Materials/Jewelry Care

About the Fabrication Process

Each pendant and charm is individually handmade. The images that are used in most of my pieces were first hand drawn by me and then made into a custom mold. The metal clay is hand pressed into each mold and then personalized on back. Personalization is either hand-stamped or inscribed by hand. No two pieces will look exactly alike. Words and letters will not be perfectly lined up because they are placed by hand and not by machine. Small little marks on the metal are often seen due to the hand pressed nature, but give each piece that unique handmade, organic or vintage feel. Small “imperfections” in each piece are part of what makes each piece unique and special. These are not defects and are considered part of the “charm” in the charm. In my opinion, beauty has more to do with individual character than with perfection, both in art and in people.

About Metal Clay

Metal Clay is a product that has revolutionized the way artists can manipulate silver and other precious metals for jewelry. Silver clay is made up of fine silver particles that have been recycled from other sources (such as photographic film) and then is mixed with an organic binding agent to make it into a clay form. This clay can be shaped, molded, stamped, carved, etc. After it is dry, the object is refined by sanding and filing the surface until smooth. The piece is then fired in a kiln. During the firing process the organic binder completely burns away. The resultant piece is 99.9% pure silver (sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver). After firing, there is a lengthy process to bring the piece of silver to the state you see here. Each piece is wire brushed, polished, oxidized and then hand polished again. Metal clay is also available in 22 Kt gold, bronze and copper.

Beads

Most designs are made with natural gemstone beads. Every effort is made to use fair and equitable sources for our beads and jewelry components. Many stones are hand cut and polished, so they will not be of uniform shape, size or color. Other designs may also contain Swarovski crystals, glass beads, African trade beads, antique millefiori beads and other vintage beads.

About Each Finished Product

We make every effort to give a full description of each product so that you completely understand what materials are used to make the piece that you are considering for purchase. Please let us know if you have any questions about materials used or how the piece is created.

Jewelry Care and Cleaning

To delay oxidation and tarnishing, jewelry is best cared for by keeping it away from direct sunlight and humidity. Periodic buffing with a soft silver polishing cloth is all that is needed to bring pieces back to their original shine and luster. We do not recommend silver dips, as they are particularly harsh and will ruin the antique finish that is applied to each piece. Beads are also best cared for by simply running over them with a soft cloth.

Helpful Terminology


White Toned Metals in Our Jewelry

Fine Silver
Also known as pure silver, it is 99.9% silver. This type of silver contains no copper, so it tends to oxidize/tarnish more slowly than sterling silver. Used in most of our pendants and charms, and in some clasps.

Sterling Silver
Contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% base metal, typically copper. Tarnishes more quickly due to the copper content, but slightly stronger than fine silver. Used in our chains, earring components, jump rings, wire wrapped links and clasps.

Nickel Silver
Metal made from nickel. It contains no silver at all. Not used in any of our pieces.

Yellow Toned Metals in Our Jewelry

Yellow Bronze
Metal clay that fires into solid bronze, with a color similar to gold. This is used to make pendants and charms that appear much like gold, but are much less expensive. Yellow bronze is also used in two-toned pieces. Paired with either gold-filled or bronze jewelry components such as chain, links, earring components, clasps, and jump rings.

Gold Filled
Composed of a layer of gold bonded with pressure and heat to a brass core. The gold layer is thicker than the gold layer of pieces that are gold plated. Used in wire wrapped links, earring components, chain, clasps, etc.

Gold Vermeil
A thin layer of gold applied to fine silver or sterling silver. Typically more durable than gold plating.

Gold Plating
A method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto a base metal like copper or brass. Considered less durable than gold-filled pieces.

Base Metal
Metal such as bronze, brass, copper, pewter, or nickel.

Art Materials and Care

Substrates are either linen or cotton duck canvas, gessoed masonite or wood. All inks and paints are archival quality. Paper and adhesives are acid free whenever possible, although vintage ephemera is most likely not acid free. Artwork is sealed after completion with a UV protectant. Periodic dusting is all that is usually necessary to care for finished artwork.