Care and Maintenance
Individual instructions below for Jewelry, Enamelware, Sculpture, Music Boxes
Wear your CG Jewelry often and store with care in a sealed bag or box to keep free of dust and maintain the finish. Your piece is made of organic materials and will naturally change over time. To preserve its existing finish, avoid prolonged exposure to beauty products, household chemicals, water and direct sunlight.
Silver is less likely to tarnish if stored in an anti-tarnish bag or box, sealed in zip-lock bag, or other containers that keep out oxygen (exposure to oxygen speeds up tarnishing).
Apply make up, perfume and other beauty products before putting on your jewelry.
Steamy bathrooms are not ideal for jewelry storage - too much moisture will affect the finish of your jewelry.
For general purpose cleaning, rinse in warm (non-abrasive) soapy water, rinse and thoroughly pat dry with a soft cloth. Be sure your jewelry is completely dry before storing.
Gold vermeil: Buff with a polishing cloth. Do not use polishing creams or liquid dips on pieces with gemstones or pearls as the harsh chemicals can damage them.
Oxidized silver: For the most part, cleaning is unnecessary, though simply rinsing in warm water will do the trick when necessary. If that's not enough, clean with non-abrasive soapy water and rinse well - but only when needed. (Regular cleaning could remove the oxide finish.) The darkened look is created through an accelerated chemical reaction (patina) in the metal but will naturally lighten and wear with time. Some factors can speed up this process - individual chemistry, prolonged exposure to sunlight, water or beauty products for example. Not to worry, most of my pieces can easily be re-oxidized and I’m happy to do so for free, you only need to cover shipping costs (learn more in Warranties and Repairs)
Polished silver: Buff with a polishing cloth. Do not use polishing creams or liquids on pieces with gemstones or pearls as the harsh chemicals can damage them. If the entire piece is polished silver (no gems or oxidized parts), dipping in a silver polish also works.
Enamel bowls and spoons are made in small batches with great care. Pieces are limited edition or one of a kind.
Due to the nature of vitreous enamels, some variation in color and finish may occur. We take great pride in our craftsmanship and do our best to create high quality work that will last for lifetimes.
Strong but delicate!
Do not leave in extreme temperatures. Freezing and heat affect the expansion and contraction of metal/glass differently which could lead to cracking and chipped enamel.
Vitreous enamel is powdered glass fused to copper at high temperatures (1500 degrees) - it can withstand a lot but will crack if dropped from a distance, banged against a hard surface, or thrown at a wall in a fit because your popovers collapsed just before dinner guests arrive. Be gentle!
We strive for superior quality and warrant all of our goods against manufacturing mishaps. If there's a problem, we will do everything in our power to make you happy so you may enjoy our products. Email email@example.com images and a description of the problem and we will get back to you asap.
Wash by hand with warm water and non-abrasive dish detergent.
Do not use abrasive sponges/cloths.
Do not put in dishwasher.
Wood bases can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Do not submerge in water.
Sculptures are unique in that each contains different materials with various needs. If unsure - always contact us before attempting any cleaning or finish restoration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In general, metals should be waxed on an annual basis to maintain luster. Follow the waxing instructions listed below under music boxes.
The process used to make most pieces (often referred to as holloware) is a labor of love. Sheets of metal are hammered into submission to create the form and texture and joined together to create a hollow shape. While they look heavy and sturdy, they are often light and somewhat delicate and could dent (but will never shatter like ceramics or glass).
Use care when handling and displaying to avoid dents in hollow forms, cracking enamel, and breaking components.
Consider using museum wax to keep art secure wherever displayed.
Music boxes from the Constructing Deconstruction series should be handled with care.
They are sturdy but music mechanisms are delicate!
To hear the music, turn the key (bird, nest, or egg that is perched on top of the box) clockwise several turns until you feel some resistance, be sure not to over-wind. Open the box to hear the music and see the interior - the music will stop when the box is closed.
Intended to be an intimate experience for the viewer, best enjoyed while held.
Use care when opening the box as the music mechanism could be damaged if the key hits a hard surface. If the box is opened while resting on a table or pedestal, hold it open to ensure the key can move freely.
Not a toy or intended for young children.
Surface Finish - details and general cleaning
Protected with Renaissance Wax - an archival wax that hardens to a clear protective coating.
Organic materials like steel, copper, and bronze naturally change with time and may darken or rust with handling and exposure to light, oxygen, and moisture.
Minimize surface changes by keeping the music box out of direct sunlight and moist or wet environments.
Wax the piece once a year or more often if handled frequently. The process is similar to waxing a car (see instructions below).
Never submerge the box in water or other liquid. If liquid of any kind spills or drips on your box, dry immediately.
If necessary, the box can be cleaned with a non-abrasive liquid soap and warm water on a cloth.
For general dirt build-up the waxing process will also clean the metal.
I prefer Renaissance Wax - it is a hard archival wax that will not yellow with time. (Carnuba or other furniture paste waxes may be used in a pinch.)
Renaissance wax can be found at your local hardware store, online or through the US/Canada distributor: restorationproduct.com
Choose a well-ventilated area in which to wax the box.
Wear latex gloves to protect your skin as well as prevent getting fingerprints on the work.
Place an old towel or rag under the box to prevent it from getting scratched while being waxed.
The key (bird/nest/egg) should be unscrewed and waxed separately from the box.
With a clean soft cloth, rub a thin layer of wax evenly on the metal and let dry for a minute or two only (it will dry quickly and to a hard finish).
Rub off any excess wax with the same cloth before it dries.
Use another clean soft cloth and rub the surface gently until you buff it up to a satin finish.
Repeat process 2-3 times (depending on need/use).
If ever in doubt, email email@example.com with questions or concerns and we will be happy to assist you.
Replies are sent within 1-3 days. If you don’t receive a reply within 3 days, please send a reminder email (Sometimes life gets busy and we are human after all!)