Care and feeding of your handmade jewelry
Each piece is handmade by me-from every hand-sawn detail to every set stone-with the exception of some chains and most findings. I make each item by hand. In order to preserve your sterling silver or copper artwork avoid wet and strenuous activities while wearing, remove for showering or bathing, swimming, running, applying lotion, playing sports, other hygiene rituals etc. If you get it wet, dry immediately. Copper is a softer metal so please do not be rugged with it. If you show my pieces love, they will last for years with normal wear and tear. I wear my sterling silver protection bangle daily and it is just as beautiful and shiny as the day I made it.
Sterling silver will tarnish with exposure to oxygen, moisture, sunlight and contaminants such as salt water. To protect your sterling silver while not wearing it keep it in an airtight package and use tarnish resistant products to absorb harmful chemicals. Store your sterling items in a cool, dry place. Most tarnish adds character in the form of a dark patina to a piece, but if you would like to keep yours, shiny and bright tarnish can easily be removed with silver polishing compounds and cloths. My favourite is the Sunshine® Polishing Cloth. These are sold in my online store and in the craft markets I attend throughout the year. Please note they will also remove the dark patina that is added to some of my pieces so please be careful when using.
Copper will oxidize more quickly than sterling silver unless coated with a special coating like renaissance wax but nothing lasts forever and all coatings will come off with wear. Copper will turn a greenish blue color when it oxides and this tarnish gives it character, however, if that’s not your thing it can easily be removed to restore it to that shiny, rosy colour that you fell in love with. You can use some handy home ingredients to clean your copper. Pour a small dish of soy sauce in a small dish and swish your copper piece around for 1-3 minutes. Remove copper piece and rinse clean with tap water. Dry immediately. You can also use ketchup—just smear it on and wipe it off. Rinse clean. Dry immediately.
Mirror Shine finish: These pieces are hand polished for a mirror like shine; however, with age they will continue to develop their natural patina. With continued wear the highlights of the piece will remain bright and shiny, if they do become dull a quick polish with a polishing cloth—like the sunshine cloth—will bring it back to its original lustre. If you like, the patina leave it alone and it will age naturally developing its own individual character.
Satin finish: duller than the mirroshine but without a patina unless stated. They will continue to develop their natural patina with again and with continued wear will not patina as much as a piece left unworn. You can polish them with a polishing cloth but they will not become mirror finish, they will return to the satin finish with some dark spots in the lowlights.
Oxidized finish: these pieces have been oxidized and hand polished to bring out the lowlights and highlights of the piece. With age, this piece will continue to develop its natural patina and with continued wear, the highlights will remain bright and shiny while the lowlights will darken. If the highlights become dull, a quick polish with a polishing cloth—like the sunshine cloth will bring it back to its original lustre but too much polishing will removed the dark patina in some places but deep crevices should be safe with care taken during polishing
Renaissance wax finish: these pieces has been polished to a high lustre shine and finished with Renaissance wax which is a protective coating. It will eventually wear off with normal wear. If you like the look of patina on copper leave it alone. If you would like it to stay shiny and bright please read the care a feeding section on this page.
Try not to handle the metal too much. Do not shower with it on and try to avoid getting lotions or creams on it. I believe tarnish is a beautiful patina and shows the character of the pieces however, if that is not your thing please use only the recommended metal cleaners or my favourite the Sunshine® Cloth available in my shop and in person at the markets I attend.