved in its making.
I think we’re all on the same page agreeing that “handmade” is a process of making something by hand, or with your hands. But, does it mean entirely by hand or the process of putting something together using your hands? The question makes the term “handmade” so ambiguous when used as a means of adding value. It’s like the terms “natural” and “pure”. It’s relative.
Consider this (from Julie Teeples): “...so you receive a jigsaw puzzle for your birthday and put it together using your hands. Did you handcraft the puzzle or was the puzzle handmade by you? What if you actually drew out a picture, cut it up into hundreds of pieces then put it back together again, is it handmade or handcrafted? You actually made the puzzle didn’t you?”
While researching this blog post, I found this on Pampillonia’s website:
So what do you do?
"Someone who has put their heart and soul into the product hoping someone out there will appreciate their work and purchase the item. If you like it and it makes you happy, by all means purchase it. After all, it was made by hand for someone special; you." Julie Teeples