Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Defining Handmade


On Etsy right now there is a huge outcry for the word handmade to be further clarified. The rise of popularity of the indie handmade online site has magnetized resellers in all parts of the world. The term "handmade" might include slave labor in China.

A few years back I spoke to a fellow perfumer who informed me that she hand makes her perfumes. Puzzled I asked, "Your perfumes are created in a lab in Marina del Rey, how can you say that you hand make them?" The response, "I am there when the oils are poured."

Thus, like the words "natural" and even "botanical", the term "handmade" can mean many things to many people. After all...
"Perception is an act of Creation." ~Anon

If you are an individual passionate about handmade, how would you define it, what is some of the criteria you would want for such a label?

Meanwhile, I sold out of almost all my handmade perfumes at Comic Con and am now back to the grindstone. Just me, here in the little studio in the Topanga foothills.

Images ©RoxanaVilla

4 comments:

Faith said...

thoughtful commentary, Rox. It would be interesting but most challenging to find the definitive definition for "handmade."I suppose enough people would have to care enough just as they did for "organic" or "biodynamic." Congrats on your sell-out at Comic Con...true rewards for your hard work

Brizel Handcrafts said...

Good questions...

Handmade by whom ?
... by seller with their own hands

All components handmade ?
... not necessarily but the piece needs to have been put together by seller

For example I dont hand spin or make the silk yarn that i use to make my tapestries but i make the tapestries themselves.

If someone designs something and pays someone else to make it... then they are the Designer, not the maker. Perhaps that could become an important acknowledged distinction ?

best wishes & congrats on your success !

Roxana said...

Hi Faith, how nice of you to drop in. I suppose a definitive definition for anything is unrealistic, however, I like the idea of brainstorming with the creative collective to get close to a definition.

Roxana said...

Brizel, what great questions! Thank you so much for posting your input, it really helps to set the landscape.