Chain and metal style is getting more popular. I’ve seen many fabulous designs using layers of chain and mix of metals from copper, brass, bronze, pewter and gunmetal. These non-precious metal types are favoured for their economical price and thus making them ideal subtitutes to gold and silver. Their colors ranging from brown to yellow to grey tones also add special charm to jewelry pieces.
I started to mix metal components last year when making a pair of earrings to match the Earth Dance bracelet. I needed to see how the design would look like if I attached copper pin dangles to vermeil ear wires. I avoided non-sterling silver type for the ear wires to prevent myself from getting allergic.
My first tryout wasn’t up to my expectation but I was pleased to learn that mixing brown and gold colors would lead to an acceptable result. So I moved on to another earring project featuring caramel-like colored lampwork beads. I had tried vermeil headpins to hang the beads but felt their colors didn’t really blend. Brown copper pins looked better to hang them and I let the gold touch shine from the vermeil lever-back earring wires.
Since then I’ve done more chain and metal experiments in my work. If you check out my Flickr gallery, there are a few bracelet designs that explore variety of copper findings (Ivory Swirls, Potpourri, Romantic Bloom). Other designs use more of sterling silver in different finishes: bright, light oxidized and dark oxidized. I admit sterling silver is still my preference and the different finishes of sterling silver give me wider possibility to create quality wearable pieces.