Happy Blog Day! This week I thought I'd continue working my way through the FAQ list by addressing two questions; "What's it made of?" and "How do I clean it?"
What's it Made Of?
Here at Siouxsiequeue's, we use anodized aluminum, solid copper, and solid Sterling Silver. The anodized aluminum rings we use are FDA approved for cookware, and the dyes used in the anodizing process are also organic and rated non-hazardous. I prefer to work with anodized aluminum because it's available in a wide variety of colors. It's also less expensive for us both and is easier on our friends with metal allergies. Anodized aluminum is 100% nickel-free, but everyone's body chemistry is different, so take care of yourself first.
The solid copper rings we use are brilliant as a new penny and look fantastic mixed with glass beads and Swarovski crystals.
We also work with 925 Sterling Silver rings, a metal alloy made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Sterling Silver has a shine like no other and is my absolute favorite medium.
I like a bracelet that you can put on by yourself, which is why most of our bracelets come with a lead and cadmium-free pewter toggle. The toggles are plated with an Antique Silver or copper finish, depending on the bracelet. Our lobster clasps are lead and cadmium-free brass for those who prefer something else, and we also use e-coated (similar to anodizing) Stainless Steel Tube Clasps. For necklaces, we use lead and cadmium-free brass or pewter bails and chains. Our silver colored ear wires are surgical steel, and our black ear wires are Niobium (which is also easier on our friends with metal allergies).
Beads and Crystals
You might be aware that I like color and things that sparkle. To that end, I think it's only natural that we add beads and crystals to the jewelry we make. The beads we use are pressed glass from the Czech Republic and genuine Swarovski Pearls. We also use an assortment of genuine Swarovski crystal bicone beads and elements.
How Do I Clean This?
Now that I've gone over all the materials we use, it's essential to understand how to clean the finished jewelry. For anodized aluminum pieces, use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a small amount of mild soap, like Ivory or Dawn, and luke-warm water. The dye on the anodized rings will not wash away. For Sterling Silver or copper pieces, I recommend a cleaning cloth like this. If you decide to use a chemical cleaner, please read the directions before application as it may damage the plating or the beads and crystals. I also recommend anti tarnish papers for storage.
I think that covers things for this week. Feel free to reach out with more questions or comments.