Thursday, May 24, 2012

It all starts here...

Want to see how it all begins in our cottage studio?  Well, it starts with pure and sterling silver.  Here is my latest buy of raw material.  Believe it or not, this is about $900 worth of silver. And that sheet on the bottom is a whopping 6 inches by 6 inches!

Choosing China

We get lots of questions from ladies about what china is best for Broken China Jewelry.  Well, it really depends on how you want it finished.  If you have a curved piece, it is really best to get an artist that does the copper foil method.  It's the same as what is used for stained glass windows.  There are lots of kits out there, too, if you want to do it yourself.  Be prepared, though, there is a learning/experimentation curve, but it is well worth it.

My favorite method requires a flat or near flat piece, like from a plate, that can be set in Sterling Silver.  I love this the best because it treats these little pieces of history as fine jewelry.   It just gives it an air of refinement and romance that you just can't beat. 

Since we create ours with a solid sterling back, it also makes the perfect canvas for engraving names, dates, or little messages.  Its really helps a gift stand out and gives it meaning.

Tips to help you find a good piece to have made into a Sterling set Broken China Jewelry charm:

1) The thinner the better.  Bone china is wonderfully thin and we do a lot of work with it (it also breaks easily so we find lots of damaged pieces to use!).  That is not to say that you can't use a thicker china (like semi-vitreous) , but it really can make the charm pretty heavy using a really thick piece. 

2) Take a quarter with you when you hit the antique stores and garage sales.  A quarter is your best friend.  You can use a quarter to see if the design will fit in space.  It can also tell you if the piece is pretty flat. You don't want the design to extend onto the "foot" of the plate (the lip on the backside) either.   Better yet, if you own the piece, lay your quarter on your plate and draw a circle around it with a magic marker.  Remove the quarter and look at the circle.  Is the design inside the circle pretty to your eye?  Trust yourself.  You know what is pretty and what isn't!

It's pretty easy and there are still a few more tips, but this post is getting a little long.  Tune back in for more tips. 

Still not sure if the china will work?  No problem, send us a pic (even one off of your camera phone) and we will be happy to help you out!

Antique Austrian Broken China Jewelry charm custom set in Sterling Silver

1 comment:

  1. Interesting blog, Kim. I love learning about new things - as this was to me! I need to dust off my old blog, too. Maybe when we finish unpacking the boxes! Hope you are doing well and enjoying 'retirement'.