I may have been ever so slightly rash with a decision yesterday that I am slightly regretting today…In a sudden flash of semi-rage I decided to delete all but 2 of my blogs. Full on, never to be retrieved, DELETED.
Now I’ve never pretended to be a good blogger, in fact the latest one was well over 12 months old, and the photos made me cringe. I couldn’t help but notice how far I have come since I last posted, and what a huge difference in the quality of my images, and development of the Louy Magroos brand.
SO instead of regretting my sudden recklessness, I am celebrating it!
NEW BLOG POST. NEW BRAND IDENTITY. SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF. A CLEAN SLATE.
But first a little look at what I (mainly my husband) have been building and working on to really get myself set up for this fresh start….MY NEW WORKSHOP.
This post is not really about content but a reminder to me that what I am building is going to be something I am really proud of, and something to celebrate!
So we started of with a workshop with wobbly walls… A wall made out of old scraps of staircase banister, I kid you not! Throw in a carpet so old it was turning to powder, and window frames so drafty I repeatedly checked I’d not left a window open... not exactly the recipe for a productive happy jeweller. So under the watchful eye of Foreman Bruce we literally kicked the **** out of it!
My Dad and my favourite neighbour (Mick the Brick) rebuilt that wall and by god with the amount of wood (not banister) and screws that went into it, the rest of the house could fall down, but that wall will still be standing strong.
I then managed to keep a couple more family members hostage for a weekend to paint and skirting board the room….
THREE (why Is it never just one?) trips to Ikea later and we had kitchen cupboards to store all my tools and business paraphernalia in.
Which only left the “THE JOIN” on the worktop to do. I could see the grey hairs appearing on Mike, helped along by my saying "dont cut it wrong, I can't take another Ikea trip!'
If I didn’t post at least a couple of shots of "THE JOIN" Mike may have packed up and left me…he fondly reminisces about the join most days. Anybody who visits gets shown "THE JOIN" whether they are interested or not...
Bruce helped build the cupboards by eating a couple of the pieces needed in the flat pack packages(at least one extra trip to Ikea was thanks to Bruce, helpful as usual.
And then the real fun started, getting all my tools and machinery and … (I cant think of the word to describe the rest of it, Mike would probably call it junk) … other bits all back in the room, making it workable for me and most importantly a bright and happy place to be.
Whilst all this work was going on I was doing what any other self respecting creative would do and took to Pinterest! If you want to look at other jewellers workshops that inspired mine, with cleaver storage ideas and pretty finishing touches checkout my board below.
My next post will be the finished thing so check back or scroll to the next article to see how it all turned out.
We all need a little tender loving care at times and your jewellery is no exception. Here at Louy Magroos I use Sterling silver in all my designs, this is an alloy of pure silver and other metals, usually copper. I chose to use Sterling silver rather than pure silver because silver alone is too soft for everyday wear and will easily scratch and dent. The copper added to the silver to create sterling silver gives it strength, whilst still maintaining its beautiful colour and qualities that have been adored for thousands of years. Where appropriate all my jewellery is Hallmarked 925 Sterling Silver from Birmingham Assay Office alongside my unique makers mark. By UK law all silver jewellery over 7.8g requires testing and hallmarking, meaning you can buy in confidence with Louy Magroos.
Like most precious metals silver will tarnish, this means it dulls and turns grey/black in places, however all that is required is a clean to restore to all its former glory. Your silver jewellery turning a darker colour does not mean your jewellery is faulty, it just needs some love.
General wear and exposure to solvents such as hand cream, perfumes, chlorine, even the natural oils in your skin, can leave your jewellery looking a little dull at times. A little wipe over with a silver polishing cloth is usually all it takes to bring back its sparkle, but if you would like to have your piece professionally cleaned, polished, and restored to all its glory, I can do so for a small fee of £10 to cover the work and return postage. If you would like to take me up on this service click here for more information. To keep your jewellery looking it’s best here are a few tips to follow…
Caring for sterling silver jewellery
General wear can cause little scratches to your jewellery, but do not worry, over time these little scratches will add to the character of your jewellery, show it has been worn and loved. However I recommend removing your jewellery if you intend on doing work such as gardening that may result in deeper scratches. If you do accidently add deep scratches to your jewellery, get in touch and we can discuss removing them.
Exposure to solvents such as hand cream, perfumes, chlorine, even the natural oils in your skin, can speed up the tarnishing effect on your jewellery. Remove your jewellery before bathing, using hand cream or applying make up and perfumes.
Wearing your jewellery regularly will actually help slow down the tarnishing process, so enjoy your jewellery and wear it often.
Very occasionally there are people who have a slightly more acidic pH to their natural skin oils and sweat which can result in silver tarnishing almost immediately. In these cases there is little we can do other than recommending cleaning your jewellery with a cloth often and remove your jewellery if you are planning on strenuous activities.
Caring for oxidised silver jewellery
Many of my designs use oxidised silver to add contrasts, by blackening the letters of a personalisation it causes the text to stand out more. As my jewellery is hand stamped rather than computer engraved, there is a deep enough recess in the silver to mean that the black will not rub off or wear away, meaning your keepsake jewellery will stand the test of time. Oxidised jewellery requires little to no cleaning, however these simple tips will ensure your jewellery looks as good as new for as long as possible.
Remove any dirt, greasy finger prints or cosmetics before storing your jewellery.
Simply wipe over with a soft cloth, use soapy water if needed but be sure to dry thoroughly afterwards. Avoid hard cloths or brushes as this can scratch the surface of the silver and remove the effect.
Do not use chemical jewellery cleaners on your oxidised jewellery as this will remove or dull the black patina.
Like all jewellery do not store your oxidised pieces loose with other items, they can knock against each other and cause scratches that will remover the oxidised finish.
If your oxidised piece has been well worn and you would like it to be re-oxidised just get in touch.
Caring for pearls
Pearls are a natural stone and are much softer than many gemstones so need care taken to look after them and avoid getting scratched.
Wearing your pearls often will a help to maintain their natural lustre, the natural oils in your skin with help maintain their beautiful quality.
Make sure you remove any dirt with a soft cloth before storing away.
Pearls are porous and as such will take on water or any solvents such as cosmetics or perfume, it is very important to thoroughly dry your pearls if they get wet, and always remove before applying makeup or hand cream.
Never use chemical cleaners on your pearls, they will remove the natural lusture of the pearl making them dull.
Store your pearls separately to other jewellery, avoiding it knocking together and getting scratched.
When removing a pearl ring hold the metal shank of the ring rather than the pearl, this will reduce the pressure on the setting so it doesn’t work loose.
Storing your jewellery
Humidity and direct sunlight can cause tarnish, so store your jewellery in a dry environment away from direct sunlight.
Whilst my gift boxes make wonderful presentation for gifts they are not intended for long term storage.
Avoid storing jewellery in pouches together, store jewellery separately so that pieces do not tangle or rub against each other causing scratches.