1. How is Jo la Collage created ?
Ellen Kelly designs and carves models for all the metalwork out of wax and clay. These “masters” are cast out of a pewter alloy to create all the metal elements. The finished piece is plated with sterling silver, 24 K gold, or copper. We prefer this additional finish over the base metal because we feel it dresses up the piece and adds sparkle and value. Various treatments are used with the finishes to add additional texture, such as oxidizing, creating a matt finish, etc.
All of the pieces are meticulously filled by hand with the crystals and other small embellishments. We do this piece work in small batches because we are working with paints, resins, and polymers. We use high quality industrial strength products.
2. What are the ear wires made of ?
The ear wires are either solid sterling silver or 14 K Gold filled. There is no plating or nickel in the ear wire.
Posts are un-plated surgical steel.
3. What are the chains made of?
The chains are steel or brass, plated with silver or gold. A substrate of nickel or copper is used under the plating depending on the chain.
4. How should the jewelry be cared for?
Hand made jewelry is a piece of art- keep this in mind as you enjoy wearing it.
Do not wear your jewelry in the shower, pool, or ocean. The chemicals and house hold cleaners can deteriorate the finish , the pearls, crystals, paints, and the resins.
Sterling silver naturally tarnishes over time due to exposure to oxygen.
The finishes may also fade over time, especially if exposed to elements, and this is expected. To clean or brighten up your piece use a tarnishing cloth. Never use any chemicals , or detergents. Do not use an ultrasound cleaner. Clean the ear wires with alcohol as needed.
5. What if the jewelry breaks?
In the rare event something breaks, either contact the retailer you bought it from or contact us directly, and let us know what happened. Do not send jewelry back to us without a prior authorization . We will repair your piece at no charge unless we identify damage. We are not responsible for normal wear and tear or changes in the finishes. If a charge for the repair is necessary, the cost is based on our labor and material costs. We may need to substitute stones, crystals or embellishments if they are no longer available.
6. What if you can’t find a local retailer who carries our work?
Contact us directly and we will help you to get what you desire.