Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you make custom work? Yes. I am happy to create a custom piece for you within the realm of my style.
Can you use my own stones? Yes and it depends upon the stone. Often that works out nicely and it’s a great way to reuse something that has family meaning to you. I can also use your broken dishes, found seaglass and beach stones. I use your stones at your risk. If I think a stone might be broken in it's original setting, I won't work with it. Sometimes, smaller stones are cracked and only discovered once removed from the setting. Stones other than diamonds or sapphires are at greater risk when removed from their settings.
Would you reuse my gold? I will trade in your gold for credit toward a piece of my jewelry, whether it’s custom or existing work. In some cases I can re-melt your own gold, but it depends.
How does a custom order work if I can’t visit your studio? It has worked very well emailing pictures back in forth, in conjunction with phone conversations. After decisions are made, I’ll email a confirmation of what we’ve discussed and wait for your confirmation. If all is agreed upon, I require 50% down and the rest of payment prior to delivery. Please note: some orders may take up to four months or more. In cases such as those, we can come up with a monthly payment plan if that is more desirable.
Can I see exactly what my custom order will look like before it’s made? No. Custom orders are usually one-of-a-kind and while I may have existing work that is similar to the piece, I probably don’t have an exact replica. Custom work is partially based on trust, it’s not for everybody. I am always clear about fees and any nuances prior to beginning the piece.
What is the time frame for a custom order? Depends upon the piece, if I have materials in the studio or have to buy/find them, and if decisions are quickly made or not. Often, I can make something within 2 to 3 weeks. However, certain pieces like a metro bracelet, may take up to 3 or 4 months. Part of it depends upon my show and teaching schedule as well. Upon the final decision, I give an estimated time and I’m usually ahead of that time.
Policies For Custom Orders: 50% deposit is required for custom orders, the balance is due upon completion of the piece.
I use stones that are raw, faceted, cabochons and natural surfaces.
Raw stones: these are stones used as they are found, sometimes I'll flatten the bottom for setting.
Faceted: typically done with translucent stones, these are cut to maximize the reflection light going.
Cabochons: this is a stone that has been shaped and polished smooth.
Natural Surface: These have the 'raw' surface but may have been shaped.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Fabrication: a process of creating a piece of jewelry by construction instead of casting. All of my work is fabricated.
Hollow Forms: a three dimensional object that is essentially a shell, the inside being hollow takes into consideration the practical consideration of weight. This is essential with earrings, and is happily received in all other types of my jewelry. My hollow forms are made in two distinct ways; synclastic forming, and the hydraulic press. (Further details are described in my artist statement).
Synclastic forming (using hammers): a principal of moving metal in which two curves bend in the same direction.
Sinking and bending are also used in my hollow forms; this involves moving the metal from the inside to a desired depth.
Hydraulic press: mechanical device with force supplied by a jack. The pressure exerted by a small piston is communicated through a confined liquid to a large piston, the force being 20 tons in the case of my work.
Burs: small steel tools used for grinding, cutting, texturing, shaping, stone setting, finishing, polishing. These tools usually fit into a hand-piece attached to a motor called a flex-shaft.
Burnisher: polishing tool made of steel with a mirror smooth surface, rubbed over the surface of metal to shine or polish.
Hinges: used in much of my work, facilitate the movement of parts.
Hand-made clasp: Closures on bracelets and necklaces. All of my clasps are hand-fabricated.
Oxidized silver/Patina: A coating on the metal that is either by design or caused by time. In my use the silver is dipped into a solution of Liver of Sulphur which has been diluted in warm water to create a black color on the metal, it is then “fixed” with renaissance wax so as not to wear off.
Matte and textured finishes: I use a variety of finishes in my work including a metal spoke wheel that gives a textured finish. The brushed finishes are wheels with different grades of abrasion; made of scotch brite (similar to a green kitchen pot scrubber), brush wheels in different grades, and a brass brush used with soap and water for a folding shiny but brushed finish.
Fold Forming: a physical process of folding the metal, hitting it with a mallet (in my case) and unfolding it to create the creases that you see in my current work.
CARE OF JEWELRY
Gold: Gold Jewelry can be wiped with a jewelry cloth, stones should only be wiped with a non abrasive soft cloth. -most jewelry cloths have both an abrasive and plain or non abrasive part to them.
Oxidized silver: Oxidized jewelry should not be wiped. It will not tarnish, however it's best to keep separate so it's not knocked around which could damage the surface. On rings, the band will wear to a bright silver, other jewelry may change slightly over time and will mostly keep it's patina.
My layaway policy is 50% down and 3 months to pay the balance. If you are buying a custom piece that takes 6 months, to create, we can work out a payment plan over that time period.
What is your return policy? No returns on Custom Orders. Returns for existing items are exchange for credit only, within 7 days. No refunds.
Custom orders are final sales, no returns, refunds or exchanges.
What if something breaks? I repair my jewelry. I try my best to do repairs Gratis, it may depend on additional materials needed. I expect my jewelry to be durable during regular wear. Certain parts may get wear and tear over time, I'm happy to fix them. I do not repair jewelry made by others.
Can you replace a lost earring? In most cases yes, I can create something very similar to your other earrings. The price is usually the current price, you'd be charged for a single earring.