View Full Version : Hand Made or not?

Potter Doodle Doo
15-05-2007, 09:57 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm looking for your opinions on this one.

I make bisqueware (for those who don't know, this is clay that has been fired once and is unglazed). These can either then be glazed and re-fired to make foodsafe or can be painted with acrylics as a decorative item ... depending on the piece.

I use traditional slipcasting methods which involves pouring liquid clay into (very large and heavy) moulds. After fettling (removing seam lines and sanding down), this is then fired in my kiln.

I want to put an information sheet on my table when I do my first craft fair in a couple of weeks. My question is "would I be wrong stating that these were 'hand made' by myself"?

When thinking of hand made pottery items, I always pictured someone sat there with a wheel and throwing clay rather than using liquid clay and moulds.

I'm guessing that the soap makers and candle makers amongst us also use moulds for some of their items ... is it the same thing .... do you say that they are hand made?

I'm very confused lol

15-05-2007, 10:03 PM
I think you are well within your rights to state your work is handmade! Handmade to me is something made individually buy a person, as opposed to mass produced by machines. There are plenty of crafts that use moulds, a mould is just a tool, using tools doesn't stop things being hamdmade!

15-05-2007, 10:40 PM
I agree with Lucinda. All craftworkers use tools, and a mould is a tool like any other. I assume that you don't use any 'machinery' or automated machinery ( can you call a kiln machinery?) in making your pots.

I would call pots made on a wheel, hand-thrown. The only time I ever tried one it went all wibbly!:)

15-05-2007, 10:52 PM
Primmers just beat me to it - I would have said if it was on a wheel it would be 'hand thrown', yours are definitely hand made. The alternative would be 'machine made' - they don't fit into that category at all! :)

Bowed Over
16-05-2007, 08:45 AM
Yep Peters right you didn't use a machine to make your pots you used a tool with your hands - i.e. hand made.

Certainly hand made, bit like restaurants making home made soup, they didn't grow the veg but made it at home, home made.




kipper workshops
16-05-2007, 10:42 AM
Yep, I would agree, definately hand made. Machine made or mass produced implies that it is conveyer belt style production and your work does not fit that description.

I am a woodworker and use electric chop saws, routers, planers etc... I also make jigs that allow me to speed up some steps of production and allow me to repeat a step accurately every time. But these are all just tools that I use, just like your moulds. It is all still hand made. You don't just push a button and the 'making machine' springs to life! You have to get your hands in there and make each piece happen - to me that is hand made!!

Just my two-penneth!


16-05-2007, 11:44 AM
I agree with everyone else on here too. Definitely hand made - good luck with the fair.

16-05-2007, 12:42 PM
Def hand made
Good luck with the craft fair

Tip Top
16-05-2007, 01:28 PM
Yep - handmade and muscles to prove it eh?!!:D

Potter Doodle Doo
16-05-2007, 03:23 PM
Thank you to everyone who replied ... I really valued the opinions, I got myself all confused and thinking things way too deep.

You don't just push a button and the 'making machine' springs to life! You have to get your hands in there and make each piece happen - to me that is hand made!!

Steve ... this did make me laugh ... I really do wish that I could push a button and the 'making machine' comes to life (as I'm sure that a lot of us do at times) ... it would make things much easier for me as some of the moulds are very very heavy indeed, especially when full of slip.

Sugar & Spice .... Not sure about the muscles, but my arms constantly ache from lifting moulds. I have a very bad habit of lifting smaller moulds with one hand ... I forget that even though I can get my hand around them they are still heavy :-( lol

16-05-2007, 06:32 PM
How about 'hand-crafted'? I think it sounds better than handmade anyway.

Potter Doodle Doo
16-05-2007, 10:05 PM
that one sounds even better.

Thanks :-D

Bowed Over
17-05-2007, 09:10 AM
How about 'hand-crafted'? I think it sounds better than handmade anyway.

That's what I tend to use. I put a little sticker on each candle saying hand crafted in Scotland - don't know just think crafted sounds nicer!




Snow angel
17-05-2007, 09:14 AM
I always say mines hand crafted as i know most of my items are not hand made

17-05-2007, 05:30 PM
yeah hand-crafted sounds more chic ...

Mary :)

22-05-2007, 11:12 AM
It is def. hand mand.you do that by your hand.
Great job!;)

22-05-2007, 11:19 AM
How about 'hand-crafted'? I think it sounds better than handmade anyway.

how about "hand-beaded" for beader?

21-08-2007, 03:29 PM
hi just wanted to say that my Mum used to sell ceramics, and made teddy bears (good 10 years ago now!) and made them in exactly the same way with moulds and slip, then used to fire them and paint or glaze them.

When she did craft fairs she used to put 'handmade' on them all, people were always interested in how they were made, but never questioned that they were not handmade...so go for it....i understand the work that goes into pouring them, my Mum used to get me doing it in the garden on the school holidays!


Tip Top
30-09-2008, 02:32 PM
This is an old thread from May 2007 - please look at dates before reviving old threads!:)

30-09-2008, 03:57 PM
If you are a bit doubtful which you shouldn't be, you could say "individually crafted" That would be the absolute truth because you tidy up any rough edges by hand anyway.