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The Chocolate and Steel studio is run in the most eco-friendly way possible. Metal scraps are saved and reclaimed, harsh chemicals are avoided and my studio is powered by 100% renewable energy sources including wind and solar power.  All metals offered are reclaimed from previous manufacturing processes.  Read on for more specific information about the metals and stones I use.

METALS

Currently I offer 4 different metals.  Please note that all of the metals are nickel free.

 

{sterling silver}: Reclaimed Sterling Silver is also known as .925, which translates to 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper.  This is the most common form of silver used in jewelry.  It is very strong, perfect for rings!  Most people have no reaction to the base metal (copper) in sterling silver as it is such a small amount.  Sterling silver will tarnish over time.  To minimize tarnishing, store in a jewelry box or bag out of the sun.  If you need to bring back its luster, you may use any store bought silver cleaner or scrub with baking soda.  The sterling silver I use has been reclaimed from previous manufacturing processes such as old jewelry sent to refineries.  This is an eco-friendly selection.  The chain included is sterling silver and made in the USA.

 

{bronze}: Bronze is an alloy of 89% copper and 11% tin.  It is gold in tone and will darken over time.  To keep it bright and beautiful wear it often, store in a jewelry box or bag, away from the sun.  In my experience, chlorine can affect the color of bronze so I recommend to avoid wearing in a pool.  If you need to bring back its luster, you may clean using steel wool or a fine grit sandpaper (220 or higher).  The Bronze I use has been reclaimed from previous manufacturing processes including boat propellers, bells and machine parts.  This is an eco-friendly selection.  The chain included is gold plated.  All materials were manufactured in the USA.

 

{white bronze}: White Bronze is an metal alloy of 60% Copper, 25% Tin, 15% Zinc.  It is a hard yet brittle metal with a gunmetal grey appearance.  Due to it’s hardness it is prone to crack or shatter if impacted hard, so please treat it kindly.  To keep it bright and beautiful wear it often, store in a jewelry box or bag, away from the sun.  In my experience, chlorine can affect the color of bronze so I recommend to avoid wearing in a pool.  If you need to bring back its luster, you may clean using steel wool or a fine grit sandpaper (220 or higher).  The White Bronze I use has been reclaimed from previous manufacturing processes including defunct bridges and machine parts.  This is an eco-friendly selection.  The chain included is silver plated.  All materials are made in the USA.

 

{gold plating}: Gold Plating is the process of adhering a very thin amount of 14kt gold to another metal.  The gold is plated to a sterling silver piece.  Be aware that the gold plating can rub off over time.  It is possible to re-plate the piece, for a fee, if you wish.  The chain included is gold plated and made in the USA.  This is a moderate eco-friendly selection as the sterling silver is reclaimed, but the gold may or may not be reclaimed.

Stones

All stones used in the collection are lab-grown or synthetic unless stated otherwise.  Lab-grown and synthetic stones are not mined making them an eco-friendly selection.  By not mining stones the impact to the planet is minimized and they are free of human rights conflicts.

Process

I handcraft every design out of silver clay.  The clay model is fired in a kiln and then polished by hand to achieve the perfect finish.  The model is cast in reclaimed metal using the ancient art of lost wax casting.  Once the casting process is finished the piece is then polished by hand to achieve the perfect finish again.

Illustrated pieces start out with a drawing on paper.  I have many different techniques for transferring the drawing.  Some drawings are carved into a rubber block or styrofoam sheet in the same way that block printing is done.  Some drawings are carved into a stamp by a machine in order to capture tiny necessary details.