About My Jewelry

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About My Jewelry

"When you buy from an independent artist, you are buying more than just a painting or a novel or a song. You are buying hundreds of hours of experimentation and thousands of failures. You are buying days, weeks, months, years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are buying nights of worry about paying the rent, having enough money to eat, having enough money to feed the children, the birds, the dog. You aren’t just buying a thing, you are buying a piece of heart, part of a soul, a private moment in someone’s life. Most importantly, you are buying that artist more time to do something they are truly passionate about; something that makes all of the above worth the fear and the doubt; something that puts the life into the living."

Rebekah Joy Plett

I use glass, precious, semi-precious, natural, crystal, silver, silver plated, gold filled, gold plated beads and “findings” (e.g., silver balls, gold filled tubes, roundelles, etc.). I use sterling silver or gold filled crimp beads or chain and various strands of wire (depending on weight of beads) which are stainless steel-nylon coated or 14 kt gold over stainless steel-nylon coated for the gold jewelry. I do use 14 kt (and higher) findings for special designs upon request. On items with “dangles”, I individually attach with either jump rings, split rings, or I make my own with Sterling Silver or gold filled wire.

Snap clasps: These are wonderful! No need to ask for help when trying to get your bracelets connected. They are also called a “ball and socket” clasp. The round end has a small spring in it and I have never had one disconnect - so they are very safe. The way I hold my bracelet to snap is: I hold the bracelet next to my body with the ball facing upward and bring around the round end, lay on top of the ball (doesn’t matter which side is facing up) and snap in place. Everyone has their own technique and after you do it several times you will see how easy they are.

Because these snap clasps need to be strong, they only come "plated” (sterling silver or gold would be too soft to withstand the wear and tear of a snap clasp). I have these snap clasps in silver plated, gold plated, pewter, antique silver or gold, gunmetal, brushed silver, or gold.

Swarovski® crystals: Swarovski® is the leading manufacturer of Austrian Crystals since 1892. The large 14 mm are limited production crystals and produced about every three years. The larger sizes are my favorites. You will receive many compliments when you are wearing a larger size crystal with your jeans! Of course, they are absolutely stunning with evening wear.

There are 61 different colors; however, the larger 12 & 14 mm are usually only available in the clear crystal. Many of the beads have different finishes so I can get them in aurora borealis (AB), mirrored, etc. I do custom orders, so if a customer wants a specific color, let me know... I have samples of all colors Swarovski offers!

Swarovski also manufacturers faux glass pearls which have a genuine pearl coating over glass. Because of the pearl coating, they warm up to your body temperature as a genuine pearl, are the best faux pearl on the market and need the same care as a genuine pearl. Many color options are available.

Lampwork beads: Each lampwork glass bead is handcrafted, made one at a time by manipulating slender glass rods in front of a glass burner. They are very beautiful and eye-catching and are more expensive. I absolutely love them and my son, Ryan, and I have both done lampwork. I  do purchase from various lampwork artists as I design the jewelry. Having the experience of trying to make a round bead with glass over a very hot flame, defying gravity, allows you to understand why they are costly. These beads vary in price depending on color, size, design, technique, etc. I have seen a set of nine lampwork beads sell for up to $1,500. Handmade lampwork beads are the best of the best! You can purchase “manufactured lampwork” beads but, of course, you can tell the difference (quality and price). These manufactured beads also come in variety of colors, sizes, etc., and are wonderful to use.

“Interchangeable bead rings” and “Changling” bead rings: These are copyrighted by artists and are solid sterling silver. They are so-o-o much fun to wear because you can change the bead (usually lampwork) and have varied options for your wardrobe. The interchangeable bead is 15 mm in length. Finger sizes available are 5-11. The changling bead ring uses glass discs (usually lampwork bead discs) and as with the other style, and offers you a variety of choices for bead style and color. 

Bracelet sizing: I have listed the length's adjustability. In addition, there are some that mention “fits wrist measuring up to…”. This measuring system will allow for the size of beads and crystals used. For example, a bracelet that has smaller components and measures 7” when positioned flat will fit a larger wrist than a bracelet with larger, bulkier beads that also measures 7” when positioned flat. This will allow you to determine if you want a bracelet to fit snug or to fit loosely around your wrist by measuring the actual size of your wrist.

Tips for cleaning your jewelry: Sterling silver and silver plated will tarnish and gold will need to be polished to retain the brightness (gold does not tarnish). I use special cloths specifically for jewelry polishing. Some stones and gems cannot be dipped in jewelry cleaners (if this is an option you prefer) because the cleaner will damage them—examples would be pearls, opals, emeralds, turquoise. Always check and know how best to clean and polish your jewelry items. It’s best to clean and polish regularly (after each wear).

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