My first jewelry release is going LIVE at 10pm EST on Thursday, February 8th. Here's a sneak peak at the pieces that will be available plus a little information about copper jewelry.
Each piece of jewelry features a ceramic tile hand-selected from the shards of some of my original pottery. When the design of the pottery is reduced to a small piece, it often results in a beautiful pattern that may even be confused for a gemstone. In order to become a piece of jewelry, a bezel is sculpted around the tile with epoxy and then painted with conductive paint. The piece is submerged in an acid bath containing copper pipe and an electric circuit is made between the jewelry and the copper pipe. When electricity is applied, the copper particles are pulled from the pipe and attracted to the conductive paint, which allows a layer of copper to slowly build over the piece. This process is commonly known as electroforming and really makes me feel like a mad scientist when everything is hooked up and bubbling. After 8-12 hours (or more!) in the bath, the piece is then polished, tinted with patina, and polished again before becoming a necklace or earring.
You may notice that the earrings are not exact matches. That is because the spontaneity of smashing the pottery will never produce two identical tiles. I try to match the pieces as best as I can, but remember - they are sisters, not twins.
Properties of Copper:
Copper is one of the few native metals, meaning it can be found in nature in its metallic form without needing extraction from an ore. This allowed early humans to utilize copper easily and it was the first metal to be smelted, molded, and purposefully alloyed with another metal. Copper has a rich history in many early civilizations, including Egyptian, Roman, and Native American societies. Copper is also an essential dietary mineral for all living beings.
There are some suggestions that copper has healing properties including relief of headaches, arthritis, and joint pain. While scientific studies cannot undeniably support these claims, studies on the power of placebo treatments support that if you believe that a remedy works, it may in fact produce positive effects. Others look to copper for holistic and spiritual healing.
About Green Skin:
Copper is not guaranteed to turn your skin green. The green color is the result of your specific body chemistry, which changes day to day. Some people are less likely to experience green skin, and even a single person may experience green skin on one day and not on a different day. The green color comes from your sweat and skin oils eroding the copper and creating a layer of carbon carbonate on your skin. This is not harmful to you. An acidic environment occurs on your skin when you sweat, and is enhanced by a diet of junk food and red meat. Green skin can be a great health indication to drink some water and eat some veggies. The green color can be washed off with soap and water, or is likely to fade overnight.
Green skin is more likely to occur where the skin is in constant contact with copper. Copper rings are most likely to turn your skin green because they are tight to your finger with virtually no air flow. Copper cuff bracelets are the second most likely to turn your skin green because, again, they are making prolonged contact with your skin. It is very unlikely for a pendant, which is frequently moving around on your chest, to make enough contact on one part of your skin to produce a green patch. Earrings, as well, are unlikely to make contact with your skin, especially when choosing a stainless steel or sterling silver earwire.
Whether you are interested in copper jewelry for health or simply as adornment, I hope to provide you with a quality product. Proponents of the health benefits of copper believe that the body must make contact with the pure copper for health benefits to occur.Therefore, all of my pieces of copper jewelry are left unsealed. I can seal jewelry by request. The sealant may slightly alter the appearance of the patina. Please allow 4-7 extra business days for me to seal your jewelry before shipping. The sealant takes 4 days to cure after it has been applied.
Caring For Your Copper Jewelry:
This piece of copper jewelry has an intentional tarnish on it called patina which gives it a unique dark color. Do not clean your jewelry with tarnish remover or acidic treatments (lemon, ketchup, vinegar, etc.) or the patina finish will be removed. Over a long period of time (years,) this coloring will naturally darken. The best way to slow the darkening process is to keep your copper jewelry clean through preventative measures:
- Store your jewelry in a cool, dry place.
- Store your jewelry in a box or cloth bag when not in use. (Another term for tarnish is oxidation because the darkening of the copper occurs when it is exposed to oxygen.) In a pinch, a tightly sealed plastic bag may also be used.
- Remove your jewelry before sleeping, bathing/showering, and swimming (especially in chlorinated pools or salt water.)
- Wipe your jewelry with a soft cloth before storing. This helps to remove your natural body oils from the surface of the copper, which can also contribute to tarnish.
- Avoid wearing your jewelry during activities that may produce a lot of sweat. The acids and salts in your sweat will tarnish copper.
- Avoid wearing lotion, sunscreen, makeup, and perfume on areas of your body that will come in contact with your jewelry. If you use lotion on your hands, make sure to put on your earrings or latch your necklace before applying hand lotion.
- If your jewelry does come in contact with lotions, sunscreen, makeup, or perfume, it is all the more important to wipe it with a soft cloth when you take it off.