Buying Handmade

I make jewelry. I make it from raw materials, wire that I bend and shape into letters or just into circles. Wire that I solder and polish.

My jewelry is not made in a factory. It is made in my studio, in my basement. When I finish a ring I put it in a small ziplock bag to preserve the shine and a little paper box to keep the post office from crushing it during delivery. I do all these things. Sometimes I get my kids to help put them in the boxes and close the packages, but mostly it is me.

Even I sometimes marvel at it.

If you are like me, MOST of all the things you buy: clothing, household items, furniture, jewelry, etc, comes from a factory. Even the food we eat comes from who knows where, with who knows what in it. We are so far removed from the things we buy, with so little understanding about how it was made or the quality of materials that it is mind numbing.

Why?

Because it is easy and it is cheap. We can go to a department store, see something we like and take it home without spending a fortune. It is sooo simple. We know it was made in China and we may or may not care about that, we know it wont last but we try not to think about that, and we buy it anyway, because it is so simple.

But there is a growing community of people looking for something better. Maybe they are tired of low quality goods that don’t last. Maybe they want something original. Maybe they have altruistic motivations to support real artisans. Or maybe like me it is a combination of all these reasons.

Whatever the reason it is good.

I am an artisan. It has taken me 37 years to see that in myself. But it is true. We are an endangered breed, but we are not dying. That is why I buy handmade, to keep the artisan alive.

I told you I might pontificate.

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