Frequently Asked Questions
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JEWELRY and PRODUCT QUESTIONS
Is copper bad for you?
Will Copper turn my skin green?
How can I prevent copper from turning my skin green?
How do I clean my copper jewelry?
Is your copper jewelry treated against skin discoloration?
What is Peyote Stitch?
What does Lab Grown mean?
How do I put on my "S" hook bracelet? PDF file for viewing.
How do I determine my size?
What is the meaning of stones or gems?
JEWELRY AND PRODUCT QUESTIONS
WHAT IS LAMPWORK?
Glass lampwork is the centuries old art of melting glass with a flame to produce handmade “lampwork glass” beads. The word lampwork came from originally using oil filled lamps to heat the glass to a molten stage. Today we use fuel and oxygen torches.
Glass rods are melted over a torch into a molten stage and wound around a steel mandrel to form a shape or bead. While the glass is molten various colors of glass and materials such as silver, or copper, are added to achieve the desired look. Each bead can only be made one at a time, therefore no two are alike. The bead is then finished in the flame and annealed (cooled down) in a high temperature kiln for strength and longevity. Some examples of lampwork beads used in my artisan bracelets.
WHAT IS DICHROIC GLASS?
Dichroic glass is a high-tech spin-off of the space industry. Thin layers of metallic oxides, such as titanium, quartz crystals, and magnesium, to name a few, are deposited upon the surface of glass in a high temperature, vacuum furnace. The oxides are vaporized by an electron beam. The resulting color is determined by the individual oxide compositions.
The dichroic coating transmits light while reflecting others. It produces an interference-effect similar to the iridescences found in nature, such as fire opals, dragonfly wings and hummingbird feathers.
When dichroic coated glass is fused or hot worked, the color will permanently shift toward the next color above it. Color shift is dependent on temperature, exposure time and number of reheats necessary to finish the piece. The amount of shift must experimentally be determined by the artist working with it.
The brilliance, depth, and interaction of color as light reflects off the glass is remarkable, and a bit difficult to catch with a camera lens. Dichroic glass is much more spectacular in person than online photos. A picture in this case is not worth a thousand words; seeing the real thing is. View examples of dichroic glass pendants.
WILL MY DICHROIC OR LAMPWORK GLASS BREAK?
It is glass and glass will break if abused. Minimum thickness of the dichroic glass I make is 3/16”. Firing and annealing makes the glass durable and stable. Firing includes the use of a kiln at extremely high temperature followed by proper annealing (cooling down). This process gives it the ability to withstand a drop or hit onto a hard surface; which I don’t recommend. Treat this jewelry as you would any other fine piece.
WHAT IS FINE SILVER?
In simple terms, fine silver is .999% or 99.9% pure silver compared to sterling silver which is normally .925% or 92.5% silver. Fine silver is conventional to precious metal. View my fine silver pendants for several examples.
WHAT IS PEYOTE STITCH?
Peyote stitch, is also known as Gourd Stitch. It’s an off-loom method of bead weaving. This weaving technique is used to create woven flat strips, flat round shapes or as tubes. Peyote stitching of beads has been used around the world for centuries. Bracelets made using the Peyote stitch are flowing to the touch because the beads actually roll against your skin creating a soft touch. Using a beading needle with special types of threading material, seed beads are woven in a zig-zag fashion creating the desired pattern and effect.
WHAT DOES LAB GROWN MEAN?
Lab-grown gems are grown in a controlled environment using the same elements which make up the natural gem. Chemically, optically and physically, lab-grown gems have the same properties as the ones that grow in nature.
Lab-grown gems are superior in color, and clarity. Unlike naturally found gems they will not have the fractures or flaws found in nature.
Is a lab-grown gem real? Yes they are because they have the same composition and physical properties, but have higher perfection than is seen in natural gems.
Gems grown in a controlled environment as a “laboratory” can only be positively identified by a highly trained gemologist.
IS A CHAIN INCLUDED WITH MY PENDANT PURCHASE?
We’ve tried all our pendants on a variety of silver chains and cords. We’ve hung them on leather, satin, and beautiful colored ribbons and still couldn’t decide which one looked best. The photographer like one, I liked the other, customers liked them all. Since everyone has different thoughts and tastes we agreed to let you decide how to wear your pendants. All our pendants can be worn elegantly on your favorite silver chain or casually on leather or whatever you‘d like. If you’d like to spend your money on a chain or cord, we’ll be happy to sell them to you. Unless indicated in the description we’ll let you decide how you’d like to wear the piece. View our Chains and Cords
WILL LEATHER LAST?
Leather is a natural material which is both beautiful and durable. Unlike imitation leather, you’ll see unique grain patterns and subtleties of colors both in the natural and dyed leathers. Time and wear will enhance the patina of your leather giving it a mature and richer color and softer feel.
Leather will last and wear for a very long time so long as you care for it. If your leather bracelet or necklace becomes wet, don't dry it in any direct heat source, don't use a blow drier or place in or or near a heater, let it dry naturally. Some may on occasion use a tiny bit of mink oil or leather conditioner to soften the leather after it's dried. This will keep your leather soft but it may darken it a bit.
If your leather become wet while you're wearing your piece, keep it on and let it dry naturally. Avoid pulling or stretching it while it's wet or it may loose it's natural shape. Or, take it off, place it on a towel away from any direct heat or sun, and allow it to dry naturally.
HOW DO I CARE FOR ARTISAN HANDMADE JEWELRY?
As with any fine jewelry I wouldn’t recommend wearing it while bathing, swimming or when working with household or other chemicals.
Silver pieces may be cleaned using a soft cloth, felt, or special buffing cloths used to clean silver, and fine jewelry. While using special buffing cloths avoid buffing gems, stones, shells, bone or wooden beads. You may also use a mild solution of soap and water to clean your jewelry, wipe dry and buff lightly with a soft cloth.
I don’t recommend anti-tarnish dips, or commercial cleaners as they may damage or reduce the luster especially on some stones such as turquoise, coral, pearls, jasper and agates.
Tarnish may enhance the appearance of silver, it’s your preference. To remove tarnish simply use a soft cloth; rub, then buff gently. Store your silver in an air tight plastic bag with the anti-tarnish tag included with your purchase.
Natural leather will turn darker as it absorbs oils from your skin and hands. This is the natural process of leather, dyed leather will do the same. If your leather becomes wet don’t dry it by using artificial heat such as a blow drier or placing it on a warm or hot surface. This will cause the leather to become hard. You want your leather to remain soft and supple. Place your bracelet or necklace on a dry towel and allow it to slowly air dry. Keep leather away from any types of oil as oils will permanently stain it.
Care for your handcrafted artisan jewelry as you would any other fine piece of jewelry.
HOW TO AVOID TARNISH ON SILVER,COPPER OR BRASS
Easiest method is to store your jewelry in an air tight container or a tightly sealed plastic bag. Adding an anti-tarnish strip to the container helps absorb moisture and neutralize tarnish-producing gases. Anti-tarnish strips work on a variety of metals such as silver, copper, brass, bronze and gold.
After removing your jewelry wipe it clean with a soft cloth. This will remove any oils from your skin and avoid tarnishing and oxidation.
Copper and brass like silver will tarnish however, copper and brass are the easiest metals to clean and takes no special chemicals to do so. How to clean copper will provide you with some solutions to use.
Copper and brass tarnishes beautifully, adding a rich color. Some people adore the natural earthy tarnish both copper or brass develops. They allow their jewelry to tarnish until it achieves their favorite tones then apply a thin coat of car wax to maintain the tarnish.
WARNING ABOUT VIKING KNIT BRACELETS. IS VIKING KNIT STRONG?
As my customer you need to know about Viking knit bracelets. Viking knit takes hours to weave, is extremely strong, durable and will wear beautifully provided you don’t put it into a vise grip to crush it.
Viking knit bracelets are beautiful but, not all are comfortable to wear. Make sure the bracelet you are buying is well balanced and hangs correctly on your wrist. You don't want to be adjusting your bracelet every minute; it becomes annoying. Make sure any beads or adornments on the bracelet are placed correctly and won't apply pressure to your wrist bone. A well balanced Viking knit bracelet should fit like a bangle or loose watch. Any focal bead shouldn't cause the bracelet to spin on your wrist.
Try to purchase a double knit Viking knit as they are much stronger and look much nicer than single knit; which is my opinion and suggestion to my customers.
All the Viking knit bracelets I make are well balanced, double knit for strength, depending on size may have a inner core, and are comfortable to wear. All adornments are carefully placed so they will not rub or make your bracelet uncomfortable. If you have any questions about Viking knit bracelets or the process involved in making them please don't hesitate contacting me.
HOW DO I ADJUST MY SLIDING KNOT NECKLACE OR BRACELET?
To make it longer or larger, move both knots closer to each other. To make it shorter or smaller, pull the knots away from each other. Don’t untie the knots.
Here's an easy way for necklaces: Hold your necklace in your left hand palm up, close your hand. Both knots should be on the left side of your thumb. With your right hand gently pull the cords (not the pendant) towards you while your left hand remains closed. This will make the necklace longer. Once the necklace is over your head, adjust the length by simply moving each knot away from each other.
CAN A PURCHASE BE GIFT WRAPPED?
When you check out there will be a gift wrap option. The gift will be wrapped tastefully and elegantly. A gift card will be included with your gift wrapping. Simply type the message you’d like to appear on the card in our comments box at checkout, don’t forget to include the name of your recipient, and indicate male or female. Also remember that the invoice will be in the same package unless it’s being shipped to a different address. Whether a gift for yourself or someone else, you’ll be pleased with the presentation.
DO YOU HONOR WHOLESALE REQUESTS?
Oak City Gallery has and does offer it's artisan jewelry wholesale to retail shops, galleries and boutiques. Please email customer service with your business license number and details so we can provide you with the necessary information and pricing.
HOW DO I USE MY COUPON CODE?
During your check out process there will be an area called Coupon Code/Promotional Code. Please enter your code in the box and click "Apply". The coupon will take affect at check out.