On Jeweled Wings
My local bead store has had a little box of iridescent green beetle wings sitting on the counter for as long as I’ve been shopping there, and they always catch my eye but somehow I’ve never bought any.
Until this week.
It turns out that beetle wings are fragile, so I’ve filled them on the back with a thin layer of jeweler’s epoxy, which will give it a bit more strength and support. This one, however, got a tiny bit dinged up before I figured that out, so we’re going to call it a prototype/bargain bin piece. These will probably be $35ish once I’m satisfied with their structural integrity; this one, with a wee scuff on the left side where it lost an argument with some wire... eh, let’s say $25 and a report on how it holds up to reasonable gentle handling out in real world after a couple of weeks?
(See? Now you can legitimately say you need to order jewelry made from beetle wings FOR SCIENCE and nobody can refute that. FOR SCIENCE!)
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!