Jan 17, 2010

Base Metal or Not To Base Metal,.....

Okay - so at the end of last year, I asked you, my blogging friends, family and fans, both on here and my Facebook (MishelDesigns.com) Fan Page what your impression was of all the handcrafted jewelry out there being made by independent jewelry designers with base metals - aka: Copper (which I personally think looks really cool!), brass, gunmetal and steel,.....


I posed this question because all the jewelry magazines out there now seem to have at least 1/2 (if not more) of their jewelry designs in base metals of some sort, and jewelry designers who are blogging have tons of jewelry posted with base metals and all over Etsy and Artfire are gobs and gobs of handcrafted jewelry utilizing mostly base metals - it's everywhere - even in mainstream department stores such as Macy's, etc.


Your answers completely surprised me. You said that you'd prefer jewerly NOT made with base metals and would even be willing to pay more for sterling silver, fine silver, gold filled and gold than to even mess with Base Metals. You further went on to tell me that one of the main reasons you didn't really care for base metal jewely is because of the way it wears (or doesn't wear, we should probably say) and turns/loses color so quickly, of the way it feels (cheap, was one word someone used) and the kicker,....the way it 'smell's...yep, (and I thought I was the only one who noticed this!!) someone actually mentioned that most of the base metals, especially the brass, not only felt like something out of the industrial park, but smelled like it as well!

However, because I still had people asking about it and for it due to the lower cost and also because of it's trendy fashion roots, (all things Vintage, SteamPunk and Mixed Metals) I went ahead and tried my hand at a piece and found it kind of fun!

Granted, I used sterling silver wire to link my necklace because I couldn't quickly find gunmetal wire and didn't want to use just black craft wire to start off with, but the results even surprised me - I kinda like it. And, it doesn't smell either (maybe because I handled it so much all the 'smell' rubbed off on me!).

So, let me know what you think. I will start to play with some brass this week and next and fill you in on how it goes.

Oh, and by the way - one of the inspirations for this piece? Our Subaru Outback sitting in the snow up at my sis's cabin over the New Year - looking dark, and green, under all the pure white snow - kind of 'industrial' looking,...I'll post a pic when I get one!




Until next time,


Peace, Love and Change!




Cheers,
~Shel~

2 comments:

  1. So glad you shared your results on the poll you took on metal preferences. I had decided awhile back that I wanted to create more pieces with sterling, (hence my new metalsmithing obsession). I love creating pieces with the oxidized brass and copper because I love the vintage feel that it offers, but I'm finding also that people don't like the fact that some of it turns their skin green over time.

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  2. Yes, I wonder what it will do to my skin, too. I'm going to create some pieces using some brass wire/chain and see what happens...I'll definitely post some pics and my opinion on the pros/cons of the whole thing! :)

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Thanks for sharing what you have to say - I love hearing your comments!