This jewelry is handmade by Ruth Avra, owner of her eponymous business, Ruth Avra, and also businesses A La Avra and KX2.
Ruth creates jewelry (and non-jewelry art!) from a wide variety of materials. Her work is not strictly “Mama Metal” as some other artisans featured here, but ranges from high-end art jewelry to every-day sturdy jewelry. She is also specializes in the making of “keepsake” jewelry – handmade jewelry items that contain and preserve inclusions such as umbilical cord sections, baby’s first tooth, baby’s first haircut, and more. Other inclusions have come from nature, such as twigs, flowers, natural amber, and gemstones. Outside of jewelry, her artistic partnership with her sister, creates a wide variety of pieces. The range and appearance of her work is broad.
Relating to the jewelry featured in this post, many of Ruth’s jewelry items are designed to be worn by mothers, and are designed to withstand some of the typical pressures of life and small children.
Please see this page for general information about “Mama Metal.”
To view items made by Ruth Avra, visit these links!
Facebook business page
In this post, we feature Three Petal Necklace with Links, Peacock Charm Necklace, and Diamond Cut Ball Chain.
THREE PETAL NECKLACE WITH LINKS
The circle-shaped links are 18 gauge wire, soldered together at the joint, and lightly hammered for texture on both sides. The links are quite flattened, so that when turned on end, they appear quite thin.
The petals are handmade from 26 gauge sheet metal. The shape of the petal was modeled after after a tulip petal, cut from a plate mold, sanded and shaped by hand. Circle links and petals are made from Argentium silver.
The chain is sterling silver, oval link style, and attached (not removable) to the links and petals. The findings consist of soldered sterling jump rings and Ruth Avra’s signature logo clasp. This clasp is a bit easier to get on and off than standard lobster clasps, since it slips in, without requiring the finger-pinching motion necessary for a clasp.
The necklace made a lovely quiet chiming sound when the wearer is in-motion, as the petals tap each other gently.
The oval chain is on the medium size of the ones I have featured, as far as the size of the links. I would not call it delicate or chunky – somewhere in between. These are my own measurements taken with calipers.
3.18mm chain link width
4.25mm chain link length
0.58mm chain link wire thickness
The circle-shaped links range in size from 1/4″ (smallest on the ends) to 3/4″ (largest center link).
PEACOCK CHARM NECKLACE with DIAMOND CUT BALL CHAIN
The center charm is cut from 14 gauge sterling silver sheet metal, and lightly textured with a brush-type finish. It has a shape reminiscent of the tip of a peacock feather, as the center design cut out within the circle. At 14 gauge, this sheet metal is thick, giving the charm a sturdy, substantial feeling. Holding it feels similar to holding a United States quarter. This has a different weight and substance than the delicate and lightweight 26 gauge sheet metal used for the petals.
The charm rests inside a 16 gauge circle-shaped link. The charm and link are attached together using a soldered sterling jump ring, which allows them to be strung onto the chain.
The diamond-cut ball chain is used in many of Ruth Avra’s pieces. It can be purchased separately, with double lobster clasps, for use with more “traditional” Mama Metal links and centerpieces. It also comes with this necklace, and others, without lobster clasps. On this necklace, it uses a simple connector that clutches onto the tip of the other end of the chain. Either end of the ball chain can be slipped out of the connector to open the necklace.
At first glance, the diamond cut ball chain reminded me of the pull chain on a ceiling fan. The clasp is even the same type of clasp typically used for chain extenders on ceiling fan pulls. However, this is where the comparison ends. The diamond cut ball chain is sterling silver, as is its clasp. The tiny spheres it is made of, are cut with many facets, giving it amazing sparkle that I found impossible to properly capture with the camera. It shimmers and glistens in the light, as if it were indeed made from tiny diamonds.
When the diamond cut ball chain is purchased with lobster clasps, jump rings are soldered onto the ends of the chain, to attach the chain to the clasps.
When the diamond cut ball chain is purchased with the ball connector clasp, Ruth states she typically sends the necklace with a long length of chain. The chain can be cut to length using household scissors, and remain able to be used with the connector clasp. Thus the wearer could choose their own preferred length of chain (although of course, once cut, the chain could not be reassembled to a longer length).
I personally own the diamond cut ball chain with dual lobster clasps. I have owned it for over a year, and it came to me secondhand. My strong and determined toddler gives my necklaces plenty of tugs, yanks, and general abuse. If he is seated on my hip and feels unsteady, he clings to my necklace as if it were a handlebar on a roller coaster. Prior to my learning of Mama Metal, he broke any necklace I wore (so I stopped wearing any). Since being introduced to Mama Metal, he has also broken a couple of those necklaces. Mama Metal type of jewelry is MUCH stronger than costume jewelry, and delicate fine jewelry. However, it is certainly not indestructible, especially when put through the stress and abuse of my toddler. The diamond cut ball chain I’ve owned from Ruth Avra, he has broken twice within roughly eighteen months. This is breakage that occurred after many, many, many, strong pulls, and much stress. In each case, what broke is one of the ball spheres separated from the one next to it. In each case, I have mailed it to the artisan, and she has repaired or replaced it at no cost. I really think she should have charged me, since my toddler put the necklace through the wringer, more than the necklace should be expected to withstand, and certainly more than I would expect an artisan’s “warranty” to extend for. But she replaced it anyway, which was generous and gracious.
Perhaps I should not use this particular chain, given the nature of what my toddler puts my jewelry through, but I can’t give it up. It is so unique in its appearance compared to my other chains, and that shimmer is just so beautiful to wear. Flat cable chain is the second-most shimmery chain I’ve used (I’ve featured flat cable chain made by Lovely Little Acorns and Seashore Design Studio). However, this diamond cut ball chain by Ruth Avra takes the cake for unique beauty and shine.