How to care for your handcrafted jewelry created with ARTISTIC WIRE?  

Copper wire is a great substitute for other precious metal like silver or gold because the cost is much lower and yet its durable just as silver or gold. The only set back is that it can react chemically with the oils in a person's skin. When oxidation happens, copper will turn a green shade and gets darker. The green color patina washes off, but it's still a bit annoying. Because of the polyurethane coating on Artistic Wire, we don't have to worry about that at all. All you have to do with jewelry crafted using Artistic Wire is to clean with a soft cloth or toothbrush [soft bristle] and mild soap or a jeweler's cloth. Try not to scratch the jewelry because that may harm the polyurethane layer. If the polyurethane layer does wear through, clear nail polish will work to re-seal that spot.  

With heavy use and age, the polyurethane layer can wear off. Take care of this jewelry as you would any fine jewelry. Even if the polyurethane layer wears off, you can still use your jewelry and continue cleaning it just as always. As time goes by [a long time], the color coating may fade. Its okay because your jewelry is made using copper wires. just continue cleaning it. Some may even welcome the "new" vintage look!

How about Bare Copper Artistic Wire?

Some of my handcrafted jewelry are made using BARE COPPER ARTISTIC WIRE, which is not protected with a coating of polyurethane. Over time the copper will tarnish as it is exposed to air. The oxidation creates a green patina. This is unavoidable especially if you use the jewelry over a long period of time and came into contact with skin, sweat and oil. 

To clean bare copper jewelry, you have the option of several methods.
1. Commercial cleaners use chemicals to remove any tarnish or patina on your jewelry. Generally these cleaners are mild acids that with react with the oxidized metals to remove the tarnish.  

2. The Worcestershire sauce and ketchup both contain natural mild acids. This method i have not tried and preferably not! Who would want to smear ketchup on your jewelry?! Then again because this is what i have read, i just want to share some of the options with you.

3. A solution of water, lemon, and salt may also clean your copper jewelry. This solution will combine both a mild natural acid and an abrasive (salt) to clean your jewelry. This solution should not be used with soft gemstones such as pearls or fluorite.  

4. You can also clean your copper jewelry with ultrasonic cleaning methods. Tarnish will not be removed using this method but it will help to dislodge grime stuck in between the wires , stones and beads.
5. Another easy way to remove tarnish which does not damage stones is to clean with white vinegar. Take an old toothbrush and dip in vinegar and lightly brush surface of copper.  

By following these simple methods that i have mentioned, you should be able to maintain a beautiful rosy color to your copper jewelry.

How to store your handcrafted Artistic Wire jewelry?

We all have our own collection of jewelry and we need to store those that we are not wearing. Some jewelry may be stored longer time than others due to many reasons. The important thing we should know is how to store it accordingly. Even if we do not wear our jewelry, for coated Artistic Wire, it will not tarnish but accumulated dust and air will give a slight change in color appearance if not kept properly. I strongly recommend that all handcrafted jewelry using Artistic Wire be kept in zip locked bags. Make sure the item is wiped clean and completely dry before sealing in a zip locked bag.  

For bare copper Artistic Wire, please store your jewelry in a zip locked bag with anti-tarnish paper. You can buy anti-tarnish paper online. If you can't get your hands on anti-tarnish paper than the other way is, if your jewelry oxidize while in storage than just clean your bare copper Artistic Wire jewelry when you want to use it using the suggested methods above.

Here are some simple things you can do and practice to protect your handcrafted jewelry.

1. Always apply makeup, hair spray, and perfume before putting on your jewelry. Jewelry is always the last thing we put on while dressing up.

2. Remove jewelry when doing heavy household chores like gardening and cleaning. Then again, i like to wear mine always even while doing chores. Having something beautiful on is always a joy to see.

3. After each wearing, wipe with a soft cotton cloth to remove make up and skin oils. 

4. All handcrafted jewelry is delicate and will experience normal wear and tear. Avoid rough handling. This means, do not wear your jewelry if you plan for example, to go mountain climbing or similar.

5. Do not wear in a swimming pool, hot tub or in the shower. Chlorine can damage various gemstones and metals including gold. But if you forgotten to remove it, do not fret. Just remember to remove it the next time.

6. Store your handmade jewelry in zip locked bags and keep away from chemicals, extreme temperatures, and sunlight.

Lastly, these are just suggestions. If you have your own way to practice , just follow your style. I always believe in enjoying my creations and by other designers too by wearing them everyday regardless of chores or whatever. Follow your heart and instinct. sometimes rules can just be too rigid and we must have some flexibility to be able to enjoy life.

take care :)


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