Glass or Inlay


NOTICE:  We no longer offer resin as standard shop items, however, you can still purchase any resin keepsake or jewellery item from us.  Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

 

 

 

1.  Innovation

Years of research, trial and development has made us the industry leader worldwide. Through our innovative and progressive preservation process we were able to successfully develop and implement a glass keepsake jewellery range that is not only functional but also recyclable and eco friendly.  

1.1  Breastmilk in resin

Our breastmilk preservation process was developed in house and bears no resemblance to any other breastmilk keepsake provider's process.  Due to our very unique formula, we are able to create three dimensional shapes without moulds and graduated tinting can be added to the breastmilk to make it truly unique - our rainbow breastmilk spirals are an example of this.  The preserved breastmilk will never change colour as many other providers have the misfortune of experiencing.  

Should you wish at a later stage to convert your resin breastmilk keepsake to glass, our process allows us to use your existing keepsake / jewellery creation, extract the breastmilk part and permanently imbed it in glass.  

1.2  Breastmilk in glass

Our unique preservation process has been adapted allowing us to combine it with glass ensuring that your breastmilk is fused and permanently imbedded in your creation.  Once fused, a multitude of striations and bubbles are visible.  Air bubbles within the glass is common and gets formed when the air is trapped between the glass and is evidence of containing your breastmilk. The fused glass can then be manipulated, heated and stretched and used to create unique, one of a kind fused glass or lamp worked creation.  Breast milk is an organic material and without our unique process it would merely burn away.  The fusing process aid in stabilising and colouring the breast milk residue for a visually pleasing piece of jewellery. 

Here's a brief pictorial representation of our successes and failures.

  1. Bottom left - adding processed breastmilk directly to glass and fusing at very high temperatures more often causes burning, severe air bubbles and ash residue.
  2. Bottom middle and right - adding unprocessed breastmilk to glass and fusing at high temperatures can cause burning with and more ash residue.  The middle cabochon has breastmilk added to coloured glass giving an interesting effect.  Note - not all breastmilk will leave residue and ash.  In most cases it merely burns away and nothing is visible.
  3. The rainbow heart shows processed breastmilk (usually set in resin) successfully fused in glass with minimal air bubbles.
  4. Top right is processed breastmilk fused in transparent glass, clearly showing the striations and bubbles that appear.
  5. Main image - in the ring you can clearly see the processed breastmilk in fused glass.

1.3  Cremation ashes in glass

We are able to permanently imbed your beloved's cremation ashes in any of our glass creations.  Cremation ashes can be used in lamp work and fused glass items.

1.4  Hair in glass

Human and animal hair, nails, hoofs and feathers is made of a tough protein called keratin.  Keratin fills up around 70-85 % of human hair and as it is non biodegradable, it is widely used in industrial and domestic applications. Exposing human hair to extreme heat and temperatures will cause rapid incineration with no visible residue.  However, by isolating the keratin from hair through a lengthy process of pre treatments and using prepared solutions, we have perfected the process of extracting keratin  from hair leaving a protein structure that can be fused in glass.

Stringers (thin glass rods) are made from the keratin which is visible as slivers in the glass.  The stringer is then used to make a unique creation.  During the lamp working process, the slivers may contract forming air pockets or air trails which are distinctly visible.

The slivers do not affect the structural integrity of the glass.

Here's a pictorial representation of keratin deposits in glass.

  1. Top left - cross section of a glass stringer with imbedded hair.  the slivers are clearly visible.
  2. Top right - an imbedded hair glass stringer was used to make a hair bead over turquoise blue glass.  The slivers are clearly visible adding dimension to an otherwise plain bead.  The other bead is breastmilk and hair and in this example the slivers have contracted.
  3. Bottom - glass stringer with slivers.

  

1.5  Sand in glass

We are able to permanently imbed sand from your favourite holiday or memorable place in any of our glass creations.  Sand is suitable in lamp worked  items.

2.  Glass Jewellery & Keepsake Range

Glass is formed either by fusing or on a burner torch.

2.1  Glass fusing

Glass fusing is the process of joining together of pieces of glass at high temperature.  This is usually done in a kiln using temperatures ranging from 700 °C (1,292 °F) to 820 °C (1,510 °F).  The fusing process requires the glass to be heated slowly over a number of hours until the correct temperature is reached (fusing temperature), whereafter the glass will be annealed.  Annealing is a process of slowly cooling hot glass objects after they have been formed, to relieve residual internal stresses introduced during the manufacturing process.  Kiln annealing ensures durability of glass items.

Some glass fused items will undergo several kiln cycles before it reaches its desired result.  Each cycle takes around 12-18 hours to complete.

2.1.1  Suitable for breastmilk and cremation ashes.
2.1.2 Is typically used to make cabochons (domed obverse with a flat reverse) suitable for rings and pendants.

2.2  Lamp working

Lampworking is a type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking.  Glass rods are used in making lampworked items.  Rods are typically 7-8 mm in diameter.  Detailed work and decoration is added using stringers.  Stringers are glass rods around 1-3 mm in diameter.

Glass creations using rods and stringers are melted in a flame temperature reaching up to 2,760 °C (5,000°F).  After the creation is complete, it will undergo another 12 hour kiln annealing cycle to ensure durability.

2.2.1  Suitable for breastmilk, cremation ashes and locks of hair.

2.2.2 Is typically used to make 3 dimensional items including earrings, rings, charm beads, bead and pendants.

 

2.3  Caring for your glass creation

    1. Suitable for everyday wear.
    2. As it is made of glass, rough handling / knocks can chip / damage it.
    3. Your creation is UV proof and resistant to any other environmental factors.
    4. Your breastmilk will NEVER discolour, change appearance or alter in any way, making it the durable and long lasting.
    5. The breastmilk is processed and imbedded in the glass.  It is not liquid and as such will not evaporate.
    6. You can do every day activities with your unique creation. However, findings (the ring bands, pendant holders, etc), needs to be treated with care to avoid damage or loss to it.  Some findings are attached with adhesive and chemicals will dissolve the adhesive over time.
    7. Remove your jewellery when working with any chemicals.
    8. We would recommend you take your jewellery off while swimming or bathing, just to err on the side of caution. It should be treated like fine jewellery and the findings could get damaged causing you to loose your glass inclusion.
    9. Be mindful of your jewellery, these are durable, yet precious keepsakes.

3.  Inlay Jewellery & Keepsake Range

      The Chinese have been using semi-precious stone inlays and carving on their furniture since the early Qing dynasty of the 17th century, when the trend was more towards decorative and luxurious furnishings. The inlay process has been modernised over recent years and we use the same principles in our inlay work.

      Our inlay process uses ancient principles with keepsake inclusions.  For non breastmilk inclusions, we use traditional inlay techniques.  For breastmilk, breastmilk fused glass will be crushed and inlaid using inlay techniques into a setting or channel. 

      Inlay is much more durable, hard wearing and longer lasting than resin only creations.

      It Is suitable for all breastmilk and non breastmilk inclusions.   We typically used the inlay process when making rings, charm beads and pendants.  Lighter coloured non-breastmilk inclusions like blonde / white hair is best suited over a very light or white background.

      3.1  Caring for your inlay creation

        1. Suitable for frequent wear.
        2. Rough handling / knocks can chip / damage it.
        3. You can do every day activities with your unique creation. However, findings (the ring bands, pendant holders, etc), needs to be treated with care to avoid damage or loss to it.  Some findings are attached with adhesive and chemicals will dissolve the adhesive over time.
        4. Remove your jewellery when working with any chemicals, including detergents, acetone, alcohol products and soaps.
        5. We would recommend you take your jewellery off while swimming or bathing, just to err on the side of caution. It should be treated like fine jewellery and the findings could get damaged causing you to loose your glass inclusion.
        6. Be mindful of your jewellery, these are durable, yet precious keepsakes.

      4.  Resin Jewellery & Keepsakes Range

      Synthetic resins are industrially produced resin, typically viscous substances that convert into rigid polymers by the process of curing.  Resin is a form of plastic, that is affected by the environment.

      Resin can be used to encase almost any type of inclusion, including breastmilk, hair, sand, cloth, umbilical cords, cremation ashes, teeth.

      4.1  Caring for your resin creation

        1. Avoid excessive heat.  Resin can shrink or discolour when exposed to heat such as a hair dryer, open flames or even using the oven or cooking.  Never store your jewellery near heaters, in window sills or in your car.  This is particularly applicable to any bezel set creation like rings, pendants and charm.  When the resin shrinks it can pop out of the bezel.  Excessive heat will also speed up yellowing of the resin.  Any adhesives used in your creation will become brittle and your jewellery may come apart.  
        2. Avoid submerging resin pieces in water and that includes showering, mineral spas, bathing, swimming and other activities.  Resin is water resistant, but not waterproof. Water can damage resin over time, and it may also damage the inclusion, causing dirt and bacteria to become imbedded in the resin. Some creations have their findings attached with adhesives. Although the strongest jewellery adhesive is used in securing it, submersion in water will, over time, loosen it which could cause your attachments and inclusions to become loose.  
        3. Avoid storing your jewellery pieces in direct sunshine. Exposure to UV light / sunshine can cause  resin pieces to yellow over time. Continued exposure to heat and cold temperatures will cause your creation to damage and can crack.  In some instances, exposure to ultra violet light may cause tinted breastmilk to fade. 
        4. Avoid harsh chemicals/cleaning solutions, such as perfume, hairspray, nail varnish remover, body lotions, household cleaners, dishwashing liquid, hand soaps. etc. Apply / use these products before wearing your creation.  It can cause the resin to decay and speed up the UV process. If your resin jewellery gets grubby, clean it with baby soap and warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth. Do not do this regularly .  Don’t use anything abrasive to clean your resin with – it will scratch the surface.  
        5. Remove your creation before exercising or before bedtime.  Sleeping with your creation will damage it and excessive perspiration and body oils will damage the resin and speed up tarnishing of sterling silver creations.
        6. Avoid knocks and scratches. Resin is  hardwearing (it’s a plastic, after all) but it could be scratched or damaged by a bump against a hard surface.
        7. Avoid placing pressure on your jewellery, particularly those items that are are encased in a very thin layer of resin. It could cause the resin to detach from the jewellery item. This is particularly relevant to some pendants, rings and charms / charm beads.
        8. Due to the nature of resin, creations can be damaged and / or broken. 
        9. Be kind to your resin jewellery and keep it in a jewellery box when you’re not wearing it.  

      4.2  What happens to resin?

      UV light is to blame for changes to cured resin over time. When UV light hits the resin—either directly or indirectly—it degrades the polymers. Although this degradation from UV light is a natural process (UV light is typically always harmful to everything on earth over time), it causes observable, undesirable, aesthetically displeasing characteristics, such as gloss loss, de-lamination, cracking, chalking and yellowing.
      UV stabilisers are very effective at preventing gloss loss, de-lamination, cracking and chalking, but they merely delay discolouration. In other words, yellowing is still inevitable with a UV stabiliser. Yellowing first presents as a light tone all over, then progressively darkens until it reaches a dark brownish-yellow hue. Yellowing will be accelerated with exposure to UV light. A resined piece that is placed outside will generally reach its dark brown-yellow colour within hours or even days. Discolouration has also been demonstrated in pieces that have been kept in complete darkness. 
      We use polyurethane ("PU") resin which is more expensive than regular epoxy, urethane or hybrid resins.  PU resin is more water clear, UV stable, mercury free and cures to a Shore D of around 85-90 (around the hardness of a safety hardhat).  To reduce the amount of bubbles in the resin, we vacuum and degas all resin before casting.

       

      5.  Tarnishing

      Every piece of silver jewellery develops a black coating on its surface after some time. This tarnish is a result of a chemical reaction that occurs when silver comes into contact with air and various substances.  Silver tarnish is a form of corrosion, but unlike rust, it does not destroy the underlying metal and can be removed relatively easily.  

      There is no way to protect your silver jewellery from turning black because silver reacts with so many materials found in everyday life.  For instance, tarnishing can be accelerated by contact with tap water (because it contains chlorine), a number of foods (e.g., salad dressings), your perfume and hair spray, and even wool clothing.  The tarnishing process increases in hot, humid conditions.  Oils from your skin accumulate on the surface and can cause rapid oxidation (blackening of the jewellery).  

      The main cause of tarnishing of silver is a trace of hydrogen sulfide gas in the air. This gas is particularly present in smoke from burnt raw fuel, such as coal or oil; in some strong smelling foodstuffs, such as eggs and onions; in some fish or shellfish; and in polluted air.

      The tarnish may turn the jewellery black and may also be rubbed off on the skin or clothing. A few people with especially moist skin may find that the sterling silver stains their skin green. This is due to the copper component of the silver alloy. When this occurs you should polish your jewellery frequently and use an absorbent powder on those moist skin areas which come into contact with your jewellery.  

      Medications in the wearer's system, especially certain antibiotics, can also cause jewellery to blacken or discolour.

      While tarnishing is a natural process that cannot be prevented, it can be slowed down, but you will still need to clean the tarnished layer at some point.  The most effective prevention is to clean your silver jewellery after wearing it, preferably daily.

      Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the frequency or rapidness of jewellery tarnishing. 

      We advise you to check your creations regularly for signs of damage. With some creations, jump rings and other jewellery findings are used to secure the creation. Please ensure that you regularly check that the findings are securely fastened and that there are no broken or loose pieces. We cannot be held responsible if your creation becomes detached or lost.

       

      6.  DIY Jewellery and Keepsake collection

      Our top quality stainless steel pendants and charms will securely hold a small token amount of your loved ones ashes, cremains, soil, hair, perfume, flowers or anything you wish to hold precious.  Made from top quality 316L stainless steel it is completely allergy free and suitable for everyone.  It is highly resistant to rust and corrosive buildups, ensuring it remains untarnished for years with proper care.  Available in various colours and designs, out jewellery range is suitable for men and women.

      6.1 Non breastmilk kit

      1. Each pendant has a small opening at the top for filling.  The kit contains a funnel with detailed instructions on how to fill your keepsake.

      4.1  Caring for your keepsake

      1. Avoid chemicals, friction against anything that may scratch the surface and sweating.  
      2. Remove before sleeping, showering, swimming or any action involving water.  
      3. Do not wear when exercising as sweat and perspiration may affect the longevity.
      4. Clean it with a soft cloth and store it in the pouch provided.