Copper Bracelets for Arthritis/ Rheumatism
Copper has always interested me - a lovely colour, that can be patinated and heat treated and turned into the most beautiful objects. My grandmother owned a number of copper vessels and bowls, and used to drink a glass of water from a bowl left to steep overnight - she swore that it helped her aches and pains (she also swore at her aches and pains, but that's another story).
Loads of people swear by copper - health shops abound with bracelets and amulets that are worn by people with painful joints - it is well known that copper worn on the skin is absorbed in small quantities - this got me thinking - why should copper bracelets be ugly, and tucked away under clothing to be invisible - lets celebrate copper and wear it with pride - so I made up a bunch of bracelets that while allowing for supposed medicinal properties, would also look pretty enough to be worn as a piece of jewellery. Then, I began to add gemstones to the bracelets - whilst enhancing the beauty of the bracelets - the spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down - c'mon, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of Mary Poppins - gemstones themselves are thought to have healing properties. Now whether I believe this or not is not the issue - they look pretty, and if you believe in gemstone lore - who am I to argue? The prettiness coefficient is very high and I have explored various gemstone sites to find the best ones to work on the spiritual.
Copper has been associated with good health and archaeologists have been unearthing copper jewellery for a long time. Gold and silver are now so expensive - perhaps why there is a resurgence in the 'boho' requirement for copper jewellery. This suits me just fine - why colour gold 'rose' with a copper polish - wear the real thing - less expensively - its very rare to be able to say that!
Have a look - will give you a couple of examples here, but there are many more on the way! Copper will tarnish over time as it reacts with the air and it will develop a patina. That patina will be different depending on whether the item is inside or outside, and I have tried to delay this by applying a varnish/ wax - if you prefer, it can be left off. The varnish can be reapplied at points of wear and will last a long time. Copper reacts with certain skin types and may turn the skin bluish from the sulphur in the perspiration - this is easily washed away. The only way to find out if you react to copper is to wear some. However the varnish will minimise this. Indoors, copper will gradually reach a dark antique colour of penny brown. If you add rain to the mix, the patina will eventually turn to an attractive verdigris - a blueish green - a look many people find very desirable (think of old copper roofs or the Statue of Liberty).So, for those who want the patinated look, minimal cleaning is required and certainly no polishing! Many do, and I antique some of my pieces with chemicals, and then varnish so that the patina doesn't rub off. Heat treating copper gives it further colours - looks like an oil slick in a pool of water with colours ranging through metallic blues and greens to black - beautiful - on the copper, not anywhere else, I hasten to add.
Copper is easy to clean - a weak solution of vinegar and water, lemon juice or even ketchup smeared overnight will make it shine - it is the acetic acid in the home remedy that does the trick. However, it may need re varnishing after this.
Next week, I will have my kiln delivered - and then, many hours of fun, more pictures - I cant wait, am so excited (clapping hands like a seal!!)
Ladies and Gentlemen - I proudly present Ms Meg Jayanth! - Tatatararararaaa- the epitome of a Caprilicious Woman. Doesn't the necklace look great on her? - and she isnt even trying- effortlessly caprilicious dahling!
Christmas is upon us and I have been busy making little gifts for friends and people I work with - I should have many pictures to post after the festivities.
I finally have time to make something for mysellf - Mike has given me his money clip - in the shape of an S - he has had that for many years and I am now going to use it as a pendant bail for a pendant I will make with a palm sized slab of bloodstone, which also happens to be my birthstone. I have been collecting all the materials and have promised myself that I will make it tomorrow. It's such fun to have a new piece of jewellery to try out each week, even if I am only 'Test Driving' it!
Meg's mum Sheela ( never thought I'd use the word 'mum' in the same sentence as 'Sheela'-she's the least mumsy person I know! has sent me pictures of Meg in her Coral Seascape necklace too - feast for the eyes I say - and I mean both of them, lol -have a look for yourselves - what do you think??
She lost one of a much loved pair of earrings - tears were shed, the house was turned upside down, the path taken the night before searched and turned over stone by stone - and yet, sigh - still no sign of it. Her mother kept it for her in the hope that one day, it might miraculously re-appear - but alas and alack, it didnt.
So, it was brought to me with the remit - 'do something with it' - so I put it on my table and touched it every day, praying for inspiration - till one day, lightbulb moment!!, and Bingo!!!!!!!! - the idea was born.
Back to good old e-bay, bidding for vintage diamante jewellery and crucifixes - all sorts of shiny stuff, - every day yet another parcel arrived - I dont know what that post man thought - all my booty was collected carefully in an envelope labelled Rock Chick - and than one day, when I had about 20 bits and pieces and was ready to flex my creative muscles - this is what came of it.
I have been a fan of Tom Binns since forever - and love his work, I came across it well before Michelle Obama wore it and made his name more widely known. I have always wanted to try out his style of jewellery - it looks like someone (probably Madonna??) has worn every piece of jewellery they own - piled it on willy-nilly, almost shamelessly - but as someone said if you have to ask how much it cost, you cant afford it - his cheapest piece ( that I covet) is about $ 1500 - I already have a mortgage, thank you very much! So I made one inspired by his design ethic myself - a bit difficult as none of the pieces were engineered to go together, so a lot of jewellery makers 'cut and paste' type magic had to be used, and sometimes redone and tweaked as the pieces wouldnt sit right, as I wanted them - and Abracadabra - heres a Rock Chick necklace!
I left it on the mannequin one night and walked past it to the kitchen for a drink of water - it glittered in the light from the street lamps shining into the dining room window - this is one piece of jewellery that probably looks even better with indirect lighting, 'cos it is so glittery and 'big'.
So, it was posted out today - hope I have done the earring justice and that the necklace is as much loved as the earring it was conceived of - and that she has as much fun in it, as I have had making it.
Precious Metal Clay is a revolutionary way to create jewellery in fine silver and gold and now more excitingly (and less expensively copper and bronze).
Originally developed by the Japanese company, Mitsubishi Materials, for their tradition of ceramics, it has now found its way into the jewellery and craft
market. It is a putty-like material, made up of 90% fine silver or one of the other metals, 10% water and organic binder. Its pliable consistency makes it easy to shape, model, cut and texture – there are also liquid and paste forms which can be used as a glue, or to add decoration. When fired either by torch or kiln, the organic binder burns away, leaving a solid piece of fine silver or other metal. Its ease of use makes it an ideal introduction to the art of jewellery design with little knowledge of jewellery making techniques. It can also be used with glass, clay and porcelain.
The clay can be pushed into a mould to take on a particular finish or shape, or painted onto the under surface of a leaf, or covered over a cork or wood mould to make a hollow metal object – the cork burns to a fine ash inside the piece.
Went back to In The Studio last weekend to learn the techniques and made some credible pieces of jewellery which made me think I could do this too.
It is also yet another magical process – looks and feels like clay/putty/ sludge when wet, then dries to look like plaster of Paris. When fired, it turns white – and looks like' Omigod, what on earth have I created!!!!!' until brushed firmly with a brass brush – and hey, presto – silver/ copper appears – amazing. It is possible to set Cubic Zirconia into the putty before it dries, and even add it when it is dry – hooks can be added to it, and of course, eventually soldered if needed – but I am crazy about the magic of this new material
Once fired, it can be filed, soldered, patinated, enamelled and finished to professional standards.
I am soon going to buy me a kiln – have ordered one, and then am going to go for it – mainly with copper to start with, I think.
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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