MaryBoyleJewelry ~ Uniquely Designed

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Creation of a Fused and Hammered Fine Silver Charm

I recently made a custom-ordered football that was going as a gift to a Green Bay Packers fan. I documented a bit of the process for the person receiving the gift, and thought I'd share a few pics and descriptions here as well. What looks like a simple piece of metal actually takes fire power, hammering, and strategy to turn out as intended. Here are some intermediate steps and pictures to go with them to describe the creation of the hammered football. The charm is 5/8" long.(1) The beginning is a fused ball of pure silver that I form using a torch. In this case, the ball is metal I coaxed into taking a football-ish shape. The picture i... » Read More

The Beauty of Gold-filled Jewelry

At shows, I am often asked what "gold-filled" means. There are many online resources that explain this in more technical detail, but there are two key differences between gold-filled and gold-plated metal. 1) Gold-filled has considerably more gold (usually 14k) content, and is required to be a minimum of 5% gold. Gold-plated metal has a very thin coating with no U.S. standards for content.2) Gold-filled metal consists of a heavily bonded outer layer of gold, which is attached to the "fill" metal (usually brass) using a process of heat and pressure. The metals are physically attached, creating a very strong bond. Gold-plated metal goes through a... » Read More

Handmade as a Philosophy of Life

In applying to have my jewelry spotlighted on ArtFire, one of the questions I need to answer is "Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?" I had to think about how to put into words what handmade means to me...why handcrafted items of any sort have always resonated, and why it is deeply satisfying for me to design and create jewelry for others to wear.Our society has worked so hard to become efficient and hands-free, whether for stamping out plastic bottles or putting together identical hamburgers, that we've stripped the soul out of the things we fill our lives with. For the creator, handmade products are v... » Read More

Tarnish Happens

I get a lot of questions about coping with tarnish, and my stock answer has become that it is easier to deal with tarnish BEFORE it occurs. Being proactive in protecting your jewelry, especially pieces that can be difficult to polish, is easier than repeatedly cleaning. Depending on what methods you use, polishing removes a thin layer of metal, which is especially detrimental to anything that is plated (thin coating of a precious metal over a base or different metal). I accidentally stripped the plating off a pair of hoop earrings that were thought to be sterling. Even using a very mild micro-abrasive pad, the plating came off quickly and expose... » Read More

Getting Started

After being asked about this and pondering for a few months whether to sell my jewelry, I am taking the plunge. I have a lifetime of loving and buying jewelry and now after "gifting" to friends and family, I'm ready to share what I create with others. Stay tuned for postings and ideas as I get my business underway!... » Read More