I browse and buy online all the time, and I LOVE to do my homework! I
always ask tons of questions. I've provided detailed answers to some of
the most common questions I get asked. By all means,
contact me with
any question you may have and I'll answer you promptly.
What kinds of
materials do you use?
I hand select my beads, stones and other elements for all my projects. For earrings, I
match two items for size, color and shape as best as possible so please
allow for natural variations. I use sterling silver, gold filled,
and occasionally, 14K gold and
precious metal clay. Recently, in an
effort to use recycled or repurposed materials, I've added copper,
brass, and aluminum as jewelry components. Metals used are always
listed. Many of the stones are natural and some
of my beads are vintage so tiny imperfections may exist which help to
make your item unique. Some of the glass beads I've made myself using "lampworking",
or "fused glass"
their description will reference that. I also use more mainstream materials like
Swarovski crystals, Bali silver,
dichroic glass, etc.
What does gold-filled
For starters the term doesn't mean "filled" at all. Instead, it really
means a tube of 14 karat gold (no less than 20% of the overall weight)
is permanently bonded over a core of base metal. Gold-filled metal work
contains over a hundred times more gold than cheap "gold-plated" pieces.
Under normal wear, and with reasonable care that you would give any
precious metal jewelry, gold-filled jewelry will not peel or flake and
can be treasured as heirloom pieces. Just like karat gold, it is
tarnish-resistant and safe for most people with sensitive skin.
What are gemstones?
Gemstones fall into two classes, precious (diamond, emerald, ruby,
sapphire) and semi-precious (opal, agate, jasper, onyx). These gemstones can
be used in a variety of ways: mined raw, polished, carved or cut. I use
mostly semi-precious gemstones in my designs.
What is dichroic glass?
Dichroic glass is created by adding a thin layer of metallic oxides
which transmit certain light wavelengths while reflecting others,
causing an iridescent effect. The color appears to change at different
angles. Each piece is individually hand-crafted, so expect variations in
color, size and shape.
What's the difference
between Swarovski and Czech Crystals?
Swarovski produces the finest quality Austrian full-lead crystals in the
world. These crystals are renowned for their brilliance and clarity.
Their precisely faceted edges and angles allow light to pass through and
reflect in a prism of colors. The Czech Republic is a prodigious
producer of glass beadwork of all kinds, their crystals are very good
quality machine cut stones but are not as brilliant as Swarovski's giving
them a "softer" appearance. I use both in the jewelry I make.
What if I want a piece
in a different metal than the photo?
Most of my pieces can be modified according to my client's wishes. Contact me
What do you mean by
Vintage beads are older or antique beads which I've usually acquired by
hunting down legacy pieces and dissecting them. Most of my vintage beads
have been purchased from auctions and estate sales. Or donated from
friends and family. They are
unique and beautiful but don't ask me what they're made of, most of the
time I really don't know!
What is "lampworking"?
Lampwork is a type of glasswork that utilizes a high-heat (typically
1500-2000 degrees) gas torch to melt rods, tubes, and sheets of clear
and colored glass to a molten state where it can be formed by shaping
with a variety of tools and techniques.
has a high melting point, but when placed in a kiln, layers of glass can
be melted, or "fused" together to make jewelry, usually using colorful
dichroic glass as part of the process.
"precious metal clay (PMC)"?
PMC is a substance developed in the 1990's, which
suspends microscopic particles of fine silver, gold, or platinum in a
moldable clay base. When kiln-fired at high temperatures the metal
particles bond to each other and the clay binder dissipates resulting in
solid forms used for jewelry-making as well as sculpture. As you can
imagine, this is an expensive material to work with. I use silver PMC
most of the time, which produces works of .999 pure silver (aka fine
is "oxidizing and tumbling"?
basically giving an article of jewelry an antiqued look. I especially
like using this process on segments that have coiled wire in them
because it brings out the depth. It's time consuming and labor-intensive
but I feel the end result is well worth it. The precious metal is dipped
in a solution for darkening, progressing from a light brownish shade to
black. I then clean and dry the piece, and follow-up by hand polishing
with fine grade steel wool to remove the dark areas from the raised
portions of metal, which renders a three dimensional effect. In most
cases, I then put the jewelry in a tumbler, which burnishes the metal
and produces a brilliant shine.
Is your jewelry as
durable as commercially manufactured items?
Because of the care I take in making my jewelry, it should last for
years with normal wear. Handle it as you would any other piece of
favorite jewelry. You should avoid wearing your jewelry in water,
especially when taking a bath, swimming in a pool or washing dishes.
Detergents, chemicals, even body oils may cause premature tarnishing and
fading. You may also be surprised to know that the coloration of some
natural stones may be affected by sunlight and temperature changes.
How are all of your
pieces put together?
I do all of the design, wire work, wrapping, stringing,
sawing, drilling, filing, polishing, melting, soldering, fusing and assembly work by
hand in my small home studio. I pride myself on my workmanship and I
want my jewelry to reflect that attention to detail.
Do you make Mother's
Yes I do! I make traditional mother's bracelets as well as ID-type
bracelets for all occasions. Even if your family grows - most of the
time I can add another
strand with a child's name and/or birthstone to your existing
Contact me for more information.
Customer Service FAQ's
Do you do custom or
Yes, I make jewelry for any and all occasions and can match your dress,
shoes, or hair! You can describe the color, style, and size you want (or
even mail me a swatch) and I'll coordinate any piece or pieces you
Contact me for information.
What if I need
custom jewelry for an entire bridal party?
I've crafted jewelry for several bridal parties. It's usually not a
problem as long as you
contact me to schedule this project well in advance of your
What if I want a piece
in a different metal than shown on the site?
Some of my pieces can be modified or commissioned to be fabricated with
different materials according to your wishes.
How do I shop?
It's easy. Every piece available for sale will have
an "ADD TO CART"
button beneath the item description. Simply click the button to drop it
into your secure shopping cart and either follow the prompts to continue
shopping or checkout using your PayPal account or ANY major credit card.
What is your
Jewelry is light in weight and bulk and I don't want
to be in the shipping business or spend all my time drumming up some
complicated shipping price matrix. So all
ship FREE to the continental United States, regardless of
the number of items ordered.
It's that simple.
Where else will you ship?
outside of the mainland can get very involved and expensive and I want
to be as fairly priced as I can. If you are located outside the
continental U.S. and wish to make a purchase, please
contact me for a shipping quote BEFORE
you place your order and I will do my best to get
your item to you as quickly and as cheaply as possible.
I don't have a PayPal
account, can I still shop on your site?
Of course you can! If you're a frequent online
shopper I recommend getting a PayPal account for the added security and
consumer protection features, but my shopping cart readily accepts major
credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
without the need for a PayPal account.
Is shopping on your site
Yes! Shopping on epcrafted.com is
exceptionally safe. I've left it to the professionals to handle the
financial transactions. The PayPal shopping cart system is a proven and
trusted method of conducting business on the Internet.
Can I pay by cash,
check, or C.O.D.?
If you see
me at a local exhibit or show, you can certainly pay in cash. Otherwise,
I strongly discourage sending cash in the mail. It's too easily lost
or stolen, and I can't be responsible if that occurs. I will accept
personal or business checks, but your item will not ship until your
check clears my bank (usually 7-10 business days). I will not accept C.O.D.
Do you require a deposit
on custom work?
Yes, I do. Generally speaking, I require a minimum
50% deposit on custom work with the balance due prior to shipment.
Contact me for
Do you charge sales tax?
If you live in, or the item ships to, South Carolina I am required by
law to charge 6% tax on goods AND shipping. So far that is the only
state where I am required to collect tax.