There are several different ways to get a ring measurement!
A piece of string around your finger will get you a general idea that you can double check with a more specific source or guide that makes sense to you. Don't use tape. Someone tried to give me measurement in tape. It was unreliable. Also, know your body. My fingers change a size between summer and winter. And my fingers span 3 ring sizes so I am not so particular if the ring is a 8 and I can wear it on my third or fourth finger. I can make an 8 or the 8 1/2 work, because I know my fingers. I will try to size rings as close to the measurement you provide me as possible, but be aware after the stone is set my options are limited. I can sometimes make rings bigger, but never smaller.
- At this time, I am not accepting any custom work, there just aren't enough hours in the day.
- I have my great-great-great-great grandmother's ring- can you resize it for me?! I am so very sorry- I cannot! I do not resize any pieces made by others. There is no way of knowing how the other craftsman constructed the piece and I won't take on the stress of potentially damaging your piece.
- I am getting married! Can you make our rings?! First of all, congratulations! Second, I must politely decline. For now, weddings are not in my scope of projects.
Wear + Care
Handmade jewelry is a powerful form of self-expression that I am proud to make. If the pieces resonate with you, treat them like old dear friends. Be gentle with them. Hand-cut stones are not packed with plastic reinforced resins and other hardening techniques found in mass produced jewelry.
My pieces are meant to be worn, often! But some basic ways to keep them in a more pristine condition:
- Keep stones out of drastic changes in temperature. Heat and cold can change their internal structure, making them more brittle or even change color.
- Try to keep pieces clean. Don't clog the smaller spaces with oils and lotions, or take them in the steam bath. Water can drench the settings and cause loose settings.
- Clean gently with appropriate materials. Stones can usually have their shine and sheen restored by a few gentle sweeps of a soft cloth. Silver and gold-fill can be cleaned with anti-tarnish cloths and can be sealed against tarnish by paste wax.
In the end, asking the things we love and carry with us through this turbulent thing called life to never change is impractical. I hope all of my pieces end up like the velveteen rabbit: worn down from a life filled with love and adventures.
Each stone has its own character traits. Some are more rough and tumble, others are softer and more reactive to environments.
To get to know the care and needs of each, I encourage doing research! Hand-cut stones that are not reinforced with plastics and resins can change over time. That is part of what it means to live. I find these changes beautiful as they reflect the time and circumstance that has been spent with their wearer. Often handmade jewelry can last as long as more commercially produced work, but being aware of the material's needs and practicing regular upkeep and maintenance can slow any major changes.
All of my materials are genuine and I do my best to know where stones are from and their different characteristics. By genuine I mean if I can see the slab of original rock I will and that is I how I know what stones are. I don't pull out my molecular scientific instruments, but am a huge gem nerd and enthusiast and know my preferences.
I try to provide names and basic attributes to most stones, but feel free to do some research! Is the stone you are getting soft? Hard? Potentially damaged by sun or water or heat exposure? This is good info to know. For example, moonstones/labradorites/turquoises are very soft stones. We probably shouldn't put them in rings that will get banged around but we do anyway because we love them. Will they change over time? Yes. Will they ever be returned to their originally purchased pristine state? Probably not. Does this mean you should avoid them at all costs, especially if they are tugging at your heartstrings? No!
Quick Hardness Guide:
- Softies: Variscite, Turquoise, Moonstone, Labradorite, Shattuckite, Sonoran Sunrise, Lapis
- Glass-like hardness- Agate, Chalcedony, Lime Chrysophrase, Garnet, Peridot, Citrine, Amethyst, Pietersite
It's a big world out there, and I am a very small part. I have to believe that the choices we make will have an impact, because everything becomes too overwhelming otherwise. The mining industries for precious metals and stones are notoriously brutal and corrupt. This distresses me greatly. So I try to make choices that erase some of the unknowing and support the material suppliers that have a mindset to change the industry or directly support people in communities.
Many of my raw metal materials come from a company called Hoover & Strong, one of the only SCS Certified responsible refineries in North America. Their products use recycled precious metals, or metals sourced from non-conflict areas. Obtaining this certification adds transparency to their process and their sources. It makes me feel better to have some knowledge of my material origins in the products that I am creating.