Sunday, August 22, 2010

Buying Handmade

Most of the items in my home are things that are made in large factories, assembly-line style. I have no idea where the items were made or who made them. Thousands of other people have the same computer desk as me, the same clothes, the same car. But most of my favourite items are a little more individual and unique. They are handmade.

Every handmade item that I have is wonderful in its own right, but is even a bit more special because I met or know something about the person that made it. When I look at one of these items or pick it up, I think about where I acquired it and think about the person that made it. I feel connected to these pieces in a different way than I do to my mass-produced stuff.

In today’s internet age, we are no longer limited to buying handmade items at local craft fairs or on special holiday trips. Marketplaces like allow us to connect with makers of handmade items from around the world. And we can get to know a little bit about the person behind the item.

Mookaite Jasper Pendant by Caron of Bead Sire

Caron, from sunny Queensland, Australia, is a mother of two, works full time and designs and creates beautiful jewelry in her spare time (what spare time?). Caron is also the co-administrator of our wonderful Starving Artist team and helps to keep us all organized and on track. I’m not sure how she juggles it all. I think that she probably doesn’t sleep!

Beaded Bracelet Tutorial Net Options by Cindy of Jewelry Tales

Cindy works with many different materials. She creates amazing pieces using seed beads, but is equally at home with working in metal. Cindy is a mom, an avid gardener and a prolific blogger. The whirlwind behind this blog, she set up the blog, wrote all the daily posts for it for many months plus she maintains 2 personal blogs. I don’t know if she sleeps either!

Angel Wings - Sterling Silver and Pearl Chandelier Earrings by Laurel of LA Valley Girly

Laurel has 2 children as well as a cat with lots of personality. In addition to making jewelry she is a voice teacher. Making jewelry is pure joy for Laurel. She is so passionate about making jewelry and selling it on Etsy that she established the Starving Artists team and started us all on this wonderful adventure.

Hair Pin/Shawl Pin - Copper - Celtic Snake by Jenifer of The Family Jewels

Jenifer lives in sunny California with her husband and children. She first started making jewelry because of a severe metal allergy and has now turned it into a full-time business. Jenifer (or One-N-Jen as she is affectionately referred to among forum members) is the mastermind of the discussion topics on the weekly Starving Artists team threads on the Etsy forums.

If you enjoy learning a little more about the artists behind the work, you are in luck. Tomorrow we kick off a new weekly feature for this blog - interviews with members of the Starving Artists team.

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at


Islandgirl said...

My house is full of handmade things... including a dining room side board that my father built in the 40's with a hammer and saw, and a dining room table that my husband built...yes I have the mass produced shelving units, but they are covered with hand made things I've collected for the last 20 + years.. I both support and make handmade! I also own a gallery that features work made by Canadian Women.

mcstoneworks said...

What a great post featuring some of our team members.

A lot of the things we have are handmade. They offer an uniqueness that can't be duplicated.

Cat said...

Not everything in our house is handmade of course, but exactly that makes me cherish each handmade piece even more.
Great post!

Bonnie said...

I love handmade goodies and appreciate them even more when purchased directly from the maker. Thank you for sharing work from such talented artists.

BeadSire said...

Thank you so much for the feature, I'm always in awe of the talent of my fellow team members and how they can create the most beautiful pieces. I would rather have or give as presents something handmade than commercially bought, it makes it that extra special.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to have joined the handmade community! The people I've met online have been a real source of inspiration to me. You picked some of the best for today.

tjrjewellery said...

Great article Julie - very well written, and an excellent subject!

I too cherish something that has been handcrafted - so many mass produced, machine made objects just don't have the big "Q" (QUALITY) attached to them anymore. They are not built to last generations like handcrafted goods are.

Alegria Designs said...

Great article, I'm proud to be part of the handmade community among such talented members.