As a wearable artist, I think about the materials I use when creating my pieces. Because I use all kinds of media, I decided to use precious metal plated/finished brass as my preferred metal. Brass is a copper and zinc metal alloy that is easily recycled. It is an industrial strength metal that is easy to form (bend). It is an affordable metal which allows me to create pieces at an affordable price.
I purchase brass that is plated or finished with precious metals because there is a lot of conflict in supply channels for precious metals. The working conditions of a precious metal miner are extremely dangerous. The mining process has devastating effects on the environment.
I consciously select plated/finished brass and other base metals. I am reducing my consumption of precious metals out of respect to the environment. Precious metals and gemstones mining is an honorable profession where many die learning the trade. In order to keep the trade alive, I chose precious metal plated/finished brass over pure brass. Pure brass can cause skin allergies. Gold and silver have hypoallergenic properties which brass does not. Lastly, this venture is a creative journey that would be stifled if I worked exclusively with precious metals.
Click here to learn more about brass' recyclability properties.