Saturday, 23 April 2016

Doing the Walford wiggle

A productive morning hammering a texture onto the copper and melting silver to make some bold pieces to solder on along with a winding squiggle.

For some reason when I lay it sideways I keep humming the theme tune from EastEnders! Just as well I'm going to reshape it when I've finished filing it!

Friday, 22 April 2016

Making a viking weave neck ring

Don't know about you but my heating is on. It's what Mr J and I call 'casserole weather' and I'm aiming to fill the house with lovely cooking smells later - something hot and warming ladled into a bowl is called for this evening. Thankfully I've got something on the go jewellery-wise that involves firing the butane torch up. Spent the morning doing a sketch for a new piece and cutting out the shape from copper sheet. A while back in silversmith class I made a viking weave neck ring with a hammered copper pendant attached to it.

I loved the technique and it's high time I made something else using it. So 'Gerda' is under way, here's my sketch and the sawn out shape with the inner opening marked out with the scriber.

I will not pierce this out until I have annealed and hammered the copper shape, otherwise the metal would distort too much (I learned a lesson with a previous piece!) Then I'm going to add some silver to it by soldering on some tiny pieces of melted silver. A flowing line of silver wire will support wrapped stones in the opening in the pendant. I'm thinking of keeping the beads glacial in colour to carry through the norse theme. I like the idea of them enclosed and icy within the copper shape.   Lots to do but I'm thinking it will be spectacular when done. Fingers crossed and wish me luck!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Raindance Necklace

It’s been a mix of sunshine and storms his week – typical British April weather in fact. Some days have been too wet to venture outside, so I've been sketching, reading and creating between the showers.  As suddenly as they arrive it seems, clouds vanish and there is a rainbow droplet on every breeze-stirred leaf.  They dance and catch the sunbeams and it’s easy then to daydream small magical beings into existence and imagine the finery they might be wearing.

The fair folk are elusive these days. We are in too much of a rush and seemingly there is no time to pause and be mindful of the small everyday miracles in the environment that can spark our imaginations. Instead we walk along with mobile phone to ear, oblivious to the beauty of nature, which, after all, can be spied in even the most urban of environments.

So I’ve been taking my time with my 'Raindance Necklace', letting it evolve organically between spells of gardening.  I want the back section firm but flexible, so I am using several strands of tigertail flexible beading wire.  Another couple of days and I should have a necklace fit for a rainy day fae to dance in.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Making the workspace wonderful

I guess it's the same for any craftsperson, your workspace evolves over time until it becomes a place where you have everything in place to express your unique artistic vision. My working area has taken many years to put together and it has seen a few changes.

Inevitably, new techniques are tried and some abandoned, whilst others become life-long loves. This has nothing to do with being fickle. It's simply that a creative person always stays very much in touch with the child inside them, and children love to play, experiment and test new things out. Finding ways to keep tools and materials organised is all part of the fun. Charity shops finds can often be re-used to keep files to hand, or pens and pencils organised. Here are three of my recent purchases.

Filbert-file-keeper is a little handcrafted mouse who lives in a tree stump and keeps my needle files handy. He cost me £1 from our local Sue Ryder shop! Made by 'Tom Thumb Designs' in Yorkshire according to the label underneath. I think the person who crafted him so beautifully would be pleased to see him so obviously enjoying his new job as jewellers assistant. The china piece with pink flowers is a vintage tooth brush holder and the pen pot with the Welsh ladies was just £1.50. Not only is my desk a lot tidier, but the charity benefits too. Win win.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Rainy day dreams

I'm in a happy state of 'flow' today. Pulled out several of my boxes of beads and selected those that reminded me of woodland walks when the first wild flowers appear and April showers leave sparkling jewels in the hedgerows. Far too wet to get much gardening, or walking done today, so making something inspired by the season is a wonderful way to channel daydreams and memories of nature rambles. 

After a morning spent with fingers wandering around this gorgeous glass cabochon, I've the beginnings of a necklet. The little flat blue glass rounds remind me of pretty little speedwell flowers. Tomorrow will be spent adding the accent beads with finer gauge copper and sterling silver wire.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Bermuda Triangle Necklace

I swear there is a Bermuda Triangle thing going on in my bead collection. Things are bought then vanish for a few years only to appear when I'm least expecting it. Maybe it's the same rift in the space time continuum that seems to swallow lone socks in this house. This lovely cabochon turned up in the bottom of my stationary drawer and I can't remember when I bought it.

Thought I'd better tether it with some wire before it wandered off again, so shaped some pretty waves and twists with some copper and then crafted it a necklet with some marine blue leather thong. I think it would look great with jeans and casual top, as well as something more dressy.

More pictures of it are on my website at: