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New Beads...New Chainmaille...time for a nap!

Sunday, May 25, 2008
I tell ya what, it's HOT and humid here. I step outside and feel like I'm melting.

This is more of a post and run...actually, I think I need a nap. I'm grumpy. :-)

I've been playing with brights again...

More chainmaille...

The cost of silver is going up everyday. There’s a boat load of jewelry designers that are moving over to copper or opting for other types of metals in their designs. I’ve been having a huge debate with myself regarding this issue. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes like the look of copper. I’ve used it in a couple of my designs myself…but I chose the copper for the color not the cost of the metal. I also understand the profit margin when running a small business…even more so, when it is a luxury-oriented business.

I also really like oxidized and patina hues on metal…but, no matter what I use, the black seem to also color my skin. (let me clarify here, I can discolor sterling even right after it is cleaned…it’s my body chemistry in combo with Texan humid weather) So I’ve been using stainless steel chainball chain for the past several years and earring wires for my personal use. I have now decided to use stainless steel in some of my designs for the other folks out there that have the same issues. What I like about stainless is that it has an oxidized look to it without the patina chemical process.
As far as other metals…base, brass, pewter, plated, and mystery combos…I’m not going there. I will rarely use copper…I mean rarely. I will be adding more stainless, even stainless chainmaille bracelets and necklaces. I like the aged look it produces. I have to admit that stainless really isn’t that much cheaper than sterling. It’s because stainless is so much harder of a metal. So the equipment it takes to work and forge stainless are much more expensive. So it almost averages out. Stainless leverback earrings are the same price as sterling ones.
So all in all, I’m mostly staying with sterling silver. I am in the process of adding fine silver instead. I will use copper but rarely and as I said before, I will be adding stainless. The other metal I’m currently experimenting with is titanium. It has an oxidized look…it’s stronger, lighter, and wears like stainless (on me.) It’s the weight properties that I’m looking at. I like the chunky look but I don’t like the weight.
What else I like about titanium is that it can be heat anodized. That means I can turn the metal blue, purple, teal, or golden by using a torch on it. It’s more like a patina that doesn’t rub off because it’s not done via a chemical process, it’s done via heat. Which is a chemical process in a way but I’m not going into the entire process on this blog. It’s also a metal that is very soft until any heat is added, then it hardens quickly. So what does that mean…you have to hand forge it quickly and not make mistakes. It will snap if you over bend it. It’s a metal that does have limitations but all metals do…it’s also a metal that is used in the aerospace industry.

I just up loaded a bunch of new chainmaille bracelets in my Etsy shop. I've got more plus a bunch of beady dude sets...and if I can get motivated, more stone wrapped pendants.

Have a happy, holiday weekend!

~Moon
Be First to Post Comment !
cindy said...

Hey Moon, thanks for all the info on metals. I can relate to you about the heat! ( See my blog yesterday). And I'm going to be in Texas, next week?! I'd better stay indoors!
Cindy

LJ said...

Your jewelry looks anything but "grumpy"... What stunning colors & patterns. Beautiful!

Moon Stumpp said...

Thanks ladies...you two sure boosted my ego.

BTW, I got a nap yesterday so I'm not grumpy anymore...even though it's STILL hot here.