How does the process work from start to finish?
Once your order has been placed, you will receive a confirmation email. Your kit will be sent out within 2-3 business days. The imprint kit contains jewellers wax (two wax samples per piece of jewellery), instructions and a return mail label if you're ordering within Australia. International customers must return their own labels at their cost (sorry!).
When the wax samples have been returned to me, another confirmation email is sent to advise that the wax has been received and that your order can progress to the drafting stage. The turnaround time will officially commence once the wax has arrived back to us.
Your piece will be cast in recycled silver or gold by Melbourne's best casting house and then it will be cleaned up, polished, stamped, packaged and sent to you.
Postage options for the final send are available including insurance will be available as an upgrade.
Current wait times are up to 12 weeks.
Drafting the wax, sending the designs to the casting house, collecting them and cleaning them up does take some time (at least 4 weeks) so your patience is appreciated.
If you have purchased a ring: You're welcome to send me reference photos to take on board during your design. I will contact you via email with some photos of the preliminary design for you to approve. The casting of the final piece won't commence until you're content with how the design looks.
Please be mindful that 1-2 revisions are included during this stage and additional refinement can incur a fee due to time spent on changing the design.
If you have purchased a pendant (nose print): I will design your piece in line with the product images on the pendant listing. Often times the prints won't allow for a perfect circular shape and I can only work to the best of the wax limitations.
Please keep in mind that the print you take is the biggest contributing factor for the final design. You can reuse the wax over and over again until you get a print you are happy with.
If you have purchased a "customise your own ring or pendant": Please ensure you follow up your order with an email of the photo you would like engraved. This can be a photo of your dog's nose up close (I can take a section of the details of the nose itself) or this can be taken from an ink paw print or a nose print.
I can't see a print, can you still use it?
If you're worried about the detail of the print, please feel free to send me a photo and we can chat about it. It can be quite hard to picture how the wax will look when cast in metal, but the details and textures translate really beautifully into metal. Please trust the process!
If the print is very faint I will contact you to double check that you're happy to proceed/offer you a re-do if time and logistics allow. There is only so much or so little I can work with and I want it to be a great outcome for you.
I can't seem to get a good print, what am I doing wrong?
The wax I send you is best when it is thoroughly warmed through. If it's too hot, it will break apart and if it cools too quick, you won't pick up any print.
Make sure the wax is warmed through and you can squish it really easily. If you can roll the wax into a smooth ball once it is pliable this will make for a good print. Avoid touching the front of the wax where your dog's nose print is as the wax often picks up very faint textures that I won't be able to remove.
Always be mindful of the temperature, if it's too hot to touch, it's too hot for your dog's nose! The wax also won't be usable if it's too warm. Your dog's nose must be dry to have the texture transfer. Keep a cloth or paper towel handy and wipe their nose before each attempt.
Can I make another pendant or ring from the same wax?
No as the wax is burned away during the casting process. I keep one of the two wax samples you send to me (per pendant/ring) so you can opt to have another pendant/ring made from the remaining sample at any time. We can discuss making a master mould of your piece which is the silicon-mold add on and this can be used infinitely to make more pieces of jewellery.
Can this be done with a cat's nose?
Absolutely. Pretty much anything can be printed into wax. Paw prints, fingerprints (above two years old as babies up to two years don't have defined prints).
My dog doesn't have long left, how can I get a print/the kit won't arrive in time?
I'm sorry to hear this one each time I get a message like this :( please email me and I can advise you how best to proceed. Air dried clay is a great option to get some prints but please ensure you take a few and they are kept dry and clean while they harden. This process can require a silicon mold to be made from the clay print which can lengthen the turn around time and also will incur additional fees.
If using air dried clay, the entire nose doesn't need to be printed. Ideally we are looking for a section of the nose that we can take the printed texture from. A small portion of clay (a ball as big as your fingertip) is great and once squished down flat, will be adequate.
What is the address to send my wax back to?
Please send your wax in the original box to:
Blackbird + Bones
PO BOX 433
Gisborne 3437 VICTORIA
How long does the wax take to get back to you from the US/UK/EU?
As my international customers are responsible for returning the wax via their preferred mail carrier, I am not sure of the timeframes or costs involved, sorry!
FedEx have advised it's going to cost $150+ to send my wax back! What do I do?
If you are in the US, please use USPS! The standard shipping rate is $20.30 USD reliable and rather efficient. Express is around $40 - $60 USD
I don't know my ring size, can I still order?
Yes, please select "free size" as your option and I will send a ring sizer in the kit. Please email me once you have confirmed your ring size.
Where is my order?
If your order has officially started (wax impressions confirmed as received) the timeline to completion is 12 weeks and 16 weeks for signet rings. If your query is within the 12 or 16 week window, please know that we are hard at work getting your jewellery made. Your enthusiasm is appreciated but we are small team and we are putting our time and energy in to making your special piece.
Do you do resizes if my ring is too big/small?
I am unable to offer complimentary ring sizing so please ensure you correctly measure your size. If you are using the ring sizer provided, please read (on the packaging) how to take your correct size. If you do require a ring resize, there will be a nominal fee of $75 AUD plus shipping costs both ways.
My pendant or ring doesn't look like I imagined, do you do refunds?
If you have any reservations about how the process works or don't feel comfortable leaving the design up to me, please let me know! I want to make your piece the way you like it but please be mindful that due to the completely unique nature of each nose print and the outcome of the wax samples, the designs can end up being somewhat limited. I encourage you to advise me of your design preferences, particularly with the rings. I don't offer refunds if you don't like your final piece. I like to think my customers can trust my creative design techniques and have an idea on what the final result looks like, based on the photos in the product listing.
Do you offer shipping insurance?
Yes and I encourage it! This is found under "other stuff" on the website where you can find all the information relating to postage insurance.
My parcel has gone missing, can you help me?
This is unfortunate and I am sorry this has happened. Once the parcel leaves my hands, I am not liable for any loss or damages once it has been passed on to the mailing company.
Please lodge an enquiry via Australia Post with your tracking number for them to take action. If a parcel is deemed lost/unrecoverable, I will do what is required on my end to ensure that your insurance cover can be claimed.
Do I have to pay import tax or custom fees on my jewellery?
Please check the guidelines and rules relevant to your country surrounding buying goods from Australia. I will do my best to help you avoid extra charges but I unfortunately cannot control the outcomes when your jewellery passes through customs in your country. When you insure your jewellery for the final post (highly encouraged) the value needs to be put on the mailing information which can incur additional fees before it is released to you. The UK/EU has strict import rules that you can learn more about at https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad
Is the wax toxic/harmful to my dog?
The wax is safe for skin to skin (or nose contact) and should be gently heated just enough that it doesn't feel too warm to the touch and therefore too warm for your pet's sensitive nose. If the wax is heated too much, you will be able to tell as it falls apart and is unusable. I can send you the MSDS information on the wax if you require.
Blackbird and Bones is not liable for wax that is ingested, or injures your pet in any way. This has never happened but something I need to disclaim.
Can you do a double sided pendant?
Yes! I can do duel sided pendants with two dog's noses joined together. This is no extra charge for sterling silver and can be discussed if you'
Can you do a two nose prints on one ring?
Yes! Please specify in your order notes that this is what you would like so we can send out the right amount of wax and give you some pointers on how to take your prints.