Saturday, 28 February 2009

The best laid plans

.....can sometimes lead to something even better.

I keep three sketch books - one in my bag, one in my workshop and one by my bed. My drawing skills aren't exactly the best in the world, but sketching still allows me to record ideas I get from everywhere around me. Sometimes - okay, rarely!- a design will work perfectly from sketch to polishing. This is what happened with my Bloom necklace.

More often, though, my ideas change completely as I work through them! The photo below is of a couple of pages from the sketch book I carry around with me, and it shows a design I started thinking about at the end of last November, as you can just about make out from the date at the top of the page if you enlarge the photo. I wanted a simply locket-style pendant with a birthstone hidden inside and with a simple design pierced out from the front. I've got several pages covered with ideas for the cut out design, but nothing seemed right.

Then, some time spent in the shed a week ago led to this....

The basic idea is still there, the two discs cupped together to hold a stone, but a tactile hammered texture has replaced the pierced design, and a bead hanging from the jumpring joining the two discs has been replaced by a set stone, amethyst in this case. I'm really pleased with it. It's really comfortable to wear and I love the shell look the hammering has given the discs. The plan is to offer this as a made to order item with different birthstones 'hidden' inside, and they should be on the site by the middle of next week.

So far the design has inspired cufflinks, earrings (you may have caught a glimse of those in my oxidisation tutorial) and a bracelet. I'll show you those when they're polished! They are what I've been working on this week in the little time that I've had in the shed. B's childminder has been on a much-deserved holiday, so the only time I've had to work has been either while he's been at preschool or after bedtime, which explains the lack of blogging this week! I've been able to get commissions finished on time, but I was getting withdrawal symptoms by the end of the week as I had new ideas that I desperately wanted to work on! My boys went out and enjoyed the sunshine this afternoon, though, and gave me some time to hammer and solder. They are good to me!

I've just got to edit a couple more photos for the second oxidisation tutorial, so look out for that on Monday!


  1. Really like this, Jo. What a fantastic idea!

  2. What a wonderful surprice to slide the top and find that amethyst there! I love it!

  3. Wow Jo, that is really lovely - the hammered effect is stunning. BTW I think your drawing skills look pretty good to me...

  4. Hey Jo,

    I really like this necklace. What a great idea. I keep the same amount of sketch books as you!!


  5. oh that's cool It's unique. it evokes both an South Pacific oyster in which you'd find some thing beautiful from the Earth. At the same time it mimics the sentimentality of a locket - keeping something close to you heart . . .. lovely invention


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