In the making of bent veneer earrings

Celebrating Artisan Made Jewelry - The Transparency Behind KMD' Pricing

We live in a world inundated with mass-produced items and fleeting fashion trends so there's a timeless allure to artisan made jewelry—a story of craftsmanship, authenticity, and soulful creation. As a participant in this year's Slovenian Jewelry Week, I've witnessed firsthand the growing appreciation for pieces that bear the mark of artisanal excellence.

But what exactly does "artisan made" mean, and why does it hold such value in today's fast-paced world? Let’s break it down…

What Does Artisan Made Mean?

Artisan made is not just a label; it's a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and personal touch infused into each piece of jewelry. An artisan, by definition, is a skilled craftsperson who creates items by hand, often employing traditional techniques and a deep understanding of their craft.

In the context of jewelry, artisan-made products are crafted by artisans who contribute directly and substantially to the creation of each piece, whether through manual labor or with the assistance of hand-tools and machinery. 

Unlike mass-produced items, artisan made jewelry carries a distinct sense of individuality and character, making each piece truly unique.


Who is an Artisan?

An artisan is more than just a creator; they are individuals deeply connected to their craft, pouring passion and skill into every detail. The artisan's hands bring life to materials, turning them into wearable art.

These skilled individuals devote countless hours to honing their skills and refining their techniques, resulting in pieces of exceptional quality and beauty. Artisans often draw inspiration from their surroundings, heritage, and personal experiences, infusing their creations with stories and symbolism that resonate with their customers.



Why is Artisan Made Priced Higher?

The value of artisan-made jewelry extends beyond the materials used; it encapsulates the time, effort, and expertise invested in each creation. Unlike mass-produced items or fast fashion, artisan-made pieces carry a sense of individuality and authenticity. They are not mere commodities but wearable stories, each telling a different tale.

Additionally, artisan made jewelry often incorporates responsibly sourced materials, supporting sustainable practices and fair labor standards. By investing in artisan made jewelry, customers not only acquire a beautiful accessory but also support a tradition of craftsmanship and creativity.


The Transparency Behind Kristina M Designs' Pricing

Many people wonder about the pricing of artisan made jewelry, not fully understanding the intricacies of the creation process and the time it takes. That's why I decided to be transparent about my pricing. I want you to understand the complexity behind it and know exactly what you are paying for, besides acquiring a unique piece of jewelry.

To illustrate this, I will use one of my latest designs, the REENO stud earrings, priced at 105,00 €, as an example. This will help explain the process and the time required to bring such an intricate design to life and thus the price it has.

1. From imagination to reality

First you have to understand that coming up with totally new ideas is a process on its own and it takes time. This design is a part of a collection where the inspiration for it are lines and shapes we can find in nature (I will talk more about it when I release the collection). That means I had to filter the inspiration through my imagination and come up with a design that captures it perfectly in a way that is also different from other pieces in the collection. I try to draw my ideas or try to make prototypes with paper to see if the idea in my head is even doable. Once I have it all figured out the fun part begins - the creation of the first piece.

At first glance, the materials for the Reeno studs seem minimal: 16 strips of walnut veneer, 2 stainless steel posts, along with some wood glue and varnish. Thus, the material cost is relatively low. However, the true value lies in the originality of the design, time, effort, and patience involved in crafting each piece - the essence of artisanal work.

2. The Process

Believe it or not, it takes me four days to complete this design, from preparing the veneer to applying the final coat of varnish. The process begins with cutting 16 strips of walnut veneer and soaking them in water. Once they are soft, I meticulously bend each strip into the desired shape using a prop which I also had to come up with and make to even be able to bring this design to life. I repeat this step until I have four inner sections and four outer sections, ensuring they dry perfectly to facilitate smoother and faster gluing later.

After 24 hours (+/- a few hours), I unclamp the sections from the prop and align them in the correct order. At this stage, each section consists of two strips that need to be glued together to form eight perfectly bent sections. This must be done in the correct order to ensure smooth assembly later. I glue each upper section after the bottom one holds together sufficiently. I know this might sound confusing, but it highlights the complexity of this work, so bear with me.


Once all eight sections are glued and dried, usually after another 24 hours, I hand-sand each section to smoothen them for assembly. I start with the inner part, allow the glue to set slightly, trim the excess parts, and then assemble the outer part.

The following day, I cut off the excess from the outer sections, sand the edges to perfection, and attach the earring posts, securing them with UV resin. Finally, I apply three coats of water-based varnish, always hand-sanding after the first coat.

But the work doesn't end there. After the product is finished I have to create beautiful images for marketing, manage social media, email, and website updates. I also have to craft a compelling description to attract you to these earrings.

Now, I'm done. Easy peasy, right? 

Embracing Slow Fashion and Artisan Made

In a world that often prioritizes speed and quantity, the slow fashion movement emerges as a response—a call for ethical and sustainable choices. Kristina M Designs artisan-made jewelry falls gracefully into this movement, advocating for a more mindful approach to fashion that values both people and the planet.

So, join me on this journey. Let's move away from mass production and fast fashion, and instead, embrace the timeless allure of artisan-made jewelry. Discover the joy of wearing something crafted with care, a piece that not only adorns but resonates with your values. Together, let's celebrate the art of slowing down, finding serenity, and adorning ourselves with pieces that truly speak to the soul.

Welcome to the world of Kristina M Designs—where each piece is not just artisan-made; it's a reflection of a life devoted to Your serenity.

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