Artists Do Science Too!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I lost almost my entire stock of jewelry. 78 pieces were to be thrown out, and as we had no idea what happened, we didn’t know how to fix it or how to prevent it again.

That’s over $1000 of income I’m losing out on, not to mention all the money and time put into making the pieces….and then adding in the money and time for having to buy more supplies to get my stock back up before my August festival, it gets to be an expensive problem.

Yikes.

While I was waiting for my new supplies to arrive, I did some research on proper jewelry storage. I used to store the jewelry on the paper tags and just stand them up next to each other in a plastic shoe box. I never had a tarnish problem (which is what we were thinking may have happened), but the jewelry would get tangled and the tags would get bent. Not fun.

I then bought some plastic inserts similar to baseball card protectors. Each piece on it’s tag would go in a section, and the inserts were put into a binder. That way I could flip through the binder, see each piece easily, and they’d stay in pristine condition. The binders were then put in a bigger plastic lidded container, and it seemed to be working well.

Until this happened:

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These earrings are supposed to be silver.

This is not silver.

All of the jewelry was similar to this, some worse than others. Some were just dark like this in some spots, but still silver in others.

I found that a lot of people store their jewelry in a similar fashion to mine, but one person said that she was preventing a tarnishing problem by using 3M anti tarnish strips. Just put a couple strips in her storage box, and no tarnish problem.

I ordered them immediately.

But I also found a really easy (and cheap!) eco-friendly way to remove the tarnish from the jewelry. I was really skeptical because I tend to find that homemade green cleaners don’t always work, but as it would cost me less than $1 to try, I thought that it might save me a lot of money.

And it did!

It’s just hot water, salt, baking soda, and aluminum foil. Easy peasy.

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Enjoying a nice little soak

I didn’t have the black or yellow flakes falling off, so I was afraid it didn’t work. I removed the jewelry to from the solution, rinsed it, and began to gently wipe it with a paper towel.

And this happened:

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Look at that! This is actually one of the pieces that I debated about keeping and trying to sell because it wasn’t so bad. But you can see the silver on the side and the tarnish color on top!

And look at the earrings after their soak!

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Amazing.

This was some of my rinse water after:

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Blech.

Now I’ll have a really really big inventory all made up, which is a wonderful thing as I have three festivals booked up between August and December, and am waiting to hear back about a fourth!

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Science is so cool.

And I did it all on my own, even without my science teacher hubby here to help or supervise.

Now THAT is impressive!

 

Tell me about your favorite science experiment, or which color combination you’d love to see me do for a necklace or pair of earrings!

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2 thoughts on “Artists Do Science Too!

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