Some days aren't about making the jewelry. It's about making the components that will end up as the jewerly. So I made bezels for sea glass and a few flowers. Not sure how I'll end up putting everything together but I'll post photos as I go!
This bracelet is made from genuine pieces of sea glass in tones of amber with links of handmade black roses all in tarnish resistant Argentium ® sterling silver. Check my Etsy shop for more info!
I'm so happy with my new cuff bracelets! Each one is hand crafted from natural semi-precious gemstones and sea glass. Head to my Etsy shop for more details about each bracelet.
I love sterling silver jewelry! But I don't love cleaning it. Especially jewelry that has nooks and crannies. So when I read about the tarnish resistant qualities of Argentium ® sterling silver I was very excited from both a wearer and maker perspective.
First let me give a brief explanation what traditional sterling silver is.. It is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. The copper is there to harden the metal since pure silver is too soft to make durable jewelry. Unfortunately, the copper part in the silver causes it to tarnish. This is where Argentium ® comes to the rescue!
Without being completely technical, Argentium ® adds a tiny bit of germanium to the copper/silver mix and voila! Tarnish resistant sterling silver. I use Argentium ® in the majority of my jewelry and I love that my pieces remain tarnish free. Because I live in Florida I do find that if I leave my jewelry exposed to the air a yellowish film will appear over time. Apparently there is sulfur in the air in our neck of the woods (yuck). I find it very easy to clean with windex.
I also store my jewelry in plastic bags with a piece of anti-tarnish paper as added insurance. That way when I'm off to do a show my jewelry is good to go!
Photo from my personal collection of sea glass
One question my customers often asked when doing craft shows is "What is sea glass"? While I don't pretend to be an expert on sea glass I can tell you it is basically bottles, dishes, and other glass objects that were thrown into the sea (or lake) a long time ago. The shards tumble around for many years softening the edges over time and creating a frosty, translucent surface. The shape and color of the pieces vary widely so no two pieces are exactly alike.
As a lover off all thing "beach", I take great joy in using sea glass in my jewelry designs. There is something about the soft colors and translucence that make particularly beautiful jewelry. I love that I'm capturing a piece of history; where did the glass come from? What was it used for? Who used it? And of course, I love that I'm recycling something that was discarded long ago into a piece of treasure.
If you would like to know more about sea glass I highly recommend the book "Pure Sea Glass" by Richard LaMotte with beautiful photography by Celia Pearson.
I'm Karen Howard the Jewelry Artist at Cozy Cove Studio. Here you'll find my random thoughts on everything from jewelry making to life on Cozy Cove. It's a beautiful place to live and I'm happy to share.