- What am I getting if I purchase an item from you?
- Tell me about handcrafted artisan jewelry
- When will I receive my purchase?
- What are lampwork beads?
- What is sterling silver?
- What is fine silver?
- What is Bali (Balinese) silver?
- What is Thai - Karen Hill Tribes silver?
- What is Fair Trade?
- What is gold-filled?
- Do you guarantee your pieces?
- Do you accept custom requests?
- What is your return/refund policy?
- How do I care for my new jewelry?
What am I getting if I purchase an item from you? TOP
You are getting a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of artisan crafted wearable art! You’ve stepped outside the “mass production” box and you are supporting the artist. You know that you will never find yourself in the same room as someone else wearing the same jewelry! You are getting a design created with care & attention to detail and the very best materials. You are getting a piece that was created with not only my artistic vision and talent, but the talent of other artists that I in turn support, lampwork artisans, precious metal clay artisans, porcelain & earthenware artisans, polymer clay artisans, metal smiths, lapidary artists and more. You are getting this piece of wearable art beautifully packaged, ready to give as a gift or simply as a treat for yourself.
Tell me about handcrafted artisan jewelry TOP
When will I receive my purchase? TOP
What are lampwork beads? TOP
I also use a lot of borosilicate lampwork glass beads in my designs. Borosilicate (aka Boro) glass is a very unique and specialized variety of glass. Its composition is different from the "soft" glass that is normally used for beads, resulting in a much stronger finished piece. Although more expensive than a softer glass, Boro offers some amazingly gorgeous color spectrums when viewed in different types of light, but the colors are most dynamic & vibrant in direct sunlight.
Please be aware that not all lampwork beads are created equal. While there is a market for mass produced, cheap imported lampwork (mostly from Asia), as a consumer, you should know that most imported mass produced lampwork beads are made in sweatshop type factories, created by men, women & yes, even children making pennies a day and living in inhuman camp style lodgings during their work week, which consists of 50-70 hours/week, unsanitary factory & living conditions. Most - nearly all, of these beads are not kiln annealed, which makes their strength questionable, they are likely to break, usually within very short order. Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift in temperature to cause them to fracture, or even completely crumble. Any designer who uses mass imported beads cannot guarantee the strength or durability of any of their designs made with these beads. and any designer who uses mass imported lampwork has a moral & ethical obligation to price their work accordingly. Some of these lampwork beads are available at price ranges of $5.00 -$6.00 per set of 12 or even more beads.
Consumers do have the right to question a jewelry designer about any lampwork bead that the designer has chosen to use in their designs. Find out where the bead(s) comes from, who the artisan was who created it.
What is sterling silver? TOP
Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver. As pure silver is very soft, sterling is hardened with another metal alloy of not more than 7.5%, usually copper. Sterling silver is also sometimes marked as .925. Sterling silver will oxidize with exposure to light and air. It is best stored away from light when not being worn, but the best defense against oxidization is to wear your sterling jewelry. The natural oils in your skin will coat and protect sterling silver, keeping it lustrous and bright. A polishing cloth, available at any fine jewelry store will come in handy for the occasional polish.
What is fine silver? TOP
Fine silver is defined as 99.9% pure silver, with no other metals. Fine silver is very soft, but due to less copper and/or other metal content, it doesn’t oxidize as quickly as sterling silver.
What is Bali (Balinese) silver? TOP
Very ornate, highly decortated sterling silver beads handcrafted by Bali, Indonesia silversmiths. These carefully handcrafted works of art are always exceptional in detail and quality, with each and every intricate granulation detail crafted and applied by hand in an extremely labor intensive and time consuming process. All the imported silver I use, be it Bali or Thai silver is fair trade silver.
What is Thai - Karen Hill Tribes silver? TOP
What is Fair Trade? TOP
All the imported silver I use, be it Bali or Thai silver is Fair Trade silver, meaning that my silver brokers deal directly with the silversmiths themselves, and that the artisans are receiving a fair and decent price for their art beads. Fair Trade means gender equality, safe & healthy working enviornments, environmentally sound production practices and increased opportunities for economically and socially disadvantaged producers and/or areas of production.
What is gold-filled? TOP
Gold filled describes when a layer of gold is mechanically bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. I use only 14k/20 gold-filled in my jewelry, which is strong and durable and wears as solid gold. Gold-filled items will remain gold for a lifetime if cared for properly. The gold in gold-filled items will not wear off as gold plated items will.
Do you guarantee your pieces? TOP
I guarantee the quality and craftsmanship of my work. My pieces are constructed for a lifetime of wear. In the case of breakage or damage that occurs through normal wear, please contact me. I will repair or replace your piece. If, in the unlikely case a piece needs to be repaired, materials may have to be substituted due to the unique nature and/or rarity of some of the components used in my designs.
Do you accept custom requests? TOP
Custom designs/requests are accepted occasionally and normally require a 1-2 week lead time. A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the purchase price is required before begining any work on a custom design. A request for a custom piece must be a design of your own vision, or based upon something you have seen on my website.
What is your return/refund policy? TOP
How do I care for my new jewelry? TOP
- Do not use jewelry dips, tumblers or liquid polishes, these chemicals can & do harm some gemstones. Simply polish with a soft cloth, using water &/or a bit of mild dishwashing liquid if necessary to remove any traces of make-up or dirt. Tarnish can be removed with a blue jewelers polishing cloth.
- Your jewelry is created for a lifetime of wear. However, as with all fine jewelry, it is not meant to be abused. Dry it with a soft cloth if it gets wet, don’t swim with it on, avoid bleach and cleaning chemicals when wearing any fine jewelry. It is usually best to remove your jewelry before going to bed at night.
- Some gemstones are harder than others, however all gemstones, crystal & glass beads can chip or crack if knocked hard enough, or sometimes just at an odd angle. Don’t hesitate to contact me for repairs should any damage occur to any piece you’ve purchased from me.
- If your piece contains heavy or large beads, it should be restrung after a couple of years of normal wear, maybe sooner if you wear your piece often. No charge for restringing. Examine your pieces occasionally, particularly near clasps, if you notice any signs of unusual wear or damage, please contact me for repair.
Most of all, enjoy!!