Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
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!!)
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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