Aluminium is anodised by suspending sheets of the metal in sulphuric acid and passing electricity through them. This process opens up tiny pores on the surface of the aluminium allowing certain dyes and inks to penetrate. The metal is hand drawn and coloured and sometimes is over-dyed by dipping the metal into specialised dyes. At this point the metal cannot be touched as the moisture from the skin would leave marks so gloves are worn.
The metal sheets are then heat sealed using a steaming process, sealing the colour inside the pores. This sealing process also ensures the aluminium will never fade or tarnish. The metal is then cut into shapes for the jewellery and the edges smoothed. Each piece is then 'domed and dapped', using traditional silver smiths' methods. This also strengthens the metal ensuring it does not lose it's shape. Finally the pieces are polished and are then ready to assemble into the finished piece of jewellery.
Aluminium is hypoallergenic, light and comfortable to wear which makes it ideal for quite large dramatic pieces of jewellery at affordable prices. Two pieces are never exactly the same!
Our designer is Cherry Green who is an experienced craft designer and teacher. Cherry has even shared her knowledge and expertise regularly on the craft TV channels. Jewellery making is just one of her creative talents! Within jewellery making she is creative with all sorts of techniques and materials. Anodised aluminium is one of favourites as it allows her to be truly creative with the painting and cutting processes.