Newsletter - April 2, 2012

The Jewelry Crafter

A newsletter for the home jeweler

This newsletter will be published once per month, and will include hints and tips for your jewelry business. Any feedback or comments about the topics presented here are always appreciated. Click here to e-mail us.

If you have an idea for an upcoming article, or would like to submit an article for the newsletter, please contact us. Anyone who submits an article will receive a permanent link to their website in a special section of our link pages.


Acrylic Fashion Cameo Sale

Our new shipment of acrylic fashion cameos has arrived! We have added many different colors and styles of to the store, and they are all on sale! Save from 30-50% on all in stock acrylic cameos. No coupon needed.

At these prices, they will go fast. So stop by soon and take a look at the new stock of acrylic fashion cameos at  Custom Jewelry Supply.


Jewelry Making Safety


Mary Harvey

When you sit down to create a piece of jewelry, your thoughts range from what colors would look best, to should I use gold or silver, or a million other variables. One thing that doesn’t usually come to mind is safety. The tools we use, solder, polishing agents, and chemicals all have safety issues. How safe are you when you sit down at your bench to create your latest piece of jewelry?

I didn’t give much thought to safety issues, until I got a letter from my insurance company, informing me that they would not accept any claim resulting from silicosis. Silicosis is a lung disease caused by long term exposure to silica dust, commonly found in lapidary work, polishing agents and glass work. This got me thinking – what other hidden dangers are there in my favorite pastime, and what can be done to prevent them?

Your eyes are especially vulnerable when making jewelry. If you use hand or power tools, flying debris can cause a lot of damage to unprotected eyes. If you use a kiln or torch, proper eye protection is also important to avoid damage from heat or flare. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of not using safety glasses, but when you think about it, you only have one set of eyes. Is it really worth risking them?

When you are using polishing compounds, working with chemicals, fumes or even certain elements in hot glass, it is important to protect your lungs. Without a respirator or proper ventilation, serious lung problems can develop down the road from exposure to these compounds.

Your skin is also vulnerable. When working with chemicals, use protective gloves to protect yourself from absorbing the compounds into the skin. If you use a large buffing wheel to polish your jewelry, use leather gloves to avoid burns from the friction. Use thermal gloves and face protection if you are using a kiln, etc.

Other dangers also lurk in our workshops. Loose fitting clothing when using large buffers, drill presses, or any other power tool can cause injury. Wearing clothing other than natural cotton when working around open flames or kilns can cause serious burns. These are just a few examples of things that we should be on the lookout for.

Many times, when we purchase materials or compounds that could be hazardous, the manufacturer will send you an MSDS, which is a Material Safety Data Sheet. Read them so you know the dangers of what you are working with, and keep them on file for future reference, if needed. These sheets spell out all of the ingredients in the compound, how much exposure is harmful, and what to do if there is an accident.

I know that safety isn’t something that we think about too often, but it should be. Look around your own workshop and see where you can improve safety. It will pay off in the long run.


Custom Jewelry Supply - Supplies for the jewelry designer

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