Tuesday, 22 June 2010

How to clean your jewellery

This is question I often get asked and as I worked in a jewellery gallery for six years, I have cleaned my fair share! I was really surprised to hear how much a friend paid to get her wedding band re-matted when she could be doing it herself.

The earrings above are gold plated silver and I still use a silver cloth on gold items. These can easily be purchased from a jewellery shop or in a supermarket. They work magic and get any tarnished jewellery
sparkling. Read the instructions and DO NOT use it on items with pearls, it strips the pearls surface.

There is also a product called silver dip. This is a liquid that can you put your jewellery into and let it clean away, (done in seconds or minutes) especially good for items with detail/inlay and chains. Read instructions and DO NOT put beads, pearls and soft stones into the dip (diamonds, sapphires and rubies are hard so they are fine). The trick with silver dip is to rinse really well and do this with hot soapy water to take off the residue from the silver dip. Then last rinse with warm water and blast dry with a hairdryer.  Silver dip can be found in jewellery shops or online.

As for the matt effect I have been using it on my silver jewellery for years. I like a real textured matt finish which I achieve with Scotch Brite! I buy this from a DIY store and cut it into small pieces. I simply brush it over the piece in the same direction all over. For a softer more satin finish there is a rubber block that contains grit of different amounts (like sand paper) called Garryflex. I buy this online and like the Grey medium grit one. Again I will use this in one direction.

Now when matting jewellery, be it silver, gold or platinum it will always be removing a small trace amount off the piece. Do not matt plated items as the plating will just be removed.  Regular matting of your jewellery such as a wedding band etc will wear thin it over time so this is not recommended. My wedding band is both white and yellow gold with a diamond which I only matt once a year on our anniversary.


Monday, 21 June 2010

Simple and clean design

I have been making this pendant for a few years now. It's a simple design that I always enjoy the look of, but it's a real pain to make! It is all made by hand, no casting or laser cutting used, so it always needs to be precise in it's measurements.  
I thought of this piece today after spending an evening with some fellow jewellery designers and artists. We talked about the importance of maths in design, however few of us actually passed our exam! When it comes to working out my measurements I find making notes and a copper model is the best way.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

My dear friends and wonderful jewellery designers, Katherine Bree and Alison Lush. We are visiting contemporary jewellery shop Tom Foolery in London's Muswell Hill where I worked with Alison for many years!