* How do I maintain my brass jewellery?
When you are not wearing them, keep your jewels in a cloth or in a bag: air, humidity and sea salt accelerate oxidation. Do not wear your jewellery in a swimming pool (because of the chlorine), in the sea, or when using chemicals (like cleaning products,…). Avoid bathing with your jewellery in general.
You can use lime juice to clean your brass jewellery and make it shine: apply the juice or dip the jewel in the juice, wait 5 to 10 minutes, rinse it, dry it properly (important!) and then scrub smoothly with a dry and soft piece of cloth to make it shine.
(To see how to clean it in images – click here)
You can also use a product developed to clean copper, brass or bronze, available in all big hardware stores. In Jamaica you can find such a product under the name of « Brasso ». Should this product get into small irregularities of your jewel’s surface, remove it using a soft old toothbrush, a cotton bud, or even a coton yarn the way you use dental floss.
We can also clean it for you for a small fee.
* How do I measure my ring size?
The best way is to getting sized by a jeweler. You can still measure it yourself, either measure your finger (with a strip of paper, a string or with floss), or a ring which fits you already. Here is a website helping you to do this accurately: click here.
* What is the price range of your jewellery?
For the small series and unique pieces in brass, roughly:
▪ earrings: between 35 and 110 US$
▪ rings: between 40 and 130 US$
▪ necklaces: between 75 and 250 US$
I also have some collections (Electric Jamaica, Colibri) or specific pieces (e.g. cactus earrings) that I make in larger series. They cost in between 3US$ and 25US$.
* Do you accept custom orders?
Yes, with pleasure! A piece of natural material you collected yourself can be integrated into a new design, or I can adapt an already existing model according to your imagination or to specific circumstances. All of this can be done remotely, through email exchange. Here more info about it (click)
* Which pieces are available right now?
If you want to see my actual stock, just send me an e-mail and I will send you a picture of what’s available.
If you want me to redo a piece that got sold already, know that I can do so as long as I have the basic materials available. However I will not redo unique pieces. Just ask me by mail or through the comments section here below.
* Do you do wholesale?
Yes! We can discuss prices, if you are a retailer or if you want more than 10 pieces.
* Why is your jewellery more expensive than mass produced pieces?
Because what I create is small series or unique pieces, handmade, and often individually adapted to each one of my clients. To be able to do so I have to invest more time, energy and money: to create new designs, to do trial and error, to search adapted technical solutions for each model, and to create each piece from scratch before it gets into your hands.
If you want handmade pieces, and if you appreciate the fact that they are unique, original and contain more soul than mass produced items, then you have to be willing to pay a price which provides a basic and decent living to the maker.
* Did you study jewellery? Is this your full time job or just a hobby?
My jewellery career started by learning the lost wax casting technique, an ancestral method for casting bronze, in Burkina Faso with Soum Bonkoungou. Afterwards I studied both classical and contemporary jewellery, at the Technical School for Arts and Crafts in Brussels (Belgium).
Yes, it’s my full time job (see the “who is doing what?” question below to get an idea of what this means in reality), I try to make a living out of it, and no, indeed, this is not easy.
* Where does the brand name “The girl and the Magpie” come from? Who is the Girl and who is the Magpie?
A magpie is a black and white bird which loves and steals shiny things, be they precious or not. A girl, well … . The name was chosen because the project can be handled by one person or occasionally by a team (there are always people helping and inspiring us) and because we love a bit of anonymity (we think this gives freedom).
It is said sometimes that the Girl and the Magpie are one person, a schizophrenic. Who knows?
* Who is doing what in The Girl and the Magpie’s team?
▪ design (important function when producing unique pieces or small series) : the girl
▪ production (handmade realization of the jewel, including research of technical solutions): the magpie
▪ photography: the girl, Anne d’Huart, Emperor Sumo, Di-Andre Caprice Davis, Udemba Mc Lean (Socially deformed Media) and other Magpies
▪ sales (direct, wholesale, e-commerce): the magpie with the help of a few other Magpies during fairs
▪ communication (internal and external): the girl
▪ webmaster: the magpie
▪ customer relations: the girl
▪ purchase of equipment and material (including collection, selection and cleaning of the natural materials): the magpie
▪ stock management: the girl
▪ window dressing: the magpie
▪ accounting: the girl’s lover!
▪ after sales service: the girl
▪ loving our clients: the girl and the magpie
▪ … : the girl or the magpie
yes, a full time job…
* Are you on Social Media?
Yes, on Facebook and on Instagram. You can also subscribe to our newsletter
* How do I contact you?
By e-mail: v(at)thegirlandthemagpie.be (at = @), on the website in the comments section, or by phone: (+1 876) 580 5136