Anodised metals: Catching the 'light'
In May, I just wanna have fun, and reach for jewellery with some colour.
Earrings composed of multiple coloured elements can mean weight, though. Stones, whether faceted or as beads, add up quickly. But anodised (American variant, anodized) metals accept colour while remaining light, even in larger sizes.
Anodisation, an electrochemical process that increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer on certain metals, allows the absorption of dyes and paints. The treatment is permanent (it penetrates, not just coats); the colours do not bleed, fade, tarnish or transfer to skin or clothing.
What you won't see in anodised pieces is solder; a weld done after anodising won't fuse well. Instead, jewellers use cold finishing techniques like rivets, wire wraps, and hanging. Though these anodised metals are strong (you can find vintage anodised aluminum drinking cups that weathered thirty years of use), the anodised layer might chip or scratch if subjected to repeated friction, so anodised metals are best for earrings and pendants, or for bracelets you wouldn't wear every day.
Anodised metals are washable with a damp cloth and mild soap such as Dove.
Bright and buoyant
Some jewellers anodise in busy palettes; their work reminds me of a stack of tie-dye t-shirts in a market stall. In the windows today, colour with more discretion, and some monochrome treatments.
Left: Detail, Spot earrings by Amanda Croatto, of titanium with silver accents. Price, $US 150 at arborbrunswick.com.
Top right: Miranda Peckitt 11/4in./3cm cuff in orange and rose pink, a piquant accent to a solid top! Price, £43 at Primrose Gallery, Thrapston, UK.
Anodisation can also be applied by a screenl, creating a metal 'print'. Lindsay Mann's 36in./91cm Layer Necklace is made of oxidised silver, screen-printed anodised aluminum and beads of hematite and Czech glasss.
One side is in coral, mauve and blue, the reverse, at right, is in blue, grey and gold. Price, £295 at lovedazzle.com. A spirited, playful necklace.
|Photo: Flux Jewellery and Craft Gallery|
The Elytra earring is also made in a solid colour; you can also see his other designs on Flux' site.
A gold anodised finish delivers depth and richness without the price of high-karat gold—and weighs significantly less.
|Photo: Kin Gallery|
Australian jeweller Sarah Augusta Murphy makes these chic titanium Shine Dome earrings in monochromatic hues; shown, gold. Price, $AUS 80 at Kin Gallery, Braddon, Australia.
When your pleasure is pearls
Jane Adam makes intriguing Pod Brooches; the pearl is loose inside the curved pod (though viewed horizontally, doesn't this remind you of a mollusc? Available in a choice of ethereal colourways; I would love any one of them! Price, £180 from janeadam.com. Also available as a pendant, with a vertical pod and pearl that hangs from a neckwire.
Ms Adam is an acclaimed innovator of the treatment. The other pieces on her site are just as stunning—and talk about colour sense! (Lists of stockists here.) She joins my list of dream jewellers.