I have been debating for a long time what kind of packaging to buy for my jewelry. It's not that I'm unhappy with what I'm using right now - dark blue cardboard jewelry boxes. It's simply that I know that they probably get thrown away the minute the jewelry is delivered. Since I'm really not a fan of waste and wastefulness, I have been trying to think of better ways of packaging my jewelry for shipping, but so far I still have not been able to choose one type of container over another.
In other news, I'm often facing a different problem. Bear with me for a minute, you'll see that the two might be connected. On a busy day, I will leave the house in a hurry only to realize that I have no jewelry on me when it's already too late. I went through the trouble of showering, dressing up, even putting on some make-up, but alas, I'm wearing absolutely no jewelry. Of course, this is very evident when you are a jewelry maker and people will often comment on it.
I've been in this situation a sufficient number of times to know that, no matter how much I try to be more careful, it will happen again. However, it dawned on me that I could solve this problem by simply having some jewelry in my handbag at the ready for those times when I need it. So, by now you probably see how the two topics are connected in my head.
What if my jewelry containers could be reused by my customers as carrying cases for their jewelry? I know I would appreciate having one and possibly some of my customers would want one too.
Now the question becomes what type of packaging to choose. A metal container that will protect the jewelry from damage? Or perhaps a fabric pouch that can be easily stored inside a make-up bag? Or maybe a completely different type of container? I really don't know what kind of packaging other women might find most useful and I don't want to make this decision based on a subjective assumption. I'm going to give this issue some thought at the same time as I ask everyone for input, both here and on Harsh and Sweet's Facebook page.
So, please, if you have any thoughts on this issue, weigh in. I would love to hear what kind of packaging is most likely to be reused. I'll be even happier if - instead of mailing out more stuff destined for a landfill - I can make your life easier and make you always look ready for every occasion!
You already read how much I hate the many harmful chemicals used in jewelry making and how I am in favor of green alternatives. Today's good news is that the substances used to protect metal from firescale are among the easiest to eliminate from one's workshop.
Using a torch on sterling silver leaves it coated in a dark layer. To get rid of it, one can use a chemical solution - a pickle - but this is not the only option and a simple all-natural method exists that will allow you to get rid of firescale without any of the guilt. As you'll see, it is all very simple. Chances are you can get started right away because you already have everything you need.
I need pins almost every day and I make them in batches. It only takes a moment to make them. However, somethings needs to be done about the black layer that coats them. For the procedure I am about to explain you will need dry pins. if you have other element that needs to be freed from heatscale, feel free to use them. Just dry them first.
There are two ingredients you will need to create a solution.
Some salt and some white vinegar.
I use a simple jar for my solution. I chose a jar with a fairly wide bottom to allow my silver to be submerged in the solution. As you see, I have only added a small amount of vinegar into my jar, no more than 2 centimeters (about one inch). I won't need more and I don't see any reason to make more than I need.
Others who are using this method like to be able to heat their solution. Heating allows the chemical processes at play to sort their effects faster. Personally, I don't mind waiting. My pins are made in small batches whenever I run short of them, so time is not a concern. If you need to get rid of firescale quickly, though, be aware that heating the vinegar and keeping it warm in a heating ceramic pot might do the trick. There is a reason the pot needs to be made in ceramic. Metal will react with the solution, color it, and end up coloring your silver too, therefore whatever you do, do not use metal - not for the container and not for any tool you might use.
Once you start adding salt to your vinegar, you will see the vinegar going from clear to milky before going back to clear. Soon enough the amount of salt will be too much to keep dissolving and that will be the moment you can stop adding more.
Time to immerse your silver in the solution. It will probably take at least two hours for the solution to dissolve your heathscale, possibly more. Since the container is see-through, you won't have any issue checking on the progress of your silver.
Once the process is complete, you can just reach for your silver and rinse it thoroughly. As you see, I reach for it with my bare hand. This solution is made with ingredients that are completely safe for you. Just make sure you have no cuts or scrapes in your hand and you will be fine. If you do need to use a tool, remember to choose a tool made of wood or plastic. Don't use any metal!
While this solution is perfectly safe, it needs to be washed away from your silver. A small container filled up with water will do the trick.
Et voilà, your silver is no longer covered in firescale, and you can pat it dry, and start using it!
Your solution can be saved in the jar, ready for future uses.
If you have enjoyed finding out about this natural method and you would like to find out more, please check out my blog on oxidizing silver without liver of sulphur.
I love hematite, onyx, and chocolate.