So I think I will make a quick list now and then elaborate in a series of future blog posts.
- Uniqueness of design. It should speak to you. It is different than anything your peers have and that is a good thing!
- Listen to the artist's story. Most artists have a story to tell---about their inspiration, technique or materials. The story continues when you purchase the piece---you become part of the story!
- Look for quality craftsmanship. Handmade doesn't (and shouldn't) mean poorly made! (This is a pet peeve of mine. I will definitely elaborate on this in a future post!)
- Ask and understand about the materials. For example: There are differences between fine silver, sterling silver, silver-filled, silver plated, bi-metal, nickel silver, etc.
- Know your Budget. You will more than likely pay more for a handmade item than a mass produced item. Are you looking for everyday earrings or a large statement piece that you will only wear a few times a year?
- Care Instructions. Handmade does not mean indestructible. Love your jewelry and ask if there are any special care instructions to help it last for generations.
- Exchange Contact Info. The artist will more than likely want your address and/or email for their customer mail list. (You will receive notices when the artist is in a show in your area, if he/she is having a special sale, etc). And you may want to hold onto their business card in case you want to add to your collection or if you loose an earring and need a replacement made.