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Tips for Finding Your Ring Size Posted on 22 Aug 20:06 , 0 comments

Getting ready to order a ring, but not sure of your size? Here is a helpful guide on finding the proper ring size. 

There are many ways to find your ring size, however they are not all equal.  You may have come across a downloadable ring sizer that you print out at home and cut to then wrap around your finger.  While this method may be helpful and will work for some, it is not necessarily the most accurate. 

My number one recommendation is to stop on in to your local jewelry store.  It's free, only takes a couple minutes, and you'll have someone there to guide you if you have any questions. 

Another easy way to get your size is to order a plastic ring sizer. The adjustable plastic ring sizers are accurate and super convenient.  They are only $2 and you can reuse them over and over.  I have them available here: Ring Sizer

The envelope has easy to follow instructions printed on the side.  What I like about the multisizer is that you can wear the sizer around for a few hours or take your size throughout the day.  This is helpful because our fingers tend to swell at certain points and you can make sure you find a size that works best overall. 

Here are some things to look for when finding your size:

  • Take your size when your hands are warm, not cold.
  • Make sure the size can just slide over your knuckle.  You shouldn't have to work to get it over the knuckle.  Also, once on the ring shouldn't be too loose that it shifts around. 
  • Remember if you are ordering a band that is 5mm or wider, you may need a larger size as wide rings will fit more snug. 
  • Comfort fit bands have a rounded inner profile which make them feel more loose and many people prefer a smaller size when ordering this style band.  It is best to go to a jewelry store and ask specifically what size you would need in a comfort fit. 
  • Keep in mind each finger will be a different size, and you left hand may not be the same as your right. 

Reusable Rings Sizer $2


Spring 2015 ~ Nature, Custom Wedding Bands & Necklaces Posted on 16 Aug 11:43 , 0 comments

Happy Spring

  The transformation from winter to spring is always so marvelous. This was the first spring my husband and I have been at our new house. We have been keeping busy with several outdoor projects, one of which is clearing a walking trail through the woods on our property. A couple weeks ago as we were clearing, pulling out fallen branches, and trimming a path, I looked down and noticed a partridge nesting just steps away from where we stood. She was so well camouflaged it was luck that I spotted her at all. Do you see her in the photo?  We left her undisturbed and I just peeked in on her today, she's still there tucked in the leaves. Hopefully we will get to spot her little ones when they arrive.

In the Studio

   While I could find a million distractions outside, I have been getting some good things done in the studio. Recently I had a couple of fun, yet completely different commissions.  The first was a  pair of custom wedding bands. I was super excited to create the bands which used some new design elements that I have been exploring. His band was crafted from solid silver and given a dark patina. Her band was made with silver and rose gold. Both bands were detailed with a wrapping wire pattern.

The other commission I completed was a bit different from my usual style as it was for an entirely functional design.  A solid copper hair comb and pick. It was quite a chore cutting through such a thick gauge of metal with a jewelers saw! The piece finished nicely and was a great change of pace.

The 100 Day Project

If you have been following my work on facebook then you may have seen The 100 Day Project I recently completed. Basically participants committed themselves to explore a creative idea for 100 straight days.  Each person set their own goals and agenda. For my project I worked on developing and fabricating some more involved designs.  In the end I had created the three pendants pictured below.

There were many other individuals that participated and shared images of their projects. Check them out here:  http://vimeo.com/128088962  Or maybe you want to be involved in a future 100DayProject.  If so you can find more information at the website the100dayproject.com

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Jewelry Care Guide Posted on 16 Aug 11:20 , 0 comments

You love your jewelry so of course you want to keep it looking its best.  Here are some tips to keep it in tip top shape.

    • Remove Your Jewelry Before Bathing - Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form, making it appear dull and dingy.
    • Don't Wear Jewelry In Swimming Pools and Spas - Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage. As a result it's a good idea to remove jewelry before entering the pool or spa.
    • Remove Jewelry during manual tasks like gardening or house cleaning. - Hard knocks and chemicals can damage jewelry.  Even make-up or lotions can cause some metals to tarnish, react and/or change color.
    • Contact Sports and Jewelry Don't Mix - Remember to take off any jewelry before any playing sports.

 

Store jewelry in a closed air tight box or plastic bag to slow down tarnish.

    • Use Warm Water to Clean Jewelry -  Most jewelry can easily be cleaned by mixing a tbsp of baking soda in a bowl of warm soapy water and soaking 5-10 minutes. Rinse & dry with a soft cloth.
    • For more stubborn tarnish make a paste with water and baking soda to gently rub away tarnish with a soft toothbrush. (Not suggested for jewelry with stones, or keum boo.)
    • Careful when using cleaning fluids and tarnish remover. Read labels carefully to make sure stones and finishes will not be affected.
      • Jewelry Polishing Cloths - If your jewelry has a polished finish, gently rub the piece with a polishing cloth or polishing pad. Rinse & dry. Using tissue or paper towels can actually cause scratches because of fibers in these products. (Not suggested for jewelry with stones, patinas, or keum boo)
      • Keum-Boo: For light cleaning, soak pieces in diluted dish detergent for several minutes, rub gently with fingertips or a very soft cloth, rinse well, and dry with a clean, soft cloth. Take to a professional jeweler for a deeper clean. Never use abbrasives, polishing pads or ultrasonics for items with keum boo. 

      • Gemstones -  Most gemstones can be cleaned by running under a little warm soapy water and drying with a soft cloth. Every stone is different, so to be on the safe side avoid abrasives, polishing compounds, ultrasonics and chemical dips.  Take to a professional jeweler to clean if you are unsure.
      • Jewelry with Dark Patina Finish - A dark patina (oxidation) on silver is created by the reaction of silver and sulfur.  This reaction occurs on the surface of the silver. Avoid using abrasives or polishing cloths as this may remove the finish. Naturally when worn the dark finish will wear and change over time. 

      My Journey into Jewelry & Metalsmithing Posted on 10 Aug 00:00 , 0 comments

      Like many artist I've always had a creative side. However, for me the path into an art career wasn't always clear. When I was young I remember loving to paint, work with clay and create anything with my hands.  As I approached high school my art interests were always there, but the logical side of me question what type of career I could find in art.  In my early twenties I worked several clerical and cooporate jobs to find that it was definitely not the direction I wanted to keep going.  So at the age of twenty three, I was off to college.

      Initially I began down the path of Art Education, but the intensive studio classes were where my heart was at. So a year in, I decided to pursue a painting/drawing major.  It wasn't until I was in my final year of painting/drawing studies that I took my first jewelry and metalsmithing course.  I had been putting off the class as I was intimidated by the idea of a metasmithng studio and heard from many that it the most time intensive course.  Well of course I immediatly  fell in love with it.  The entire process of taking a simple idea, designing on paper and turning it into a tangible object really captivated me. 

      In 2011, I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Since then I have been working full time creating my own jewelry and metalwork.  I currently work out of my home studio located in the country side near Marquette, Michigan. 

      Oh and for fun, here are a couple of the pieces I created during my college years...

      Heart Door Knocker - Hand Forged & Fabricated

      Copper Heart Door Knocker

      Ornate Copper Magnifier - Handcrafted

      Ornate Handcut Copper Magnifier 

      Shell Pocket Magnifiers - Copper & Enamel

      Shell Pocket Magnifier Set

      Kelly Shinabargar - Limberg

      In the studio at UWM.