What Does "Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry" Actually Mean?

The term “handcrafted artisan jewelry” is thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean, and what is the value in something being “handcrafted” and “artisan” as opposed to being manufactured?

This phrase can mean something different to everyone, but when I hear “handcrafted” I think of something made with love, and skill, and patience - and those three attributes is what gives something handcrafted its value.

Many of the artists I know, jewelry makers and others, work everyday to make a living for themselves and their families. They have a passion for what they do, and although it may not always be easy, they wouldn’t have it any other way. These creative individuals know that their art and work has an impact on people. It brings beauty and joy to some, sometimes solves a problem for others, and sometimes helps tell a person’s story, or act as a reminder of a special person, place, or moment in one’s life. The labor-intensive work of something handcrafted holds meaning for others, and this is what drives us.

So, when I think of what “handcrafted jewelry” means, I think of something that was lovingly made-by-hand, from the creation, to the fabrication, to the finished product. It was not cast by a machine that cranks out hundreds of the same exact design. Handcrafted jewelry was formed, textured, engraved, adorned, set, and polished by human hands, and in many cases, made just for you before it becomes yours.

Hand-cut, engraved sterling silver leaves

Much like a painter who tells their story through each brushstroke of color in a painting, handcrafted jewelry artists tell our stories through our jewelry. So when you decide to buy from someone that sits at their bench for hours creating something, you are buying their history, their imagination, their skill, and all the time that goes into figuring out how to create something different and exceptional. And since each piece of handcrafted jewelry is “made by hand,” you are also buying something unique that not many people have, making it a very special piece.

Polishing a gold ring

I also believe that the materials that are used in handcrafted jewelry matter as well. Here, at Kryzia Kreations, I use only recycled metals in all of my pieces. I work with small family-owned stone cutters and stone dealers here in the US so I know where my gemstones come from, and that they were ethically sourced. I work hard to make sure each piece is meticulously constructed, and that the processes I use to do so do not harm the environment.  

So, if you are reading this, please accept my thanks for supporting true handcrafted artistry and the artists behind it. You allow artists to do what they love, and we hope our pieces give back just as much if not even more.