Materials & Process
I use various types of clay, however your jewellery or standalone piece will more often than not be made using White Earthenware clay. It has a beautiful elasticity which is lovely to work with.
- I start from wet clay and leave it to air for a few days on shelves so that it dries out.
When it has become leather hard I return to it to trim, sculpt and refine. Clay in this state is called "greenware" and can be pretty fragile, so I need to be precise and delicate when working with it.
As the piece takes shape it's usually at this stage that I might add some coloured slip for an underglaze decoration.
- When the clay is fully dried I then pop it into a kiln in my studio, and fire it at a temperature of 1080c so it becomes porous but hard.
- At this stage it's ready to be glazed. Simply put, a glaze is a glass-like substance that ceramicists might use to seal a porous clay body, or as a cool decoration, or perhaps to enhance a texture or pattern created on the clay itself.
I often make my own glazes by purchasing raw materials and experimenting with my own recipes, but I also sometimes use ready-made glazes. Whatever the case, I always make sure to source everything from Ireland.
- Sterling Silver 925
- Rose Gold, Copper Plated
Your jewellery pieces will arrive carefully packaged. It is a good idea to keep them safe in this box when they are not being worn. Here are a few more tips to keep your pieces new and sparkling :)
1. Take off the jewellery when going to shower
Oxidation takes place when something combines chemically with oxygen.
Therefore, when you’re in the shower, your copper jewellery will oxidise with the water and thus give you an unpleasant green stain.
Equally, the copper metal can react with other stuff you use in the shower, like shampoo, shower gel.
Even as the water dries from the copper jewellery, the oxidation process will have begun, causing the change in colour.
2. Keep your jewellery away from creams (lotions, suncreams, fake tan, etc)
When applying lotion, you will want to take off your jewellery because the ingredients in the creams are also going to react with the copper.
3. Clean and polish your jewellery often
Keep your pieces clean by soaking the jewellery for five to ten minutes in lemon juice mixed with water. Alternatively, you can use water mixed in with some salt. Afterwards, scrub the piece with a soft toothbrush or a cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
If the jewellery component is lacquered then it has a shiny copper-coloured coating on top that prevents tarnishing and corrosion of the elements.
When it has this coating, cleaning the item becomes a lot easier. All you have to do is take a dump cloth and liquid detergent and rub all over the piece. Once you’re done, rinse out the jewellery with water and dry it with a towel.
When your jewellery is clean, you can use a polishing cloth to keep it bright. You might want to consider purchasing something explicitly made for polishing copper to leave it looking and feeling brand new.