Sizing

I will always have sizing information written within the description of the item so you will know. Because of the manner in which I make my very detailed pieces, they cannot be resized. Normally when you take a ring band to a jeweler and they resize it, it is either put into a machine to compress it a bit to make it smaller, or put on a machine to expand it to make it a bit larger. Those two ways would both ruin the design on a ring that I create. Therefore, it is most important to be professionally sized so you know your ring or bracelet cuff size. If you find a jewelry store that custom makes rings, they would definitely be able to size you for free. Tips found on the internet about how to figure out your ring size, or just measuring around your finger, are not accurate! Sometimes I will create rings with a thicker band, and because the bottom of our fingers are often a bit wider and fleshier, a thicker band is going to fit differently than a thin band. That is important to keep in mind when purchasing. You would normally go up about a half size from what you usually wear for a wider ring band design. Once a piece of jewelry is purchased and leaves my hands, I cannot resize it, so please be sure to have your size professionally taken. I do offer inexpensive ring sizers on my website that you can purchase as well. They are here

https://stripedcatmetalworks.com/products/reusable-ring-sizer

 

Cuff sizes usually fit a variety of sized wrists but it is a good idea to also know how big around your wrist is. Silver cuffs can take a bit of opening and closing, but that is the most important part, a little bit. Metal does have a braking point when bent too often. Normally you take one end of your cuff where it ends and place it between the two tendons at the bottom of your wrist where there is an indent between your two bones. If you feel your wrist there is a kind of softer squishier part between your two wrist bones underneath. Put the end of your cuff in that squishy part and then you slip it over the top of your wrist in a wrap around motion. If you have your bracelet opened to the proper width, and put a cuff on in this manner, you may never have to open or close your cuff again. 

Do you ship all over the world?

Yes! I do ship all over the world and often do. The majority of my handmade jewelry IS bought by friends in other countries. There are sometimes customs to be paid when you receive your package in your country so be sure to know those because they are out of my control and unknown to me. I will normally ship international packages with the United States Postal Service, USPS, but there are other options if you would rather. 

How do I store my jewelry?

I often forget to remind my customers that the recycled jewelry boxes I send my pieces in contain a layer of *fluff*. That fluff was created to help your natural metal jewelry oxidize less quickly. Oxidation is natural & safe, it is just what natural metals do when there is the presence of oxygen and any moisture at all! Please hold onto your box with that fluff for your piece to stay in when not being worn. Most of my pieces are given a darkening patina and that will fade with time. The more often it is polished or cleaned will also lessen that patina. I advise not wearing your jewelry in the shower, swimming, or on your hands while you wash them because soaps can affect your metals happiness as well. There are even many popular stones that are set in jewelry that can crack or discolor in water so I always advise against water anywhere near your pieces. Opals are one such stones that do not like water! There are polishing cloths that you can keep on hand to clean your piece with called “Sunshine Cloths” that work well. If you ever have a question about how to polish or clean something that I have made for you, please don't hesitate to send me a message! I also made a blog post talking about what cleaning solution I use to polish silver, copper, and brass here.  

Why do you use recycled metals?

As many might, or might not know, many metals are very often surrounded by cruelty. It is not uncommon for them to be mined by people held as slaves or even young children lured with the promise of helping to care for their families financially! I spend a lot of time researching what I buy and where it comes from so that it is animal free and cruelty free. I feel safest using recycled metals that I melt myself or purchasing from the few reputable companies out there known for their recycled metals. There is a lot of time and work put into researching where I purchase my supplies and gemstones from because it is important to know and do something about it. 

Where do you get your stones from?

It has been very important to me since day one of my jewelry making to try and trace back the beginnings of items that I purchase to make your jewelry with. Recycled metals, animal free polishing compounds, earth friendly pickles used for cleaning metals, and where the stones I cut and use came from. Buying US mined stones and minerals is one way that I can not only more easily trace back where the stones came from and how they were mined, but I can also buy them straight from the miners who found them themselves. I then know they are paid fairly by me and how they treat the earth when looking for them. Lots of gemstones and minerals are mined by folks not paid fairly, and with no laws and regulations in regards to how safely they are mined, or how much damage is caused to the earth and environment that is irreparable. I do have stones that were gifted to me, purchased from vintage or pre-loved designs that I deconstructed, but most of them are stones I chose as rough from the miners themselves and cut here at home on my machine.  

Why label as a “vegan” jewelry maker?

I have been living a vegan lifestyle for about 15 years now, and when I started my business those types of decisions just naturally spilled into my business decisions as well. I read the backs of, and ingredients of, everything. I was so surprised to find out that many of the usual items that had a home on every metal and jewelry worker’s bench contained animal products or were tested on animals! For example, saw blade lubricant is a very helpful thing to have in my line of work because the pieces that I saw out are TINY. Because they are tiny, I use tiny saw blades to cut those pieces out that break easily. The teeth on my saw blades are so small many people wouldn’t even be able to SEE them. You want to give those tiny sawblades the best chance they have to cut through metals and using a blade lubricant is one such way to give them a longer life. I learned to not use saw blade lubricant very early on because they all contain animal fats. The polishing compounds that are some of the most popular all contain animal fats as well. It seemed that nothing that I wanted to buy to make my job a little quicker, easier, and give my tools a longer life were created without harming animals. I try to gently voice my needs for an animal friendly version of something through phone calls and emails to their companies. And it sometimes works! I now have vegetable based polishing compounds that I can use to make my pieces shine! It is too important to me in my every day life to cause the least amount of harm to any living being, and because of this, I make those same decisions and spend the same amount of time for my business decisions as well. If you ever have a question about where something I use comes from, please send me a message! I am always open to helping others! You can read a bit more about my journey within my blog here!