Monday, 27 July 2015

Twists and turns

Things have been busy over the last few days. I sent my first ever package of jewellery off to the Assay Office in London to have hallmarks put on. They should be back in a few days time and then I will photograph them and put them on the website. The website is undergoing a bit of a makeover and that too should be going live in mid August. In between all that, I've been working with gemstone nuggets and copper wire to make some very organic looking pieces. We have a lovely gem shop in Norwich, situated in the old guildhall, and I love to go poking around the many containers of goodies - it's a bit like beachcombing - you never know quite what will inspire you to pick it up and start daydreaming of what it could become.

This picture jasper stone reminded me of an old map, so I encased it in paths of copper with some of those spiral motifs you often see on ancient stones.

The turquoise blue one is made of magnesite, very rugged and needed a loose flowing approach. I chose a soft blue/grey leather thong to suspend it from.

After such ruggedness I fancied making something elfin, so took a piece of rhodonite and encased it with wire and glass beads. Tomorrow I will work on the chain, which I think will be made of glass beads made into little links with coils at each end. Delicate and rather pretty I think. I love working in berry shades.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Three new pieces

I finished my silversmithing class a couple of weeks ago. The two years have sped by and have been enormously enjoyable. I took my most recent pieces in to be looked at by the tutor and she seemed really pleased with my grasp of soldering techniques. When I first started classes I would try to avoid soldering, but I quickly realised that there were things I wanted to create that could only be made with a flaming torch, so I gritted my teeth and got to grips with it. The piece below is the culmination of all those efforts, the tutor said it was a 'masterly demonstration of soldering' and I felt chuffed to bits!

The forget-me-not piece is done, a nice way to incorporate some soldered leaves and some melted silver nuggets. I have a new toy to play with over the summer, a sand casting kit, so that I can make other shapes from melted silver. This involves lots of heat and a crucible. Scary but fun - I'll let you know how it goes.

I love wire wrapping, it's so absorbing and meditative, the sweet little butterfly has some Swarovski crystals in it and is suspended from a special necklet that holds a nice curve. It's called an Omega Chain and comes from Cooksons. Anything more complicated would not be appropriate for such a delicate piece.