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Diamonds are a girls best friend

28 Oct

I have decided to up the game now. I have just received some diamonds, not rocks – it’s true but diamonds nonetheless, and what sparkly little blighters they are too. Sapphires and rubies as well. I have so many ideas, and the weekend to get started on them, so watch this space.


Fire, spinning, rolling and balls!

12 Oct

While it is true to say that my silver pea pods are the mainstay of my jewellery business, and without them I probably wouldn’t have half the tools I have been able to get, I do love to experiment when I have the chance. So here is what I have been doing; rolling (with the mill) flame throwing to make the lovely little mercury balls (which I have to say for the last 20 years I have had a thing about – what is it that fascinates me with granulation??) and redesigning a ring I made over 15 years ago into a spinner ring!! I would like to have put a gold spinner round but as it was an experiment – gold is an expensive experiment, so maybe next time. Anyway – here are the weekends spoils.

Been playing today

2 Oct

I should have been doing other stuff, but let myself play for a bit! Had the idea of a reversible pendant for a while but wasn’t sure it would work with what I wanted on the front and back, but it’s turned out just how I hoped.
The ring is a mix of all sort of bits and pieces from my bench, a truly recycled piece. Recycled fine silver and recycled sterling, patterned in the rolling mill. Doesn’t fit, so gott find someone to give it to now 😉

New Projects – splashing the colour!

18 Sep
I have been so caught up with new sprojects I have been a bit lax on here, which is a bit of a shame. Anyway, here is one of my projects, I have been playing with sterling and cold enamel, and having just the biggest blast. Playing with colour is just amazing, and I adore how well it goes with silver. I don’t think my neighbours can be too happy though as I’ve been banging and hammering away like a mad thing, but I’m pleased with the results.

Of course, now I have to get all the photos done and uploaded etc etc, but I have a date in mind and I still have time, so that’s ok.
The summer has been mad with new ideas and projects started, but my work room looks like a bombs hit it, I wish I could sit down and make one thing and finish it at a time – just never happens though! Ah well. More to come!

On a lighter note

12 Jun

Getting royally naffed off with all the SEO, so decided to write a more upbeat blog today. For the longest time I fancied making a silver bird, however they aren’t exactly rare in the handmade market and I didn’t want to be seen to be copying. So for weeks if I had any time to play in the studio I would be trying things out. Man I got through so much silver (must send it in to be reclaimed at some point).

This is what I eventually came up with. The body is suggestive of a bird, made in sterling silver and hammered, and the wing is pure silver and detailed with a skeleton leaf. It was then soldered on. I then found the optimum balance point and drilled a hole for the link, so that it continually swings (unless it is resting against something of course!).
I made a mother and baby however they both seem babyish so have called them both baby birds.

Finally – My Hallmark!! (or sponsor’s mark)

12 May

Okay, so this doesn’t look that impressive, but hey – I am very very proud of it. It cost me about £180 ($280) to get it registered!!
Here in the UK, you can not by law sell anything made in silver that weighs more than 7.78 grams unless it is hallmarked by one of the four assay offices in the UK.
Online of course, you can sell what you want to outside of UK, but I have plenty of items that I have only been able to sell to outside the UK and not to the UK. Mainly it’s the larger rings and chunky pendants, but they have been available just not UK side.

So the process goes like this a little: You have to register a stamp, this can be with your initials. You start by thinking ‘oh that will be great I’ll make a word’, then you realise each letter costs about £40 and quickly come down to just the minimum initials.
You then choose the type of stamp, swan neck (for rings) or straight and where you would like it kept (either with you or at one of the halls).

It them takes about 3 or so weeks to be ready.
You eventually get sent a bunch of paperwork which almost tells you how to get your stuff stamped 😉 The more you send off the cheaper, so you don’t really do one or two things at a time, and sending off a whole bunch is quite worrying! But there is a minimum charge, so even though I sent off 12 initial pieces I still had to pay the minimum charge. But you send no money. They get in touch and after you have registered you can check on line to find out how much you owe, and then pay online. A few days later (it is a quick turnaround) your lovely items arrive home with their new little marks.
When I say little marks trust me they are really small, I couldn’t find them to start!
So, I then discovered it has been mooted by the government to do away with this tradition. At the moment it is in the discussion stage. I have to say I hope they don’t do away with it. The point being, anything you buy in England that has this stamp on it, has had the tiniest piece scraped off and tested for quality so you know when you hand over your money, that this is truly authentic. I have bought things abroad, where the sales person has told me it is real and I have paid over my hard earned money, and later got home and found it wasn’t. It’s just one of those quirky British traditions that I really like – and anyhow, I’ve paid over all that money now!!

Absolute last chance to grab a half price sterling silver bargain

25 Apr

Just a quick heads up and reminder that today is the very last day of the half price sterling silver sale. Just so’s you know, I paid 50% more for my silver from my supplier this week than last week – it’s ridiculous. So if you want to grab a bargain, maybe get your Christmas Presents early, today is the last chance. Sterling silver cufflinks, sterling silver and gemstone bracelets, and sterling silver and gemstone / lampwork necklaces are all included in the sale. Half the price you pay will be refunded via paypal.

But whatever – hope you have had a brilliant weekend, and made the most of the beautiful weather.

Half Price Sterling Silver Sale

16 Apr

The price of silver has shot through the roof, as the table (from the wiki site shows)

In 2005 it was $7.31` dollars an ounce
2009 $14.67
2010 $20.19
2011 $40.17

Now if that doesn’t show it, I don’t know what does, but silver keeps its value.
My supplier just last week wrote to let me know that prices are set to increase hugely. I know that I am going to have to increase my prices very soon, but just before I do I thought I’d give my lovely customers a chance to treat themselves and grab a bargain in the meantime, so until 25th April (midnight gmt) I am having a HALF PRICE sale on selected sterling silver items. These include the sterling bracelets, necklaces and cufflinks. (The fine silver is not included). So if you want to grab yourself a bargain, click the link. Be quick the stuff is going quite quickly. These prices can never be repeated (unless of course silver goes back to 2005 prices!!)

To see details click the post link.

The New Teardrop Ring Design

10 Apr

I am very excited with my new design. I just love the front, its like the bottom of a heart, and looks like a perfect teardrop when flat. These are so comfortable to get on, because the angle allows for the nuckle and then they are turned, where the disc can then swing. Perfect for fiddling, and who doesn’t like fiddling! Loads of designs done just takes time uploading all the photos – I need a secretary!

Playing with Sterling again!!

20 Mar

I started silversmithing about 15 or so years ago, then got sidetracked with life and a lack of money. I started making jewellery again about 4 yearsa ago, beaded, and used bali silver etc, then moved onto precious metal clay. I just recently found my old boxes of sterling and thought this afternoon I’d have another go. I have all the equipment I need now, funny, I couldn’t afford it years ago and now I have it, but bought for something else!
So first, I dug out the feather that I started. It has 9ct gold rolled onto sterling, that was then textured and cut into. I then realised I had no idea what I actually wanted to do with it. I polished it up today in the tumbler, and still have no idea what to do with it!! Its about 3 inches long, so it could be a chunky pendant or a brooch.
Then I fancied making some stacker rings. I soldered them and hammered them and then tumbled them and am just delighted with them, I can see what I am going to be making in the next few weeks!
Mind you I have 300 grammes of precious metal clay on its way and my funds have been totally exhausted paying for a masterclass I’m going to next weekend. So, once my dusty old supplies of yore have run out, I’ll have to wait till the funds top up a bit!
Will write about the materclass after next weekend.