When it will come to artisan jewellery, what truly counts as “handmade?” The question isn’t as straightforward as you may well think. Tom and Kay Benham unpack the definition of “handmade jewelry” in accordance to different sources. They also explore how jewelry produced working with CAD and CAM techniques in good shape in.
Tom and Kay led our “Ask the Experts” column for many years, and we were being so unfortunate to reduce Tom in 2021. We’ll continue on to share some of their most practical strategies from the webpages of Lapidary Journal Jewellery Artist with you right here, to proceed spreading their know-how. We also welcome new concerns! —Tammy Honaman, Interweave Director of Content
Can Handmade Jewellery be Created with CAD/CAM?
Q: Immediately after examining her pretty creations on her marketing web page a short while ago, I requested a jewelry designer/college student/vendor this: “Are your items handmade/hand fabricated?” She replied by using e-mail that of course, without a doubt, all her items had been “hand fabricated.” In the About portion of her website, while, she describes her studies at a college in the U.K., mentioning she is researching and employing CAD/CAM and that she sends her parts to a stone setter.
Graphic earlier mentioned: An artist creating a ring. Image presented by Tom & Kay Benham.
Is it accurate for her to describe her parts as hand fabricated? I am pretty intrigued in the right terminology and usage in the sector for my have endeavors in the potential. I, way too, am a student of jewelry earning and want to be pretty straightforward and straightforward in my doings, in particular in promoting. I assume this is a pretty significant difficulty to comprehend effectively. —G. Dunn, Hawaii
A: We agree with you that this topic is a warm subject matter that warrants dialogue and knowledge.
What Does “Handmade” Mean?
First let’s appear at handmade. In common conditions, this sort of as this definition presented by Wikipedia, handmade jewelry is “jewelry which has been assembled and shaped by hand relatively than as a result of the use of devices.”
But what can you assert as handmade if you sell your do the job? For this reason, we turned to the pointers of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In order to be stamped or termed “handmade” in United States, the operate have to be produced exclusively by hand electricity or hand advice. [Authority: Sec. 6, 5, 38 Stat. 721, 719; 15 U.S.C. 46, 45. Source: 61 FR 27212, May 30, 1996, unless otherwise noted.] This means that jewelry could be created employing drills, lathes, or other machinery, but it ought to be guided by the human hand. This precludes the use of punch presses, CNC machinery, and casting, to name a couple processes the use of which would make the jewellery not qualify as “handmade.” Beyond that, handmade jewelry can be produced from any content and with a broad wide variety of tactics.
Relevant: The Shoulders of Goldsmiths
Regretably, lacking any “jewelry law enforcement,” the debate about what decides what is handmade or hand fabricated is destined to continue. In the absence of any universally recognized requirements, there are only thoughts, and it appears that every person included in this field has his or her have. I’m worried we do not have a definitive respond to for you, but we urge you to comply with what advice the FTC does supply and set specifications as much increased than that as you would like.
What About CAD/CAM?
As for CAD/CAM, these are two distinctive techniques. CAD is laptop or computer-aided drawing or drafting. It is important to notice that CAD plans will not design jewellery for you, they will only consider your artistic inputs and rapidly make a graphic representation on your keep an eye on. It is like a computer—it won’t generate your up coming great novel, it will only print out what you enter.
We adore doing work with CAD since it lets us the freedom to draw a basic simple design and style and then experiment with shifting any of the primary features to see how the new variations look. Redrawing these versions by hand could take in numerous hours, but the CAD system will help you redraw them so swiftly that you can redraw and review dozens of your inventive variations in an hour. The systems also enable you to preserve them in a file for long run overview and use.
CAM is computer system-aided producing, a approach whereby a special computer system code is used to regulate a manufacturing device such as a milling machine or lathe to make the very same component frequently. There is no way this approach can be construed as handmade or hand fabricated. So, we are usually quite very careful to individual and make clear the big difference concerning CAD and CAM. CAM has a massive function in the jewelry marketplace, but not in the handmade phase, at least in our humble feeling.
Connected: From 3D Printed Ceramics to 3D Printing Jewellery
Inquire the Gurus
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Excerpt from Lapidary Journal Jewellery Artist December 2017