Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Are People Pinning From Your Website and The Nature of Handmade... TRULY



Pinterest and Your Website
Wanna see what people are pinning from your website to Pinterest?  Put this URL into your internet address bar (but substitute the name of your website where it says “yourdomain”) and remove the space after the “h” at the start… I have those there so this won’t become a hyperlink.


h ttp://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com


I don’t think it works with Etsy shops, though… or at least I couldn’t get it to work with mine.  I used my regular website and got to see what others posted from there.  Neat!  

Good tool, too, to see what sparks the most interest with the viewing public.



Handmade?  Guess Again

So you think your jewelry is handmade?  Probably not according to FTC standards.

“… the entire shaping and forming of such product from raw materials and its finishing and decoration were accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods…”

(a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that any industry product is hand-made or hand-wrought unless the entire shaping and forming of such product from raw materials and its finishing and decoration were accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which permit the maker to control and vary the construction, shape, design, and finish of each part of each individual product.

Note to paragraph (a): As used herein, “raw materials” include bulk sheet, strip, wire, and similar items that have not been cut, shaped, or formed into jewelry parts, semi-finished parts, or blanks.

(b) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that any industry product is hand-forged, hand-engraved, hand-finished, or hand-polished, or has been otherwise hand-processed, unless the operation described was accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which permit the maker to control and vary the type, amount, and effect of such operation on each part of each individual product.

The question is… handmade by whom?  If I put two things together, a pendant that was handmade by someone and a chain that was handmade by someone else… do I refer to the piece as “handmade” when I list it? 

For argument’s sake, let’s say that is so.  That would still discount a lot of us… how many of us use machine-made components?  Clasps, chain, etc?

This is all food for thought, but does anyone care about FTC regulations.  The proliferation of non-handmade “handmade” items on Etsy, eBay and other places is not going to change.

But I think in our hearts, it’s good to know what handmade is SUPPOSED to mean. 

Now, having said that, let me show you some of the handmade things I created recently. 

The chain is purchased.  The circle was made from silver sheet, the headpin/bail was fused and formed by hand, the components on either side of the pearl were sawn by hand.
http://www.brackendesigns.com/servlet/Detail?no=1454

Here’s one I found from 15 years ago (yeah, it was stuck in a drawer… don’t ask me why).  I can call it hand assembled, but not handmade.  I’m sure the crystals and glass pearls were machine made, as well as the vintage Lucite leaves.  I designed it and I put it together, but I didn’t (nor did anyone else) hand form the components.
http://www.brackendesigns.com/servlet/Detail?no=1453

Purchased chain, completely handmade (by me) pendant (okay, except for the embedded CZ).  I mixed up the metal clay, formed the piece, fired it, and polished it all by hand.
http://www.brackendesigns.com/servlet/Detail?no=1452

Same for these earrings (except for the pearl).
http://www.brackendesigns.com/servlet/Detail?no=1446

Anyway, it’s just something to think about.

3 comments:

  1. I'd say that oyster did a fine job of fabricating that pearl, but it isn't hand-made, either, since no hands were involved.

    Kidding aside, I think we have to allow that there are varying degrees of "handmade." Even something made in a factory may have involved the work of somebody's hands (and maybe the work of somebody else's brain). I'm very happy to share the credit and say that my stuff is the work of many hands. I'm even happier when my own hands and brain can achieve most of what I'm doing, but it's only possible because some farmer(s) grew my food, somebody sewed my clothes, somebody else put together the books I read, and so on. Where would we be if we still had to do everything by hand? I guess there was a bit of time for art in the paleolithic age, after the handaxes were finished....

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  2. Interesting food for thought. The FTC has a funny description for handmade. For example all during my childhood we had "handmade" clothing. My mother made everything we wore. But she bought the fabric. She did not shear the sheep or weave the fibers. But the clothes were not store bought.

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  3. I agree, Handmade has many meanings. I started out simple never having done jewelry and thought my stuff was handmade and started selling. As I grew and joined groups and researched, what I am doing now is changing more into what I now think of as Handmade. I guess to me the difference now is, there are Crafts and there is Fabricating. All great stuff to be sure and I hope to continue to move into metal working and glass work, the feeling is so very different, like you forged a piece of yourself, it's marvelous.

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