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Questions, questions, questions.
 
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.
  

Product FAQ's

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" techniques and their description will reference that. I also use more mainstream materials like gemstones, Swarovski crystals, Bali silver, dichroic glass, etc.

What does gold-filled mean?
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 for details.

What do you mean by "vintage beads"?
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.

What is "fused glass"?
Most glass 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.

What is "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 silver).

What is "oxidizing and tumbling"?
This is 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 Bracelets?
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 bracelet.
Contact me for more information.


 
Customer Service FAQ's

Do you do custom or commissioned work?
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 choose.
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 need.

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.
Contact me for details.
 


 
Shopping FAQ's

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 shipping policy?
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 a
ll orders ship FREE to the continental United States, regardless of the number of items ordered. It's that simple.

Where else will you ship?
Shipping 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 safe?
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. orders.

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 details.

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.
   

 
   
 
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