Don't get me wrong. I liked working with silver. I did.
It was easy.
Easy to form, file, drill through, roll, print, cut, bend, cast. It could do anything!
It's price had tripled by the time I finished my silversmithing classes.
It tarnished so easily I found myself spending a LOT of my time polishing it.
I felt it got scratched and bent pretty easily.
I became frustrated by how high maintenance this material was considering how much I'd paid for it.
Clearly, I was looking for qualities sterling silver couldn't offer. I was longing for a material that was more robust, more durable. Something that was super strong, but that could also present as minimal and fine.
Enter : Industrial Stainless Steel.
This alternative material is not primarily associated with jewellery making.
In fact, I've never come across jewellery made from the particular type I use.
None of my silversmithing tools and techniques worked on stainless steel, so I had to work long and hard to find ones that would accomodate my new signature material. My making process is quite different now than when I first started making jewellery. Turns out it is much harder to work with stainless steel than with silver.
So why did I decide to keep going with it?
Because it's totally worth the extra effort, considering it's amazing properties.
Stainless steel ist is strong and durable - enough to last a lifetime.
It does not tarnish or discolour. It is hypoallergenic. It is sourced locally. It's sustainable.
It also has a look and feel that is different than anything else out there. I love it.
Stainless steel is better than silver. Go see for yourself.