Alchemy of Time
Steampunk jewelry started becoming The Next Big Thing sometime in.. 2006? 2007? I was a little late hopping on that bandwagon, but shortly after I finally started buying vintage watch gears on eBay, some other crafters went “uh, guys, what about radium I mean yeah probably not a lot of it but maybe let’s NOT sell radioactive jewelry???” and a bunch of us went “OH $#&!! GOOD POINT” and long story short, that’s why I own a Geiger counter.
(Which I totally deducted as a business expense that year, because it turns out Geiger counters are NOT cheap. Also none of the watch parts I bought were radioactive, and neither was the dog. We checked.)
Here’s one of my favorite designs from my steampunk phase, featuring a vintage watch mechanism, blue goldstone, Swarovski crystals, an odd brass thingie I found on the floor at the vintage bead warehouse in NYC, and a brass bead.
My silver wire is .999 fine silver over a copper core, encased in a durable clear enamel coating. (My gold, bronze, rosegold, and copper wires also have the clear enamel coating, unless otherwise specified.) I have been using this wire since I began making jewelry in 2003, because it is extremely non-reactive - people with metal allergies can wear it! - and it does not tarnish. It is also easier for me to manipulate than solid sterling wire, which allows me to hand-sculpt it into the intricate fwooshiness of my trademark style despite the extensive hypermobility caused by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
In the interest of being environmentally friendly, I keep my packaging as minimal as possible while still protecting the contents. Most orders are shipped in small kraft boxes inside bubble mailers, with items packed together whenever possible rather than using a single box for each piece of jewelry in an order. (If you ever need an extra box for gift-giving purposes, just ask!) Larger items are usually shipped wrapped in tissue paper in a Priority Mail box.
I am transitioning away from using packing slips or other paper inserts; while many small businesses like mine routinely include handwritten thank you notes in every order, I feel it is more environmentally responsible to express my appreciation for your patronage via email rather than contributing to the contents of your recycling bin!