Is casting ‘handmade’?

I have been thinking about the process of casting jewelry for quite some time now, and if it still constitutes as ‘Handmade’ and thought I would post a few thoughts.

There are a couple of methods in which jewelry can be casted, and all the methods requires some degree of skill, fabricating and finishing the pieces by hand.  I cast quite a few items in my range, and 80% of those casted pieces is ‘duplicates’ of the original that was created by myself.

Let talk about Wings for a second…

First of all, the concept is designed on paper.

From there, it is transferred to a Drawing program on my computer, and more design elements are drawn in, or taken out.

Then the design is transferred to sheet metal and pierced out.  Depending on the amount of detail that is in the design, this part of the process can take several hours.

The pendant, in this case a Butterfly Wing, is then sanded down, and polished.

If there is any thought that another client might want the same design later on, I make a mold of the pendant, so that  it can be casted in the future, rather than taking  hours to re-create.

The casting still needs to be sanded, polished and finished by hand, and in my book, all of the above equals to HANDMADE.

Casting items also doesn’t mean easier…  There are many things that can go wrong in the casting process, and its up to me to scrap it, and re-cast, or save the casting.

The problem with most SA consumers it that they don’t take the time to appreciate the journey of handmade items.  The hours of research, concept development, design time, fabricating & finishing time, hours and money spent on skills development, and general workshop expenses that goes into the creating of jewelry pieces.  Casting, makes things a little bit easier (most of the time), and saves time, and we all know that time equals money.

Any thought or questions about casting?

Let me know 🙂