Folksy Ltd

Handmade or hand crafted - is there a difference?

I have just read a post on the Craft in Focus FB page, and they made a comment about how a recent BBC tv programme had, in their opinion, not presented the difference fairly between those who craft for a living and those who have a go for fun. That’s a very simplistic summary btw but gives you an idea of what they were discussing.

For the detail of the post, the page is here: https://www.facebook.com/CraftInFocus/?fref=nf although I’m not sure how to directly link to the post itself. At the time I wrote this, the post was the top one on the page and dated 13 June.

I thought it might be interesting to hear what fellow Folksy people think, NOT for the purposes of trying to group makers into categories and decide who was ‘better’ than the other, but just because I’d love to hear how people describe their level of ‘craftiness’ (not a great word I’m sorry but hopefully you get the gist!) and so how they describe themselves to others.

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I’ve always thought handmade and handcrafted where the same thing- never really thought about it.
I just call myself an Artist and maker- because I make things.

Looking forward to reading other peoples opinions on the matter :slight_smile:

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I agree,one and the same thing,just a choice of words to me.I handmake something or hand craft something,same thing. I think if you craft something it is an alternative word for make.

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I would agree with the above. I don’t think of them as being any different. I make prints to sell- and I feel I could call them either I suppose.
At Christmas time I make gifts for friends and family that I wouldn’t sell- but they’re still handmade and therefore I’d say handcrafted too.

hmm…I feel like some words on things like what you’re talking about get over analysed- I also find certain words become popular and are used to sell a product. But then that word might fall out of fashion and they have to move onto something else.

I guess if I was going to over analyse- I could maybe argue that something that is handcrafted has to be something being made into a traditional craft- sculpting, weaving, carving etc. But handmade could be anything else so long as it was made from scratch maybe? Just a thought.

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I’ve already commented on the original post on Craft in Focus, but if I were to describe myself I’d say a bit of both! To me anyone can make anything by hand, but craft means someone who has taken time to make something of a reasonable quality, possibly with an element of their own design or interpretation of existing design. How good that quality is though is very subjective!

I look at my sewing when I first started out 4years-ish ago and my sewing then was very amateur compared to now. I still sold stuff, but it was a hobby to fundraise money for charity in memory of my sister, and we all have to start somewhere! Now I’d like to think my items are a reasonable enough quality that others will buy them, and who knows where I will be in another 4years - I hope I’ll have learnt even more and my sewing/designing even better.

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I think that lot are confusing talent with tuition!

When I was learning silver jewellery making there were a number of other people who attended the class before I joined with varying degrees of talent. By the time I had completed a year, some of those people were still there struggling with the same basic problems. They had had a lot of tuition, but their lack of ability or ambition was holding them back. In particular the less successful tutees were often those who confessed to be unable to draw their ideas on paper.

On the other hand, some people can achieve the most amazing heights without any formal tuition at all.

When it comes to art the only thing that matters is whether or not the purchasor likes it-the audience determines how good it is!

I am the last person who would suggest that somebody who had just started making should refrain from trying to sell their makes or enter competitions, because, who knows? They might just win…

Sam x

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AAh,the penny has just dropped,you can’t do what you have done for the last 50 years without an NVQ these days,probably the same with crafts or so the people that make these programs think.

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I think it’s just a bit of snobbery - there are those who think their ‘crafts’ are superior to others. Their work is therefore ‘handcrafted’ whereas everyone else’s is ‘handmade’ (or, even worse, ‘homemade’!).

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I always think it is interesting when someone tries to give a term a very specific meaning, whereas others interpret it very differently. It’s good fellow Folksyers have a pretty consistent view. :slight_smile:

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Totally! The more specific the definition becomes the fewer people it can be applied to. That means less competition. So cynical :unamused:

Sam x

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I think there’s a difference - handmade can be anything made by hand, but handcrafted to me says it’s made by someone who has skill and craftmanship - the word craft has sadly been diluted over the years in my opinion and no longer holds the same esteem as it used to do. I consider my products handcrafted. I’ve worked for years developing my skills and have a meticulous eye for detail and I think my work and prices reflect this.

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Hi Evie,
I like your definition of hand crafted. I make all my jewellery from basic sterling silver sheet, wire and tube. Rather than buying ready made pieces and assembling them.
So in the future I will refer to my pieces as hand crafted rather than hand made. Hopefully that doesn’t sound snobbish.

Mike.

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Doesn’t sound snobbish at all. I think it’s important to differentiate from handmade. Like yourself I make everything from scratch. I consider this craftsmanship. The only things I buy in are chains and earring backs as they’re too fiddly to make and if I made these myself my prices would have to go up considerably.

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Sort of following on from this does our perception change as to whether hand made/crafted is a good thing depending on what the item is? Back when I was a teenager I used to build electronics boards, soldering on each component, stripping the ends of wires and crimping them into cables all by hand (I also use to fault find and fix boards made by machine) but in this circumstance does being hand constructed add the same value as it does to the traditional artisan made items like jewellery or ceramics or would you be less confident in the product?

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At the end of the day we all make stuff from scratch,no stone stickers here,so given I don’t hold a scorper in my feet it is still handmade/crafted.

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I agree with a lot on here that I didn’t think there was a huge difference between the two, more of a case which term people chose to use.

I find from my Google Analytics that any phrases that Google allows to be shown usually refer to handmade rather than handcrafted.

My view is that it all depends on the person using search engines which term they use. Just in case though I use both (in different items of course) :slight_smile:

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