Mama Metal Jewelry Feature | Lovely Little Acorns | Breastfeeding Nursing Babywearing Mother Silver Jewelry

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This jewelry is handmade by Andrea Swinson of Lovely Little Acorns.

Andrea creates jewelry from argentium silver, sterling silver, gemstones, and natural amber. Andrea describes her work as strong, meaningful, handmade jewellery. Her “Mama Metal”-style pieces are designed to be worn by adults, while small fingers fidget with these beautiful and musical pieces. Most of her  jewelry is tug-resistant for little ones, while they are close to mom, grandma, or any caregiver. Andrea’s amber and gemstone necklaces are strung on nylon-coated stainless steel 19-strand wire made to withstand some gentle tugs, or knotted on strong nylon or silk beading cord. The chains she sells have been real-life tested to be much more durable than average costume jewelry chains which easily snap.

Please see this page for general information about “Mama Metal.”

To view items made by Lovely Little Acorns, visit these links!

Etsy shop
www.etsy.com/shop/lovelylittleacorns

Facebook business page
www.facebook.com/lovelylittleacorns

Facebook chatter group / fan page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/570774449692164/

Instagram
@lovelylittleacorns

Business hashtag
#lovelylittleacorns

 


In this post, we feature Four Circles Centerpiece, Sterling Convertible Chain with Diamond Nape Charm, Moss Agate Gemstone Necklace, Jasper Gemstone Necklace, Hexagon Jasper Pendant, and Patikan Wood gemstone bracelet.

Each metalworking artisan has a different flair, even though the basic shapes may be similar. Link shapes are finished and polished in different manners, creating an entirely different final appearance. Lovely Little Acorns also creates several styles of gemstone bead necklaces and bracelets, in addition to silver jewelry.

Some “mama metal” jewelry artisans manufacture a mixture of pieces, some strong and others not as suitable for use around children.  We asked Andrea if all the pieces in her shop were considered “mama metal” strength or not. She replied that she sells a variety of jewelry in her Etsy shop. Most is “mama metal” strength, and some is quality, more durable fashion jewelry, but not in mama metal style / strength. Her shop is organized into sections to help browsers locate “mama metal” versus other types of jewelry. The listings for each piece will describe its features.

 


 

FOUR ASCENDING CIRCLES CENTERPIECE

14 gauge
Argentium silver
Fused
Hammered, then cleaned (no chemicals)
Polished in a tumbler

The argentium silver circle shapes by Lovely Little Acorns are polished to a brilliant shine. They are hammered / textured on front and back sides, flattening the wire more so than other artisans who keep a rounded wire shape or hammer only one side of the wire. The hammering on both sides means that whichever way the shapes rotate or face, it will look essentially the same on all sides.

The more flattened shape makes the links fit into smaller lobster clasps, if necessary. I have one chain of a different brand, which has small lobster clasps, and the Lovely Little Acorns circle centerpiece is the only link centerpiece I have which fits in the clasps of that particular chain.

The link shapes are made from Argentium Silver, a blend of silver which tarnishes less quickly than Sterling Silver.

“Ascending” means that the circles gradually increase in size from one end to the other end, of the connected shapes. It could just as easily be named “Descending” shapes.

The circles can be worn in a plethora of creative arrangements, only a few of which are pictured. The traditional method is to wear the centerpiece horizontally, with the chain attached to either end. A second simple variation is to wear the centerpiece vertically, with the chain attached to one of the end circles, and the rest hanging straight down. One of my preferred ways to wear the centerpiece is with the chain strung through all four circles, nesting them together, stacked on top of each other. There are many other variations possible by putting the chain through different quantity and combinations of the circles.

We also show the circles centerpiece being used with the convertible chain, or gemstone chain, as a bracelet.

The Ascending Circles Centerpiece is a piece that is simple, classy, and extremely versatile.

MEASUREMENTS

5/8″ Smallest circle diameter
6/8″ Second circle diameter
7/8″ Third circle diameter
1″ Largest circle diameter

The circles are not perfectly round, and are also not noticeably distorted from round. It was upon measuring their diameter that I noticed very small variations in the shapes, making them just slightly imperfect from round. (Personally I enjoy this more organic variation).

 


 

STERLING CONVERTIBLE CHAIN with DIAMOND NAPE CHARM

Convertible / double chain
Cable / Link style chain
Sterling silver
23 gauge according to manufacturer / supplier
Clasps and findings Sterling Silver
Nape charm 16 gauge Argentium silver
Soldered sterling jump rings

This chain is a “convertible” style, meaning it can be worn several ways, and at several lengths. The convertible chain is two lengths of chain, with a nape charm in the center of the two lengths, and lobster clasps at both ends.

Worn at its full length, the lobster clasps would either be clipped together behind the neck, or clipped onto a pendant at the front. Fully extended, the chain is quite long, hanging down at or below the breast level, depending on the neck size of the wearer.

Worn at its halfway point, one lobster clasp would be attached to a pendant or centerpiece, and one lobster clasp would be strung through the centerpiece, then clipped onto the nape charm at the back of the neck. In this arrangement, one side is fully open, and the other side is halfway shortened.

Worn at its shortest, both lobsters clasps would be threaded through the centerpiece, then clipped onto the nape charm at the back of the neck.

It can be worn completely alone – with the nape charm as a pendant, or it can be worn with a wide variety of pendants or centerpieces. Personally I enjoy wearing it either doubled up with a larger centerpiece, or full length with a pendant.

The benefit of wearing the chain doubled up (threaded through the centerpiece and lobster clasps clipped to the nape charm), is there are no bulky lobster clasps visible at the front of the neck. This allows the centerpiece to truly stand out, without lobster clasps in front, attached to the centerpiece. I feel it is quite elegant, and also looks more like traditional or fashion jewelry, worn in this manner.

Already an incredible versatile piece, the convertible chain can be customized with a choice of nape charm shapes. The most popular is an infinity shape. Shown is a diamond-shaped nape charm. The nape charm is made from 16 gauge Argentium silver wire, a little thinner than the 14 gauge wire used to make Lovely Little Acorns centerpieces.

MEASUREMENTS

Nape Charm
16 gauge Argentium silver
Approximately 4/8″ width by 5/8″ length, hammered on both sides.

Necklace Length
16.5″ long with both sides doubled
24.5″ long with one side doubled and one side extended
32.5″ long with both sides extended

Jump Rings
.9mm Soldered sterling jump rings (connecting clasps to chain)

Clasps
7mm x 12mm Sterling lobster clasps

Chain
.5mm chain thickness (approximately 24 gauge)
1.8 mm chain link width
2.5 mm chain link length
(Chain links are much tinier in appearance than other chains I have featured or owned)

 


 

MOSS AGATE GEMSTONE NECKLACE WITH CIRCLE CHARM

Moss Agate (dark green) Gemstone beads
Flourite (transluscent) Gemstone beads
Green Aventurine (pale mint green) Gemstone beads
Howlite (white) Gemstone beads
16 gauge Argentium Silver Circle Nape charm
Sterling Silver lobster clasps and findings
19-Strand Nylon-Coated Stainless Steel wire

Gemstone beads are made from stones taken from the earth. Gemstones may be precious, semi-precious, or common, such as these. These are not plastic, glass, or manufactured beads. Many gemstones are suggested to have certain properties they may encourage in the wearer. For this necklace, the suggested properties include focus, success, and abundance. The beads are 6mm in size, and the size is consistent among all the beads on the necklace.

The Howlite beads are opaque white with grey streaks. Flourite comes in several pale colors, in this case, a very pale green. The flourite beads are transluscent. Aventurine also comes in several colors, in this case, Green Aventurine in a medium hue. It is a minty green, with a cloudy appearance somewhere between transluscent and opaque. Agate also comes in a range of colors, in this case, Moss Agate. It is a deep forest green with mottled paler greens to white streaked throughout. It is opaque.

Mama Metal beaded necklaces are strung on 19-strand stainless steel wire coated with nylon for strength and flexibility. The artisan does not use jump rings or split rings, in order to make the necklace as strong as possible. The sterling silver double lobster clasps enable it to be worn with mama metal pendants, the included nape charm, or on its own.

The necklace comes with circle charm, which is fully removable. The circle shape is made from 16 gauge Argentium Silver. The maker will often customize necklaces with different shapes of link / charm (such as circle, diamond, infinity, etc.), upon request.

This necklace is shown worn several ways. On its own, with the nape charm in the back, as a traditional necklace would be worn. With the nape charm in the center, giving it a small pendant type of appearance. With the lobster clasps clipped onto the Four Circles centerpiece. And as a bracelet, using the Four Circles centerpiece to bring the bracelet to a good length for the wearer.

MEASUREMENTS

18.5″ length without nape charm (necklaces can be ordered in custom lengths)
5/8″ nape charm diameter (charms can be ordered in custom shapes and sizes)

Strung on 19-strand nylon-coated stainless steel wire

Two Sterling clamps close the wire and attach it to the lobster clasps. No jump rings used.

Clasps
7mm x 12mm Sterling lobster clasps

Beads 6mm according to supplier; my measurements range from 6.2 to 6.5mm (very small variations between beads which are hardly noticeable to the eye)

 


 

JASPER GEMSTONE NECKLACE

Smoky Quartz
Rainforest Jasper
Kambaba Jasper

Sterling silver lobster clasps and findings
Jump rings, not soldered
Hand-knotted silk or nylon cord

Gemstone beads are made from stones taken from the earth. Gemstones may be precious, semi-precious, or common, such as these. These are not plastic, glass, or manufactured beads. The beads are 6mm in size, and the size is roughly consistent among all the beads on the necklace.

Smoky Quartz is a a greyish brown stone, and transluscent. Because of the colored cord going through the center of the bead, it appears transluscent upon closer inspection, and not as much when worn.  The Rainforest Jasper stones are a mottled combination of deep grens and browns. The Kambaba Jasper is mottled greens, mostly dark, with some paler greens. Both have a bit of a marbled appearance. The cord is a deep brown.

In contrast to the Moss Agate gemstone necklace which is strung on nylon-coated stainless wire, the beads in this necklace are hand-knotted together using silk or nylon cord. There is quite a contrast in the “drape” of the different necklaces. The wire-threaded necklace has a stiffer shape, holding itself in an oval or circular shape. It is flexible, but not floppy. The cord necklace is completely flexible and floppy, so it can be piled into a lump on a table. It drapes around the neck a little deeper. Something about its pliable feeling in the hand, feels nicer to me than the stiffer feeling of the nylon cord necklace. There is visible space between the corded beads, since tiny knots occur between each bead. In comparison, the wire-strung necklace has not space between the beads. I periodically find beaded necklaces with no space between the beads, to pinch strands of my hair. This would not occur with the cord-knotted necklace. However, when worn, they look quite similar, perhaps the cord necklace having a slightly deeper “v” shape on the neck.

According to the artisan, the wire necklaces are stronger (will withstand more tugging) than cord necklaces. The silk cord can also stretch out slightly over time, adding a bit of length to the necklace. Greater care could be taken with the silk, as far as keeping it away from chemical-laden swimming pools, shampoo or hair spray type products, etc., to increase its lifespan. Either silk cord and nylon cord may be used by the artisan, to make the hand-knotted necklaces.

The necklace comes with circle charm, which is fully removable. The circle shape is made from 16 gauge Argentium Silver. The maker will often customize necklaces with different shapes of link / charm (such as circle, diamond, infinity, etc.), upon request.

MEASUREMENTS

19.5″ total length without nape charm (necklaces can be ordered in custom lengths)
5/8″ nape charm diameter (charms can be ordered in custom shapes and sizes)
16 gauge nape charm

Strung on silk or nylon cord, hand-knotted between each bead

A Sterling clamp attaches the cord to the jump ring. The jump rings are not soldered since “cord and fire don’t mix” (according to the artisan!). Since the jump rings are rather thick, I would conclude they should hold up to some tugging even without being soldered.

Clasps
7mm x 12mm Sterling lobster clasps

Beads 6mm according to supplier; my measurements range from 6.1 to 6.6mm (very small variations between beads which are hardly noticeable to the eye)

 


 

HEXAGON JASPER PENDANT

14 gauge Argentium Silver hexagon charm
Sterling Silver wire wrap and findings
Blood Jasper Gemstone

This pendant is not made in a “Mama Metal” style, according to the artisan.

A large hexagon charm is attached to a jump ring by a piece of wire wrapping. The jump ring and wire wrapping are not soldered. The large, oval-shaped Jasper stone dangles freely in the center of the hexagon shape.

The artisan has made several similar types of pendants, with various stones centered within various link shapes.

The Jasper stone is a deep forest green, with streaks of tan, brown, and paler green. It seems to change hue with the light, or based on what colors it is near to. It looked equally lovely with the bright and paler hued Moss Agate chain, as it did with the deeper toned Jasper chain. The stone slides freely all the way around the hexagon-shaped wire link.

My toddler particularly enjoys toying with this pendant while he is nursing. The dangling stone is easily moved and twisted by his fingers. Its construction and shape is such that he can’t get enough grip to yank the stone. I haven’t had trouble with it, as far as its strength when using it around a strong and grabby toddler.

I particularly enjoy using a noticeable pendant such as this, with a chain worn at a longer length. It reminds me of much of today’s style of fashion jewelry. Yet of course, it is more durable and precious than fashion jewelry.

Since this artisan does not classify wire-wrapped pieces as “mama metal” style, there are some differences in the construction of this piece. The jump ring is not soldered, and the wire wrapping holding the bead is loosely done, with a bit of the tip of the wire showing (rather than tucked inside and invisible). So far, I haven’t had trouble with my strong toddler and the durability of this piece. He prefers to twiddle with the bead, rather than tugging on this piece.

MEASUREMENTS

Hexagon Shape
14 gauge Argentium silver
Hammered on both sides
Six-sided shape, slightly imperfect and not perfectly symmetrical upon close inspection
1 1/8″ diameter

Bead
Dragon-Blood Jasper gemstone
Flattened oval shape
5/8″ length by 4/8″ width by 2/8″ thickness

Sterling Findings
1.2mm thickness Jump ring (quite thick), not soldered
.7mm thickness wire wrapping, loosely wrapped

 


 

PATIKAN WOOD BRACELET

Rhodonite gemstone beads
Jade gemstone beads
Patikan wood beads
14 gauge Argentium silver circle charm
Sterling silver clasps
19-Strand Nylon-Coated Stainless Steel wire

This bracelet is strung on the same 19-strand stainless steel wire coated with nylon, as the Moss Agate necklace. This wire has strength and flexibility. There are no jump rings or split rings in order to make the necklace as strong as possible. The sterling silver double lobster clasps enable it to be worn with mama metal links such as the circle charm included, or on its own (lobster clasps clipped to each other instead of to the circle charm).

The Patikan Wood beads have a lovely deep, dark tone with pretty wood grain. The Rhodonite gemstone beads are in the center – a pinkish beige, and opaque. The Jade beads are between the Rhodonite and Patikan wood. They are white and semi translucent.

The circle charm that comes with the bracelet is fully removable. It is made from 16 gauge Argentium Silver. The maker will often customize bracelets with different shapes of link / charm, upon request.

MEASUREMENTS

6.5″ length without nape charm (bracelets can be ordered in custom lengths)
1/2″ nape charm diameter (charms can be ordered in custom shapes and sizes)
14 gauge circle charm

Strung on 19-strand nylon-coated stainless steel wire

Two Sterling clamps close the wire and attach it to the lobster clasps. No jump rings used.

Clasps
7mm x 12mm Sterling lobster clasps

Beads 4mm according to supplier; my measurements range from 4mm to 5mm, with the wood beads being very slightly larger than the gemstone beads.

 

 

THANK YOU to Lovely Little Acorns for working with us on this jewelry feature!