Design and Construction
So often my design inspiration comes from noticing the interrelationship of random pieces that happen to be on the workbench. What would it look like if I added this . . . . , or what would happen if I turned this upside down . . . . .?
Ideas are sketched out on paper, then the project starts a life of its own, often evolving from the original idea as work progresses. The basic shape is cut out of a sheet of metal with a jeweler's saw. Wire trim, either silver or gold, is cut, hammered, shaped and soldered to the base shape. The bezel (the part that is like a turtleneck collar around a stone) is cut, shaped and soldered in place. The entire piece, dull and darkened from the heat of the torch, is cleaned and pre-polished. Next the stone is set in place, the edges of the bezel are pushed securely over the stone. Finally each item is finished with 2 more stages of polish, bringing the piece to its completed mirror finish.
Earring posts, wires and earnuts are sterling silver. Stainless steel posts may be added by special request. Extra large earnuts are used to balance larger stones to avoid having the earring tip backward too much on the ear.
Chains are 18" sterling silver unless otherwise requested. Bails are usually large enough to remove the chain to interchange it with one of your own chains of a different length. When that is possible, you may purchase the pendant without a chain.
Bi-metal is a relatively new product, which is created through fusion bonding of a Karat gold with sterling silver. The end product is one piece of metal with a Karat gold surface on one side and a sterling silver surface on the other.
Caring For Your Product
The best care is preventive care. When you remove jewelry, rub it gently with a soft cloth or hand towel to remove body oils and salts from the jewelry's surface. Store individual pieces in the small plastic bags provided. This will not only prevent tarnish, but will also prevent surface scratches.
You may use commercial dip solutions on plain metal items only. Never, never put anything with a pearl or a semi-precious stone in a dip. Paste polishes are fine and can be rinsed off with very warm water. For a quick and easy treatment, take a pinch of baking soda between your fingers and rub over the metal surface; rinse with warm water and dry well. Baking soda is a very fine abrasive that will remove some light tarnish. For necklace chains that have been worn on a hot summer day, lather your hands with a mild soap, coil the chain between your palms and gently rub your hands in a circular motion. Rinse well and dry thoroughly, even using a hair dryer to dry tightly linked chains.