Friday, 1 April 2016

Copper is kind of amazing

I think one of the reasons I use copper other than for the colour is because it reminds me of home. It was used in a lot of older jewellery and the region I grew up in was named copper mountain (thought they recently changed the name) due to the fact that there was indeed a big copper mountain in the middle of the whole area (which I've obviously been down in), and which until quite recently was in production. 

When I studied silversmithing we were given homework to look things up and write about them in the book which we then handed in to be marked. One "essay" was about the different materials we used (though I can't remember if I got told to write about that or just decided to) and whilst looking them up online I found out that copper is kind of amazing. I do mention this from time to time in conversations and each time everyone seems surprised so thought that maybe I should write a blog post about it and spread just how good it is. 

You've probably seen that there are loads of copper pipes and wires everywhere and probably thought it's because it's a cheap material or easy to get hold of, however turns out it's also a good electricity and thermal conductor, and very resistant against corrosion with a melting point of 1083 Celsius, so that is kind of great.

It's also essential to humans as we have it in our bodies, not a huge amount but what's there is vital to our well-being, which is likely why a lot of jewellery is aimed at people who have any illness affecting their blood or joints, however I'm not saying that it does (or doesn't) work for those sort of ailments as I've not had proof either for or against and am yet to make an opinion.

However neither of those facts are the reason that I think it's amazing but rather it's antibacterial properties. Let's say you touch a handle someone with, for example the flu, touched earlier, chances are the virus is still active and it's now on you. However if the handle is made of copper depending on what said germ/virus/fungi is, and how recently the person touched it (lets face it, if straight after it wont help) you should be fine. 
I won't go through them all but just mention some of the more serious stuff:
Copper has been shown to knock out 99,9 % of E.coli within 60 if the room is at room temp to  270 minutes if it's cold, whilst on stainless steel E.coli can live for weeks.   
It also works against, Legionella and tests even shows that it appears to knock out MRSA within 2 hours. 
How efficient it is depends on how high the copper contents is, the higher the contents the quicker it works and more successful it is, which if you think about it makes sense. Now you have to admit that's bloody brilliant! And raises the question which it's not used more in public spaces? 
Silver and brass has also shown to work in different extents on different germs and viruses but not as well as copper. Now I'm not telling you to go out and get your work benches swapped over to copper or anything I just think it's kind of great and wanted to spread the knowledge (because sometimes I geek out about weird stuff) :) 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Jewellery Photography

When I did the 100 day goal last year I asked the group for feedback on the photos on my Etsy page. I love doing my pictures with nature backgrounds but seeing most jewellery is photographed against a white background was worried that whilst I thought it suited it might not be seen that way by others. Luckily the generally consensus was that people really liked the backgrounds (thought I was told to be careful not to use colours which overpowered the pieces). I did however also get some other fab feedback from a buyers point of view asking that I included a picture of the piece in the box it will arrive in and one of it being worn so they can imagine what it will look like. I've therefore enlisted one of my beautiful stepdaughters as my model and keep making her model my jewellery whenever she happens to come home to visit (which sadly isn't so often) and obviously if the weather allows (which also isn't very often)

I even got a couple done whilst in Sweden (thought I for some reason didn't bring all my pieces with me, which I blame the stress beforehand for). 

I think she got feed up fairly quickly when we did it in Sweden, after all there are more fun things to do than to stand around taking pictures of jewellery in the snow. 

Atleast the last time it was nice and sunny outside so a lot more fun. 

I also found out that my other stepdaughter is an amazing photographer, I'm quite good at setting the scene but no so much with the actual workings of a camera and how to make it do what I want, like focus (if my dad realised he would be very disappointed) , she on the other hand gets beautiful sharp pictures so I might need to convince her to take over the photography for me with me just setting them up (and then I can share some of her pictures with you) :)

Sunday, 20 March 2016

I'm back! Well, sort of :)

Sorry for going quiet (yet again) but life decided to do a number on me (doesn't it always) so blogging fell completely to the wayside, and in some parts my jewellery has also had to pay the price.

I did do some Christmas markets but then ended up with some house issues (where I rent changed owners) and ended up having to not do more markets and then it was home to Sweden for Christmas and New Years which was lovely, but horrible timing. 

Original house issue was a big increase in rent which due to my storage also increasing in price meant I had to take on more hours at work from January (working full time which haven't left much time for jewellery making) and get rid of my storage. To start it was just due to be until end of March however now it looks like the new owner is planning to throw us all out (I rent a room in a house) so I will need to find a new place to rent. Therefore when asked if I could go up to 8 hours 4 days a week from April until August I (after endless hours of thinking, fretting and discussing with my partner) said yes.

Due to finishing the work I originally did overtime for and Easter coming up I will get a couple of extra days off before I start the extra time again in April so besides the bits I have to do (hang out with family) I am looking forward on catching up on all things jewellery related. Thought there will likely also be a lot of house viewing which does dampen my enthusiasm slightly.

I was very stressed about it all especially as it's really hard to rent an unfurnished room in this area, but am now feeling a lot more chilled out about the whole thing. I think in part due to my partner who is being very supportive and my wonderful work colleagues who all make me feel that things will be OK (and in fact could be far worse) and the rest is likely just due to not being able to be that worried about something for so long without having a nervous breakdown, hence my brain has just gone 'that's enough'. I will try to update once I got a new place