February 21, 2017

Notes

I use a range of materials to make jewellery.

Silver

To care for silver jewellery, I recommend using a polishing cloth or silver dip to prevent the natural process of tarnishing. Clean your jewellery using lukewarm soapy water and a soft brush.

I do not recommend the use of silver polish and silver dip on any jewellery that has a patina. Avoid harsh chemicals including bleach, chlorine and salt water. Sulphur products (including eggs) will tarnish silver.

I suggest removing your jewellery prior to cleaning or swimming and keep jewellery away from hairspray, perfumes and cosmetics.

Patinas

If your jewellery has an patina (such as oxidisation) I recommend avoiding chemicals and silver polish. Scratches may also damage the patina. Natural wear will polish off the patina from raised areas and edges – this adds to the character of the piece.

You can gently clean patinated jewellery with warm water, a little detergent and a soft cloth or soft bristle brush.

Satin finishes may start to polish naturally over time in high-wear places such as the inside of ring bands.

Copper, brass

Copper oxidises quite quickly, so the jewellery you purchase with a polished pink appearance will darken noticeably. I may use an archival wax to protect the surface of jewellery. This will wear off over time, but it can be replaced.

I design my jewellery to allow for the change in colour that copper brings – it is a natural process, and I embrace that as a positive, organic change.

Similarly with brass, I use an archival wax to protect it and slow down the oxidisation process.

Other metals

I also use titanium and mild steel. Titanium is quite stable – it will not noticeably tarnish. Mild steel is usually painted or is heat treated which gives it a patina, and is then waxed.

I may use other metals such as bronze and monel at times, and care instructions for them are similar to brass and silver, respectively.

Patinas

Oxidisation patinas on copper are similar to silver – they are a surface treatment that can be damaged by chemicals or scratches.

Avoid brushing your patinated piece against hard objects, and store it in a soft bag when you are not wearing it.

Gemstones

Stones all vary in hardness, and should be protected from knocks and chemicals. Keep stones clean with a damp cloth.

Some gemstones are not stone at all, such as amber, pearls and coral, and need extra care as they can be softer.

Pearls

Only use jewellery cleaners labeled as safe for pearls. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner or steam-clean pearls. Never expose pearls to dish or wash detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, baking soda, or ammonia-based cleaners. Do not use toothbrushes, scouring pads or abrasive materials to clean pearls. Take your pearls off when applying cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume, or when showering or swimming, and avoid wearing pearls with rough or scratchy fabrics.

Strung pearls

Do not wear pearls when their string is wet, or hang them to dry. Have your pearls restrung regularly – once a year if you wear them often.

Other materials

I may also use wood, tile or porcelain fragments, or anything else that I feel works. These non-traditional materials sometimes need a little more care.

Construction

Where possible I use mechanical settings rather than chemical for any stones I use. A well constructed mechanical setting is more reliable than an adhesive*.

I use 925 silver for earring wires unless otherwise noted in the description.

*In certain circumstances it is prudent to use a construction/jewellers adhesive, where I deem this method of fixing is suitable and reliable over the long term, and a mechanical fixing is not viable.

Surface protection

My work is often treated with an archival wax. This helps protect the metal from exposure to the air which in turn reduces the tarnishing process. Over time the wax will wear off. Cleaning your jewellery will also remove the wax. I am happy to re-finish and wax your jewellery for you.

Cleaning

Most of my work can be cleaned with silver polishing cloths, or dipped in a good quality silver dip, for a few seconds. Opals, pearls, emeralds, and all other soft or porous stones can be safely cleaned in an ionic cleaner by a reputable jeweller.

Hand made

All of my jewellery is hand made. I design and make each piece in-house.

Hallmarking

In Australia there is no requirement to assay silver, so the term ‘hallmarking’ is misleading. However I do stamp my work ‘925’, if that is what I have used. Please note that if a piece has another metal such as copper I may still stamp it ‘925’ if the majority of the work is in sterling silver.

Ring sizing

I have a ring sizer available here. Print it out at 100%, and measure your ring against the chart to find your finger size.