Caring for your handmade jewellery.
As you know, I mostly use wood in my jewellery, and as you can guess water and wood are not friends. Now I do seal my jewellery with resin and/or varnish of some kind. This will help protect your pieces of course, but please don't wear your jewellery and this goes for any jewellery in water, so no showering or swimming whilst wearing it.
Brass & tarnishing, what to do ?
Brass is typically made from recycled materials and can be recycled again and again, one of the reason why I like using it ! Most of the brass I use in my pieces are encased in the resin so they will be fine, for those pieces that are not, read on below.
Raw brass can develop a patina/tarnish over time, now remember this is a natural discolouration. I actually like the look of the brass when it goes like this, but if you prefer the shiny look, there are a few options to help restore the lustre of the metal.
Polishing cloths work a treat, & old traditional cleaning methods using lemon, vinegar or baking soda will work well. I would recommend keeping your brass pieces in a dry, preferably airtight place.
To remove a heavier tarnish, try using some brasso and always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your polish.
If you find your brass pieces are dirty rather than tarnished, then give them a wash in some warm soapy water. Then you can clean them with a soft cloth. Use a soft toothbrush for any extra dirty areas.
Gold plating will eventually wear down to the metal underneath and discolour - this is a natural progression. To prolong the life of your plated jewellery, you can wash it gently with soapy warm water, using a mild soap only if necessary. Getting junk out of nooks and crannies with an old, soft toothbrush is ok.
You can give these a gentle wipe with a mico fibre cloth, please be mindful of scratches and keep them in a safe place and away from direct sunlight. These can shatter if dropped so be mindful of hard surfaces.
I would recommend keeping your jewellery stored in the box supplied or a cotton bag. It will keep them clean and away from dust and less likely to get scratched or tangled.
Perfume, creams, lotions and even sweat will impact on your jewellery. They can tarnish and damage the plating on your jewellery, so try to avoid direct contact. Try putting on your perfume etc on first, then leave it to settle and then put on your piece.
Also please try & avoid dropping your jewellery onto any hard surfaces as the impact can weaken or break the piece.