Article Summary

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To help further my ideas for my dissertation I looked up some articles on jewellery. A useful source that I read to help with my dissertation subject was the article, Mass-produced jewellery or Hand made jewellery? Written by Belinda Bryant. This article investigates how mass produced jewellery is becoming increasingly popular in clothes shops and how looking into how this might affect other independent jewellers out there. The article aims to investigate why hand made jewellery is a better investment.

Bryant's key purpose of this article is to show to the readers that the hand made jewellery tradition should be kept and not taken over by the mass-produced jewellery that is filling up our big name shops.

Firstly the article explains how jewellery has been used through the ages. How jewellery used to have special meanings behind it, from the traditional religious meanings to superstitious properties. To now used as a way of adorning the body, to compliment an outfit. The demand for jewellery to suit all looks, age groups and occasions has grown through the years. This has now led to the introduction of mass-produced jewellery in nearly all clothes shops.

Bryant explains how the shops are now advertising this jewellery making it appeal to the consumers. By arranging them in colour co-ordinated shelves to compliment the clothes with the matching colour next to them. These pieces of jewellery are mainly silver-plated which make the companies able to price the products affordably. Bryant’s point she is wanted to get across from this paragraph is that the cheap mass produced jewellery is becoming too popular and everyone is buying them, so everyone has the same jewellery.

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The author then goes on to look at handmade jewellery explains the pros to this side of the industry. Showing how the handmade jewellery is individually crafted giving the piece a unique quality.

Bryant sourced many different types of handcrafted jewellery to look into their qualities. Such as Africa, where their handmade jewellery reflects the African tribes, also using sustainable materials looking after the environment. Chile was another place Bryant investigated for handmade jewellery where she came across fair trade jewellery reflecting the Chilean culture and showing the use of traditional skills. (Something which mass-produced jewellery does not.)

Bryant concludes with a story of Indian jewellery showing how the traditional religions are still practiced and these followers continue to make handmade jewellery now using silver and precious gemstones. They believe jewellery is an industry that does not harm animals or plants or any living thing so is makes this industry acceptable. Bryant explains how this jewellery makes you feel great admiration for the maker. Giving the maker respect for their beliefs and time they have taken to hand craft these pieces of jewellery.

Even though this was a very biased article it helped me to learn more about different traditional independent jewellers and how mass-produced companies have no stories behind their jewellery. Making the handcrafted pieces of jewellery seem more valuable, people take time to make these pieces using their own skills and not a machines. This article was very helpful, as it has secured my thought of what my dissertation is going to be on. Looking into how the Jewellery Industry is creating more disposable jewellery and how this is going against the independent jewellers.

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