Answers to some commonly asked questions. If you don't see your question here, please reach out.
How do I care for my jewelry?
Stainless Steel is hypoallergenic and non-tarnishing. Polish with any gentle cloth.
Vintage Silverware consists of a heavy plating of pure silver over a mixed metal alloy, usually of brass or copper. Silver will tarnish over time, use a soft polishing cloth so you can keep your beautiful jewelry looking its best. Read more about silver care here.
Repeated exposure of any metal to hand sanitizers, soaps, lotions, perfumes & etc. can cause a reaction with your natural body chemistry. It is always recommended to remove your jewelry when using products, showering, swimming, working out, or sleeping.
Why stainless steel?
Every material has their place, I just REALLY like stainless steel. It is the perfect blend of beauty & strength, at an affordable price. It is an incredibly durable material that can withstand your life. Stainless steel is also hypoallergenic, waterproof, tarnish-resistant AND won't make your skin turn green.
All of the stainless steel blanks I use are PVD gold coated, which is up to 10x thicker than the standard plating process. This makes them much more durable against scratches, regular wear, and corrosion from sweat. I have been wearing my necklaces & rings for months now, and I am pleased to share that they look just as shiny and new as day one. All they need is the occasional polish with a soft cloth. Get the high end look at a much lower price - and without all the maintenance!
What about the vintage silver jewelry?
My silver jewelry is made from vintage silverware, dating as far back at the late 1800s but mostly coming from the 1930-1950s. It is silver plate, for the most part I do not come across sterling flatware in my area. Now this is a different silver plate than the cheap mall jewelry you are thinking of. Remember that these are utensils that were designed to be used (not just bargain accessories), so it is a heavy plating of pure silver over a brass or copper alloy.
The silver plating is thick enough that the base alloy should not come into contact with your skin. That said, some silverware is over 100 years old and has led a long and useful life, bearing the marks of use proudly. I also understand that every body reacts differently to various metals (yes, even to sterling), and I would be happy to process an exchange if you experience a reaction to your spoon ring during normal use.
How do you engrave on the items?
A common misconception, I don't actually do any engraving! I use steel shanks with a letter or design on one end (metal stamps) and hammer them into the surface to displace the metal and create an impression. Each letter or design has their own stamp, and I have to purchase each set of uppercase / lowercase / numbers / symbols / etc. etc. etc... individually to get them in different fonts and sizes. Engraving, by contrast, is usually computerized with a laser (or a rotary hand tool) that can just remove the metal where needed.
Please note that I stamp each item by hand with a hammer, so there may be some slight variations. Sometimes not all characters will be perfectly aligned as this is the nature of hand stamping - no two will ever be the same! As the metal is displaced, not removed, you can sometimes see the effect of that displacement on the back side.
Do you bend these all by hand?
Yes, with the help of some specialized hand tools. I have invested in custom dies and forms that I use in an arbour press to specifically bend and shape silverware to the exact size I need. The arbour press helps to amplify my own strength and force the metal into shape. No hydraulics or electric presses here. Very often, items are finished in a plain little bench vice, with a rubber mallet, mandrel, and brute force. It's all a great way to hammer out stress!
I stamp and form each item by hand with a hammer, so there may be slight variations. It is perfectly imperfect. I take pride in creating a high quality of work, and enjoy the telltale characteristics of hand formed objects. Each is slightly different from the next, creating a totally unique piece for you to enjoy.
Is the stamped silverware safe to use?
I darken the impressions of all my silverware (spoons, forks, knives, etc.) by naturally tarnishing them! That makes them safe to use with food, and won’t fade with regular hand washing. I tarnish the hand stamped letters, and polish the rest of silverware to a lovely sheen. Items that are not intended to be used for food, like the silver keychains, plant markers & jewelry I create, are darkened with an enamel. I do not use enamel for any products that are intended to come in contact with food. Read more about caring for your silverware here.
Where do you get all this silverware?
I frequently find silverware through local antique dealers and online sources such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace. If you have some to sell, yes I am interested! I also trade for it, turning a piece or two of your grandmother's silver into a keepsake item in exchange for the rest of the set. That way the special memory can live on, while the rest of the pieces can become new creations and stop collecting dust.
Where is your studio?
We live on an acreage in rural northern Alberta, just south of Rycroft for you locals. Here's a real life peak into my home studio. Yep, it looks something like this (or worse) on any given day. Covered counters, baby monitors/snacks/toys/SPOONS everywhere, things rearranged by said baby & toddler. The only reason the floor is "somewhat" bare is because I keep the cabinets locked and tools out of reach. But this is where the magic happens, amidst the chaos and the mess. Stamping is a bit too loud to do while my kids are asleep SO I have to stamp and hammer and create while they are awake and "helping". We have put a lot of work into my studio space and it is truly magical to have such a dedicated room. At the same time I do wish it was Pinterest-perfect and always conducive to creating and inspiration. This is real life though, and I love it.