Frequently Asked (and answered) Questions
What is Dre’s jewelry made of?
-The foundation for almost all of her jewelry is a medium called Polymer Clay. To that, she commonly adds materials such as: watch parts, mica, glaze, resin, precious gems, diamonds, Swarovski crystallized elements, and 24 karate gold leaf.
What is polymer clay?
-It’s a material that is made of PVC particles and liquid plasticizer bonder. When cured, the bonder cooks off and leaves only the plastic. The end result is a material that Dre describes as the love-child of rubber and plastic. The color won’t fade, it won’t tarnish, and it has a very slight flexibility to it, so a bump or a drop won’t chip or crack it.
Is it fragile?
-Nope! Dre uses the most durable brand of polymer clay available – Premo by Sculpey. Once cured, polymer clay has a very slight flexibility to it, which means a bump or drop will not make it crack or chip. Don’t go hitting it with a hammer, but you don’t have to baby it. In fact, it’s so durable, one artist covered her car door with it! It was only after seven years she saw an effect on the clay, which was minor color fade from constant exposure to sunlight.
Can I hire Dre to make a custom piece?
-Dre does accept commission work, and really enjoys doing it! If you choose to hire her for a custom piece, she will contact your for a consultation where you and her put your heads together to come up with a unique design that’ll blow both of your minds. Pricing varies for each project with a $100 minimum and she only accepts two commissions a month on a first come first serve basis. Use the contact page and put ‘Commission’ in the subject line to start the process. The customer pays 50% of the agreed price up front and 50% percent upon completion of the product.
How do I care for my new piece of awesome?
-Walk it once a day and feed it rainbows. Then treat it pretty much like any other piece of jewelry. Necklaces with mixed/woven chains fare best when hung while not being worn to keep all the bits in their place. Do not wear this jewelry in the shower, your swimming pool, or deep sea diving. Seriously, though, remove your jewelry prior to showering. Dre is not responsible for replacing/repairing jewelry damaged due to this. The tangled chain look is what she’s going for, so don’t stress about it being perfect if a chain or two gets crossed.
I have sensitive skin – will I be allergic to polymer clay jewelry?
-There are very rare cases of sensitivity to polymer clay. It’s usually to the clay in its raw form before it’s cured. Those who have allergies to PVC or plastics should be aware that they may also be sensitive to polymer clay jewelry and they purchase at their own risk.
Why is the sky blue?
-Science. That’s why.
Why does dreswain.com only have one design for sale a day?
-Dre makes every piece of jewelry with her own three hands, and it takes a lot of time. Her designs take anywhere from 3-20 hours per piece, so she can only create a small inventory every day. From concept to sketch, to purchasing materials, to sculpting, firing, glazing, chaining, photographing, all the way to posting on her site and shipping it to you – it’s all Dre. If anyone out there knows how to cram more hours into the day, she’d greatly appreciate it.
What if I want one of Dre’s designs that isn’t for sale today?
-Use the contact page to let Dre know! All of her designs can be found in her portfolio. If you see something in there that you want, there’s a link to take you to the contact page with the piece name already filled out for you in the subject bar.
Where do babies come from?
Some of the jewelry is big – is it heavy?
-One of the advantages of using polymer clay is that it’s extremely light after curing. All of her pieces weigh in at less than an ounce. People are always surprised how light Dre’s biggest designs are. One of her commissions was a hair accessory for a bride. When Dre followed up after the wedding to ask how her hair adornment worked out, the bride responded “It was perfect! And so light I even forgot it was there!” Booya.
How long does it take Dre to complete a piece?
-It depends on the design. The shortest amount of time she spends on one piece is about three hours. The longest she’s ever spent on a piece is about 35 hours. Each piece requires incredible attention to detail, patience, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Where does she get her inspiration?
-Everywhere. She carries a notebook with her at all times to jot down ideas and sketches, or just make a note of something she liked about something she saw. She loves to look at history, the future, nature, architecture, machines… you name it, she’ll find some element to use in her work.
What makes Dre’s jewelry unique?
-Each piece is one of a kind. Even when she sculpts multiples of a design, because of the handmade nature, no two are exactly alike. You wear one of her pieces to a party, and it will truly be a statement. You want something unique? Something fashion forward? Something that pushes the limit without apologizing? You want a Dre Swain.
What came first – the chicken or the egg?