I looked on the V&A museum website as a starting point and got this:
'What craft means to me is the making part, the how you make, and this is an exchange with materials - what you give to a material, and what it gives back. This exchange can be awkward, it can be a struggle, or one party can dominate, but if it is a productive exchange, then that's when it's worth looking at. But ultimately, it is the extra something that makes it special.'
So, with that in mind, does the jeweller assembling items not need skill and, as Caroline Broadhead says, add that something extra to make it special? I do, however, accept that there are different levels to this debate - otherwise this site would not have acted as they have. There will always be purists that say unless you have made every item yourself it is not truly handmade and there is some merit in that line of argument. For instance the crafter that buys items in and just paints one heart or similar and trys to claim a hand made piece. But, and this for me is the critical part, who decides? Where do we draw the line as to craft, hand made or assembled?
I suspect this debate will continue for some time, with no real satisfactory answer - but, in the meantime we would like to show our support for hand made by adding this to our site:
click here for the originator of this badge, and where we first came across the debate - Diddy Bears
For those of you that are affected, I hope you get a satisfactory outcome quickly and that it doesn't affect business too greatly.