Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions.
If the answer you’re seeking isn’t here, do feel free to get in touch or leave a comment, and I will answer as best I can.
How do I care for my jewellery?
With a few simple care steps you should get many years of happy wear from your jewellery
- avoid contact with perfumes, lotions, and water. I seal the wood and image with a layer of varnish but these could weaken the glue, tarnish the metal, or damage the varnish or image, especially vintage cabochons
- if metals do get tarnished, this should buff off with a microfibre or metal polishing cloth
- store it in a dry place, away from sunlight
- try not to let it tangle up, and if it does get tangled, try not to tug it apart
- if it gets dull or smeary or dirty, a gentle rub with a dry microfibre cloth will clean it up nicely
- please take care with fine and delicate components. Some of the very fine laser cutting and porcelain components are not very strong so will need treating with care. I make things as strong as possible, but with very fine parts there is a limit to their strength!
I include a care slip in all my packages, so you will have this information to hand.
How can I buy your jewellery?
There are many ways you can purchase my jewellery, lucky you. I have an Etsy store, which you can access via my shop page, or this link. I also sell through my Facebook page and Instagram, or even email – I can send simple Paypal invoices or make you a custom Etsy listing.
If you are in Manchester, you can buy my work in person from the lovely Fox Fairy store in Afflecks Palace, central Manchester. I also have a small amount of stock in the Lobster in the Cupboard gallery shop in Bridport, Dorset.
I attend craft fairs and markets too, and I will advertise these so you can come and say hi.
Can I stock your jewellery in my shop?
Ooh, most likely, yes. I would love some more stockists. I can sell my work via wholesale, or depending on loaction, sale or return. I am in the process of working out a core range and simple order method – it is somewhat complicated by making so many one-offs! If you would like to talk about stocking my work, please drop me an email: katconaghandesign [at] gmail.com.
Can I get a custom piece from you?
Yes! I love custom orders. If you have seen something you’d like tweaking, or recreating, or you would like us to dream something new up, get in touch.
There are obviously limitations due to my manufacturing methods and sourcing materials, so it’s not always possible with last-minute gifts, but send me a message and we can talk about it. If it turns out it’s not something I can make, I know a wide range of other creatives I can point you towards, so I will always help.
My jewellery is broken, can you fix it?
Almost always! I guarantee all my workmanship against normal wear and tear for three months after you’ve bought a piece – this includes glues, metal findings and fixtures. I have worked hard to make my jewellery as indestructible as possible, so this is hopefully very unlikely, but in the words of Dr Ian Malcolm, “life finds a way”. Contact me and I will arrange postage and fixing it. After that time, I am still very happy to repair things for you, of course.
I am unable to guarantee against damage to the piece itself, e.g. you chip a porcelain piece, or snap a wooden piece, so please treat fine components with care.
I am pretty handy, so even if the worst happens and something snaps/breaks, or for example, you get the chain tangled and tug it, I can still usually fix things to some degree. Please contact me.
Can you make allergy free jewellery?
Usually, yes, depending on your degree of allergies. I am super allergic to metals so I test everything on myself.
Necklaces: As a basic standard, (as required by the EU nickel directive) I use nickel and lead free components. Chains are usually brass, or gold / silver / rhodium plated. I can also get hold of more hypoallergenic materials if you contact me.
Earrings: I use as standard, nickel and lead free ear-wires, and silver plated earring studs. I am in the process of upgrading standard earring studs to surgical steel, which is even more hypoallergenic. With ‘hypoallergenic’ materials there may still be degrees of sensitivity, so I can also offer niobium or titanium ear wires (the hooks) and titanium earring studs. I find that I cannot wear any earrings other than titanium or niobium.
Rings: I currently use brass ring blanks, which are very inert (lead and nickel free). I find that some sterling silver or silver plate ones turn green on my skin, so I don’t currently use them. I am exploring materials for rings, so if you have any tips of requests, do get in touch.
If you want to know more, or chat about this, do feel free to get in touch.
Can you make jewellery for people with mobility problems?
In many cases, yes. Most things I can amend to make it a little easier. The simplest way is changing ‘lobster’ style necklace clasps for ‘toggle’ style clasps which make necklaces so much easier for people with less movement in their hands. For earrings, I have ear wire hooks, or I can put small rubber backings on stud earrings which are easier to grip and move. Rings are adjustable so easy to get on and off, and resize. Bobby pins for my hair grips are different, but I am looking in to flat clips which are slightly easier, and hair combs. As always, send me a message and I will do my best to help.
Can I give this jewellery to children?
Hmm, I would usually recommend considering the age of the child. I make all my jewellery as hard wearing as possible for everyday adult life, but I cannot guarantee it would wear well in other situations, and I would hate for it to create an unsafe situation. I aim my jewellery at adults and teenagers for safety reasons. Some pieces may look appealing to children but please remember that it is jewellery and definitely not toys.
Children who are at the chewing/sucking/tugging things age could break or dislodge components and possibly choke on them, or ingest inks or varnish flakes, which probably isn’t very healthy at all. Most of my pieces probably wouldn’t survive chaotic play or the kind of fearless adventuring that younger children are amazing at, and I would worry that they could create a potentially dangerous situation for the child.
As a guide, I would avoid giving my jewellery to the under 11’s, but you yourself know your children better than me, so please use your own judgement. Your child’s safety and health is paramount.