unexpected jewelry by way of a return home. designed and made by ellen ito.
me with my shop dog, junie b.
my workshop here on cape cod where I grew up. I came home a bit reluctantly a few years ago and found renewed inspiration all around me. sometimes you need to go the long way around.
wax tree, soon to be silver
the lost wax casting process has been around for centuries in less mechanized forms. this isn't a fancy machine but it is reliable. in it the metal is melted and poured into a plaster mold. i do all my own casting.
i use a tarnish resistant sterling casting alloy for everything except the seagull collection. brighter to start and stays brighter longer.
after casting the pieces are cleaned up individually.
applying gold using the keum-boo process
Using heat and pressure a layer of gold is applied to the sterling
care and cleaning
the sterling silver I use will stay brighter longer than traditional sterling. All jewelry can get dirty though. You can wash your pieces in mild detergent and warm water once in a while. For heavier tarnish, (it will happen eventually) you can cut a small square of green scouring pad and use it with Goddard's silver polish. Please avoid abrading the keum-boo areas. For the Argentium chain you can use Goddard's silver dip. Over time the brushed finish will get shinier and more polished looking, especially on a bracelet or a piece you touch a lot. If you wish to restore the brushed look some fine steel wool will work.
the layer of gold keum-boo is fused to the silver, but as with any surface finish it can be scratched so please take reasonable care. the gold can be reapplied if damage does occur.