Dec 04 2013

Will copper jewelry turn my skin green or black? How do I clean copper jewelry?

Published by under jewelry

I get asked this question alot — especially on the hammered copper stacking rings that I make:

hammered copper stacking rings

And I gotta say, YES, turning your skin green is a distinct possibility when you wear raw copper – it depends on your body chemistry whether it will or not. However, I have found that it doesn’t turn your skin green forever — it may do so for a week or two, and then it stops — I’m not sure why — it could be that the body’s pH changes after consistent contact with the copper.

Also, in the pro-raw-copper column, many people rave about healing or helpful properties of raw copper. Now, I am a skeptic at heart (show me the data! where are the blind studies?!) (there are none!) so I don’t actually hold with this, but many people purchase the raw copper jewelry because of potential helpful properties that come from direct contact skin-to-copper, one I know off the top of my head is for arthritis — again, I don’t really believe any of it, but you could google for more info if you are interested.

A barrier between the copper and your skin can prevent any greenish smudge — one cheap way to do so would be to apply clear nail polish on the inside of the ring. However, it won’t last long — even with professional lacquers and such, the constant skin contact makes any blocking affect these have to be brief. This is why I don’t do it — also because I have lots of customers who WANT the copper to skin contact with no barrier.

If you want to be sure of no green skin completely, I’d stick with sterling or gold filled. Personally, I wear my copper ring all the time, and it’s been so long I don’t get any green fingers anymore.

CLEANING COPPER

Rings generally don’t need a lot of polishing, any tarnish is cleaned up by the rubbing against your skin. Bracelets, necklaces, pendants can be a different story. If you prefer a bright almost pink glow to your copper, rather than an old coppery penny look, it’s easy to clean.

My favorite way is with ketchup – mostly because with children under the age of 12 in the house, we have plenty of it! A quick dunk in ketchup for a few minutes will get rid of any tarnish.

Another way is with lemon juice (vinegar works too) and a bit of salt (1 teaspoon is plenty) in a small jar or tupperware. Place your jewelry in, making sure it’s covered, and let sit for a minute or two. VERY IMPORTANT — it only needs a minute or two — don’t walk away for a half hour — or even 5 minutes. The acid in the lemon juice which cleans away the tarnish, can also damage the surface of the metal.

Rinse and dry VERY well, and buff it up with a cloth. If the cloth doesn’t shine it up enough to your liking, you can rub with salt or baking powder to bring up the shine as well.

I hope this helps answer any questions about copper jewelry!
-Amy

One response so far

Nov 03 2013

Video Tutorial: Celtic Visions Star Pendant

Published by under tutorials

I’ve had this one on my computer for a while, but my computer is so slooooowww that it took me a while to get up the patience to edit it. Here it is! Celtic Visions Star Pendant!

In other super good news, I got a new camcorder, so hopefully from here on out, the video quality will improve!

2 responses so far

Sep 11 2013

funny ethan comment

Published by under amy's head

Me: What will we DO WITHOUT DADDY FOR ONE WHOLE WEEK!
Ethan: Eh. We’ll get by.

Comments Off

Jun 24 2013

Zentangle

Published by under doodling

I am not a draw-er, or a doodler, or even very artsy. I used to paint long ago, very abstract things that just made me happy. I picked up zentangle recently and am totally in love. I still am not sure if I’m even doing it right, but the rule to most doodling is, “there are no mistakes!” which is a rule I can embrace wholeheartedly!

Here are my first zentangles — I’ve been drawn to the mandala, or “zendala” circular tiles primarily, although the last one I did on a normal tile.

Untitled

My very first zentangle! Overall, fairly pleased with this. I fiddled around with something in the very middle which I wish I hadn’t done. Stark white would have been better there.

Continue Reading »

Comments Off

Jun 22 2013

Studio Rearrange Take 439! Height Adjustable BENCH!

Published by under amy's head,jewelry,photos

I wrote a lot of words… about rearranging my studio and my new height adjustable bench. If you don’t want to read it all, there are some cute kid pictures and a video – just scroll down!

Now for all the blather blather… It seems like as SOON as I get my studio set up in a functional manner that I’m happy with, something comes along to SCREW IT ALL UP!

My studio is a small room on the main level of our house, which was called a “bedroom” when we bought the house, but really is an office. The room has to serve several functions – our family computer sits on an Ikea desktop with 2 drawer units (which I LOVE, SO much space!), which the kids use daily for homework and playing. It’s my main computer as well for printing packing slips and shipping labels, as well as daily email, etc. A second Ikea desktop, solid wood, sanded and then lacquered by me is my main bench for cutting & bagging jump rings, and filing orders.

It works very well for 80% of what I do, but a traditional jeweler’s bench has a higher surface (as they say in Cougartown, about boob-high!) with a cutout for a bench pin, and a drawer underneath for catching filings, etc.

So when I wanted to do some metalwork — especially piercing, which requires sawing on the support of a bench pin, I was lowering my chair way down, and then hunching over my bench pin trying to saw things out — not extremely ergonomic or convenient. And any dust or filings just fell on the floor.
Continue Reading »

Comments Off

Jun 21 2013

New BANNER

Published by under amy's head

… finally! The old one said winter 2012-13 — and it’s hot and JUNE! Jeepers, Amy, get on it!

Since I’m reorganizing my studio, I thought this banner showing how MESSY my bench can get is somewhat suitable.

cm_summer2013

Here’s all the things I can see in this banner:

pickle pot, container of water for quenching, bottle of flux, copper tongs, lamp, charcoal soldering block (with rings on it to solder), cannister of butane, glass, scrap jars, third hand, fresh cut coils of jump rings wrapped in blue painters tape, blue painters tape, scale, bench pin, electronic torch lighter/sparker, carmex, cup of brushes, tweezers, tongs, dividers, scribes, cup of pens/markers, empty pliers board, green finger tape, packing slips, wire wire and more spools of wire.

All I can think of when looking at this banner is, “OMG the pickle pot is going to fall off!”

You can see all my old banners here!

Comments Off

Apr 14 2013

Chainmaille Tutorial – Celtic Visions

Published by under jewelry

In this video I show how to make the Celtic Visions chainmaille weave:

I also have a written/photo tutorial for this here. Sometimes it’s nice to see a video though, so here you go!

Please let me know what you think!

One response so far

Mar 12 2013

The girl turns 9

Published by under amy's head

We had a lovely weekend this past weekend – Jocelyn turned 9 on Sunday. Saturday we had a party at the local skating rink with a handful of her friends and classmates. One boy she invited from her class loves Doctor Who – he arrived wearing a tshirt with a bow tie that said, “Bow ties are cool!” and the card he attached to the gift was beyond awesome:

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Mar 07 2013

Tutorial: Mobius rings and byzantine

Published by under amy's head

Here’s another tutorial that was posted to youtube a few weeks ago. Making mobius rings (love knot, infinity knot, flower knot – it has many names) and connecting it to byzantine. I love this combination and use it often. One may want to familiarize oneself with my byzantine tutorial as well.
Continue Reading »

Comments Off

Mar 07 2013

Tutorial: Graduated Jens Pind Earrings

Published by under amy's head

I have posted a couple of tutorials up on YouTube but neglected to pos tthem here!

This one is best watched AFTER one has mastered the Jens Pind chain. This video is for a graduated jens pind chain – going from a very small gauge, up to a large gauge. I make a pair of earrings in this tutorial, but one could use the same technique and apply it to necklaces/pendants/bracelets if wished.
Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

« Prev - Next »