From reading chapter 4 of Guy Julier’s book The Culture of Design, I realised that it is better to have commissioned jewellery rather than mass produced jewellery.
Jewellery that is churned out will only have meaning if someone buys it for you. There was nothing special about it to begin with and you know many people will own the same piece.
Cheap jewellery is not significant. Whereas as a limited collection or even just one piece that is more expensive is significant. It becomes personal.
Jewellery that is commissioned is more personal. The commissioner knows or has spoken to the person that made it. It is not made for an unknown person. There is a connection between consumer and maker. This is what Ikea tried to do, where they created a relationship between consumer and production by letting the consumer build the furniture. Obviously the Ikea furniture is mass produced so there is nothing special about it, yet with commissioned jewellery it is special because it is unique.
I have a lot, and I mean a lot of junk jewellery that I’ve accumulated over the years, yet I only ever wear sentimental jewellery, not jewellery that I’ve bought myself (unless it is earrings).
Ever since I started studing jewellery & metalwork, I’ve actually stopped buying jewellery. I do not like the idea of mass produced jewellery (I’m not fully against it, I love receiving jewellery :D) and I know in a few years I’ll be able to make my own and it would be personal because I designed it. I have found myself either changing the chain, or taking off a charm on a necklace before.. it makes it different and looks better most of the time. So I think if I was to make my own jewellery it would be versatile pieces that you can change in small ways to make it fit with what you are wearing or how you personally want it to look.
I’ve gone a bit off topic…
Julier has mentioned many authors in the chapter and will try and maybe look into a couple when I find time - it just takes me ages to read and understand what I’m reading :(