Paragon of Design by Skrocki's FAQ.
We get hundreds of questions in person (sometimes at just one show!). These are the ones that are asked most frequently if you have another question or want a more specific answer please email us!
Why do you use copper (we take this question to mean; why is copper so awesome)?
Well besides it’s beautiful rosy colour that reminds us of lost treasures and ancient artefacts there are some pretty amazing qualities of copper. From Wikipedia: Copper and its alloys (brasses, bronzes, cupronickel, copper-nickel-zinc, and others) are natural antimicrobial materials. Ancient civilizations exploited the antimicrobial properties of copper long before the concept of microbes became understood in the nineteenth century. In addition to several copper medicinal preparations, it was also observed centuries ago that water contained in copper vessels or transported in copper conveyance systems was of better quality (i.e., no or little visible slime formation) than water contained or transported in other materials.
The antimicrobial properties of copper are still under active investigation. Molecular mechanisms responsible for the antibacterial action of copper have been a subject of intensive research. Scientists are also actively demonstrating the intrinsic efficacies of copper alloy "touch surfaces" to destroy a wide range of microorganisms that threaten public health.
In 1973, researchers at Battelle Columbus Laboratories conducted a comprehensive literature, technology and patent search that traced the history of understanding the “bacteriostatic and sanitizing properties of copper and copper alloy surfaces” which demonstrated that copper, in very small quantities, has the power to control a wide range of molds, fungi, algae and harmful microbes. A study was done on copper and E.coli and over 99.9% of E. coli microbes are killed after just 1–2 hours on copper. On stainless steel surfaces, the microbes can survive for weeks.
Copper in your diet (from Web MD)
Copper is a mineral. It is found in many foods, particularly in organ meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, grain products, and cocoa products. The body stores copper mostly in the bones and muscles. The liver regulates the amount of copper that is in the blood. Copper is used as medicine.
Copper is used for treating copper deficiency and the anemia it may cause. Having too little copper (copper deficiency) is rare. It sometimes occurs in people who get too much zinc from diet or supplements, have intestinal bypass surgery, or are fed by feeding tubes. Malnourished infants can also have copper deficiency.
Copper is also used for improving wound healing, and treating osteoarthritis and brittle bones (osteoporosis).
Will copper turn my skin green?
It depends on the item and how dry you keep the copper. Tanner removes his rings while washing has hands, completely dries them and puts them back on. He has had his skin turn green only a handful of times. Mostly if it turns green it is because of oxidation caused between water or sweat and the item that is in very close contact with your skin at all times. His fingers under his rings did turn green the first couple of days in high humidity and temperature of Greece. But this could have been prevented if he had coated the inside with nail polish or some other acrylic layer. The next day while we were traveling he occasionally would dry his hands and the green stopped. Items like pendants or earrings will not turn your skin green because they are not against your skin and in contact with sweat or water on a continuous basis.
How do I clean my copper or brass jewelry?
We sell a silver polishing cloth which cleans all metals, as well as, polishing woods, plastic etc. IF you want to clean finger prints or dirt use a gentle dish soap, preferably with no hand lotion infused as this may leave a film, and dry with a tea towel. There are also other techniques of using ketchup etc. Which you can try at your own risk as we have not tested these methods (ex: how the colouring will react to the acidity of the ketchup) we cannot speak for them or specifically recommend them. Using these alternative cleaning methods may or may not affect the colouring or surfaces of the items.
How do I clean my silver jewelry?
We sell a silver polishing cloth which cleans all metals as well as polishing woods, plastic etc. IF you want to clean finger prints or dirt use a gentle dish soap, preferably with no hand lotion infused as this may leave a film, and dry with a tea towel.
I am allergic to nickel!! Do you have nickel in your jewelry?
Not in any of the jewelry. If you find that the jewelry does bother you it may be something else you are allergic to other than nickel and we suggest switching your ear hooks to fine silver (99% pure silver) or gold ear hooks. That being said we only use nickel-free surgical steel ear hooks for our brass and copper earrings and nickel-free sterling silver ear hooks for our sterling silver pieces.
Why is this earring slightly different from the other one in the set? Or why is this line crooked?
Each piece is individually created. Because we don’t use casting as a technique of ours, it means no two pieces can be created identically. The lines may be imperfect due to a matter of process, which is all part of the fun of owning unique handcrafted pieces. Also it is more likely to have pieces with slightly crooked lines than one with out. Well we strive to get our components as close to perfect as possible but the reality is every component is created individually and has it’s own unique characteristics.
Is this colour indestructible?
About 5 years ago we talked with the manufacturer about it’s indestructibility. The representative told us it was impossible to remove the color without a grinder etc. Our customers have tested our jewelry to the limit and have found that certain activities can cause the color to chip or break (sword fighting, etc). The jewelry is designed and made to be worn while engaging in any activities you would normally partake in while wearing any other fine jewelry (including those that contain enamel, other inlays, or stone settings). While our colouring IS a high quality material and very meticulously applied we cannot guarantee its durability especially if it is exposed to harsh conditions (ex: swimming in the ocean), placed under stresses not encountered during day to day wear (ex: sword fighting, driving over), exposed to chemicals (ex: cleaning solvents), or any other condition or activity which would not be reasonably engaged in on a daily basis.
Can you add a couple jump rings and make my necklace longer?
Yes for a very small fee, please contact us in advance.
Can I wear my jewelry in the shower, pool, ocean, working out, in the rain etc?
We have not tested this. You could at your own risk and email us the results. We would be happy to know.
Is it true copper is used for arthritis?
We use copper because we love the warmth of the metal and it invokes a lost treasure feel to it. Since we use 99.999 percent pure copper, the highest grade available to us, we have had customers buy our jewelry for its supposed medicinal benefits (copper absorption for their arthritis pain). We have had people swear by it and buy a ring for each of their fingers. This is not one of our selling features or specialties but if you have found copper works for you than we are happy you chose to buy from us!
Why is this colour slightly different from my computer, cell phone, or other device screen?
We do our best to represent colors as they actually appear on the item (pendant, earrings, etc), but monitors can differ somewhat in their color presentation. IF you need the color to match, please contact us and we will send you additional photos.
Can I use ink, pencil, graphite, watercolor, etc on the paper in the books?
We have tested the paper used in our CARDSTOCK books with: ink, pencil, and calligraphy. For watercolour we would suggest ordering a custom book with watercolour paper pre-bound into it. In the near future we will show a test page with multiple mediums on it. Our sustainable pages are only for writing or drawing with ball point pens or pencils.
How can I rebind the book?
We will be adding a rebinding kit in the future. If you find that you need it rebound sooner, many local book-binding clubs will do it for a small fee.
I have a stone; can you wire wrap it for me?
No unfortunately due to poverty of time I only have time to work on certain projects and would not be able to give your project the time it deserves.
I have some jewelry I want repaired or altered can you do this?
This is not our specialty please contact your local goldsmiths or repair shops. Also this takes away from precious time to spend with our daughter and creating new items. J
Do your pendants come with cords?
No but we do sell high quality cords for a great price. Please see our pendants section in our online store for further details and currently stocked items.
I have a travel related story I want to share or extra knowledge on the history of a sign or symbol!
Please email us we would love to hear you stories J This is one of our favorite parts about doing the shows, we love to talk and get to know our customers. We have become friends with many of the people we have talked to over the years because of similar interests!
I recognize some of these symbols. Where is this jewelry made? What country did you buy this from? Who are you reselling it for?
Almost every item we make is inspired by our own travels, studies of history and (or) mythology. We make nearly every single component which goes into our work from scratch: starting, typically, with just plain metal or (and) leather. We do all of our own designs. We never import anything or resell anything for someone else. Each piece is designed and made in house. For more information about our inspirations please see our blog section of this page!
How come you don’t use pennies for your copper jewelry?
They are around 4 percent copper (we use basically pure copper) and we do not do smelting of miscellaneous metals.
Where do you get your stones?
We source our suppliers from the Tucson Gem show and the AGTA (American Gem Trade Association). We tend to buy many of our stones directly from different mines: usually in North America.
Where do you get your metal?
We get it from the USA. We have not found a Canadian supplier that offers scratch free, dent free, pure copper sheets in Canada. If you know of a supplier in Canada please email us and we will gladly check it out.
I want to learn from you, can you teach me?
We are working on a number of books and tutorials that we want to include on our website in the near future. We may teach locally and if we do we will post it in our emails or on the website.
"Oh great you're from Edmonton!!! Can I stop by and look at your items?"
Unfortunately, we do not have a brick and mortar location. However, we do have a few stores and galleries throughout Western Canada carrying some variety of items and, in addition, we are actively doing shows throughout, mainly, Alberta and Saskatchewan and sometimes in BC or Manitoba for the time being: please check our up coming shows section on our main page for details and tour dates.
Can you do our show?
Maybe, depending on the date, location, and promotion of the show. Please email us.
Can you donate to our softball league, child’s school etc?
We choose our charities at the beginning of the year and they are usually something that has personally affected us in some way. We would love to say yes to everyone that asked but we get asked so frequently that we now choose at the beginning of each year.
Can you hand deliver my items if we are in Edmonton?
We can make your item available to pick up at our next show when purchased in advance. We have tried delivery in the past and it did not work too well. We don’t offer this service.
I see you do historical jewelry! I want my families crest done! Can I get it on a pair of cufflinks?
Probably not from us, but maybe! Please see custom order section under policies.
Can you throw in your cords with purchase?
Our cords are made from the highest quality leather with sterling silver components. We don’t actually make them because they amount of time and expense that goes into stocking the silver and leather components and then assembling them would be too high. We charge very close to what we pay for each of the leather cords. If you are unhappy with the cost or colour selection we recommend checking out Michaels craft store or your local beading store.
Can I have Sterling Silver ear hooks instead of Surgical Steel?
Yes for an extra small fee we can change the hooks: please contact us in advance J
I always lose an earring! Can you remake my missing earring?
We include ear backs to help you avoid losing your earrings, but if you happen to misplace the backings you can squeeze the ear hooks together. We unfortunately don’t replace missing earrings. The reason being is that often the difference between each earring, the original and the new one, would be too noticeable. We suggest taking the ear hook off the remaining earring, adding a jump ring, and viola! You have a brand new pendant!
Why is my item slightly different than the one in the picture?
This is probably due to different angle of the item when the picture was taken or because the item had to be remade specially for you. Each piece is individually created. Because we do not do any casts or molds no two pieces can be created identically. The lines may be imperfect due to a matter of process which is all part of the fun of owning unique handcrafted pieces. Also, it is more likely to have pieces with slightly crooked lines than one with out. Well we strive to get our components to as close to perfect as possible but the reality is: every component is created individually and have it’s own unique characteristics.
What the heck is POD-By-SKROCKI?
It is simply the abbreviated version of Paragon of Design by Skrocki.
Do you do custom work?
Please see custom work information here.
Do you offer a discount on multiple items?
Occasionally on large orders or if you order a group package. For example 6 pairs of the same cufflinks, in the same colour, for a groom and his groomsmen.
Do you wholesale?
Yes, please contact us about carrying our line.
How do I clean our leather mask?
You can use a dry soft brush. It really doesn’t have to be “cleaned” other than being dusted occasionally. All leather products and metal items comes with care instructions.
Can I get this in another colour?
Maybe, please contact us.
How durable is the colour on your jewelry?
Our pieces are designed and made to be treated as you would other jewelry with enamel, stones or inlay.
Why is your jewelry all antiqued with a matte finish?
Since we are historically inspired we like the aged look. But, for the most part, you can polish up any of our pieces with a simple silver polishing cloth to the sheen and luster of your liking.
Where can I see your items in person?
Please check our stockiest or show page. I suggest you phone first to check what stock is available before going in.
Why do you use leather and not synthetics?
The leather we use is all left over from the beef industry and is renewable. The synthetics tend to be created with oil. Also any exotic leather we use is also left over from some industry worldwide where they consume the animal and the skin is left over, for example sting ray, alligator, ostrich, snake etc.
What is gold-filled?
Gold-filled jewelry is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass and is very durable. Gold-filled items are more than 50 times thicker than regular gold plating and the gold is a much higher quality. Gold-filled jewelry is beautiful and affordable alternative to solid gold and safe on sensitive skin. (Source: Wikipedia.com)
I am allergic to all metal, including gold, can you change the metal components on the leather jewelry?
Please contact us and we can try!
Can I use your masks/jewelry/other products in a local photo shoot?
Please contact us about this.
Are your cufflinks and/or rings soldered? They don’t look like it because of the finish on the back?
Yes they are all soldered. We finish the back of the piece with colour because we like to use silver solder so the colour overlay finishes the back nicely. Also we want the backs to compliment the front of the piece just like the lining of a nice suit jacket or purse.
What does a person do with a mask? Why do you make them?
They are often the sculptural representations of our jewelry and books. Often we want to make a "character" that has it's own story and a item of jewelry can often not tell that story. We make them to firstly- to collect and enjoy visually as works of art. But of course they can be worn for Halloween, on stage, masquerades, photo-shoots, burning man etc. You can wear them for a number of occasions but just don’t wear them to the bank. ;)
When are you going to make wallets, purses, clutches, more wall art, more portfolios, smaller versions of “x”?
We make so many things that we often are ALWAYS making something. Either we are making a new design or remaking the most popular designs and types of items. However, we do listen to customer requests. If we get a certain amount of requests (50 or more) we will make the product a permanent part of the collection. Because of this certain items like clutches and wallets will soon be part of our collection of items.
Did you know your logo looks like a dragon?
That was a happy accident. ;)