Monday, August 17, 2009

Storing botanical beads and jewelry

As somebody asked me by email whether she should store her mgambo seed and freshwater pearl necklace refrigerated, here are some tips on storing botanical jewelry:

- Botanical jewelry (i.e. jewelry that contains any kind of seeds or plant parts) should be dried
thoroughly and preferably rather soon if it gets wet. Best is to not let it get really wet in the
first place. It may look like beach jewelry, but if you want to keep it it isn't. Try to keep it dry. Plant seeds don't mind getting wet, but they are not meant to last, they are meant to germinate.

- Job's Tears will chip if gotten wet and dry too often.

- Should you develop a bug problem (I have seen that with Job's Tears once but never with mgambo/weleweka/Hawaiian pussy willow seeds or Royal Poindicana seeds, I'd dry the jewelry in the refrigerator for at least a few days and then put in the freezer for a week.

I do not have to refrigerate botanical jewelry here in Hilo where the daytime temperature is usually above 80F (26.7 C) and the relative humidity normally above 70%. I do not see problems with bugs or mold.

You can normally find these in different package sizes on my website (HiloBeads) and in my Etsy shop.


Christina said...

Is putting in the fridge and freezer the best way to dry the mgambo seeds? Would you recommend another way?

Maren aka hilobeads aka Palms, Etc. said...

The real answer to that is: it depends.

If you are in a place like Hilo where your fridge and freezer are the only places where salt will not turn to a liquid if you don't have air conditioning, no, that's the only way I can recommend.

If you are in a place where it is drier and you can get things dry in air flow that is just as possible. Air them out and don't put them away until they are completely dry, inside and out.

Hope that helps?