Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Look what they made!

I realised today that, in my neglect of this poor blog, that I haven't yet shown you the beautiful pendants that my students made in the Stone Setting workshop a couple of weeks ago - so here they are!

None of the ladies had made bezel settings before, so the class really tested them - and they passed with flying colours! Lots of sawing, filing, hammering and very careful soldering followed finally by actually setting the stones. Most of the work and time goes into making the setting and the piece of jewellery that it is going on, and only the last half an hour or so of the class is usually spent on setting the stone itself. Actually I think that one of the most difficult parts of the class for the ladies who came was choosing the stone that they wanted to use as there were lots of beauties to choose from!

Kay used a lovely turquoise cabochon in her pendant, while Susie chose a Botswana agate with beautiful patterning and Lesley a labradorite. The way she's set it with the blacker parts running vertically make me think of the moon shining through the trees in a dark fairy tale forest! By the way, Kay and Lesley used the same hammer to texture their pendants. No two people ever create the same texture as everyone's stroke is different! I only had three ladies on the course in the end, as the other two who were booked on and coming together couldn't make it due to a broken ankle - Annie, if you're reading this I hope that you are healing well!

There is still time to sign up for the next workshop on Friday 8th November - the topic this time round is making chains. We'll start with lengths of sterling silver wire, coil it into a long coil, cut that into rings and eventually after soldering and hammering and sawing and some more soldering and adding beads to the mix if you wish we'll end up with beautiful chain bracelets! If you'd like to join us the full details are here.

P.S. Thank you very much for the emails and facebook messages and messages through Etsy I've had about closing the Daisychain Extra shop. It has been fun running it but the time is right to concentrate on my own jewellery and on more teaching!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

New designs - and some news

I've been polishing copper and editing photos in between teaching this weekend, preparing for a Daisychain Extra etsy shop update later this evening.

There's a lovely collection of flowers and leaves, some old favourites, some new designs and some new twists on old favourites too. I'm really pleased with how these leaf clasps turned out, especially with the different textures, and there are different sizes available.

And I've made some baby daisy connectors to go with the clasps - and some more clasps too!

However, I have some news about Daisychain Extra too - this will be one of the last shop updates as I have made the decision to close the shop. I have a few more designs that just need polishing and a photo shoot, and I need to go through my stock to make sure that everything is listed, but then that will be that. I have enjoyed making the clasps and creating new designs has been fun, and I was delighted to get to 1000 sales, but I want to, I need to, concentrate on my jewellery. That is where my heart lies, and that is what I really need to spend my time on.

So, thank you to all of you who have helped make my little shop a success. Get them while you can folks, as once they are gone, that will be it!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Tuition photos!

I've finally edited some of the photos from jewellery tuition sessions over the last couple of weeks! Some of my students nowadays work on larger projects that need more than one session so there are quite a few unfinished pieces I can't show you yet, but these ones are done!

Two sisters came for a day's tuition last weekend. Neither had done any jewellery making before, but both are very artistic and that showed on what they made. We started out with simple rings made from oval wire which they were both rightly proud of. After lunch I taught them how to saw silver sheet,  and this is definitely where their artistic talents showed! One sister made these tiny stud earrings - such delicate sawing for her very first attempt sawing silver!

And her big sister made this beautiful leaf pendant. Isn't it gorgeous? The texture is done by hammering lengths of binding wire into the silver to form the leaf's vein, and I love the curly stem bail. This will look so lovely hanging from a leather cord.

Paul comes out to the studio for tuition a couple of times a month, so you've seen some of his work before. His wife is Brenda, the lovely lady I buy lots of my stones from, so as you'd expect Paul has a lovely choice of stones to work with. This Thursday he made Brenda a beautiful ameythst ring to match the earrings that Brenda made last spring.

Carefully balancing the ring shank with a T-pin

I particularly enjoy the problem solving that goes with Paul's designs. He'll arrive with quite a clear idea of what he wants to make, and then we have to sit down and work out what components need to made in which order and how everything is going to be put together to make a beautifully wearable piece of jewellery. As each stone he works with is unique, and usually handcut so slightly irregular, each piece of jewellery is a challenge. Definitely a fun challenge though!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

I Love Autumn!

You know it's been too long since your last blog post when your Mum asks you why you haven't written anything recently - oops! The start of the new school year was rather hectic (nothing new there then!) and I think that I just got out of the habit of blogging. It has been a busy month though (again, nothing new there!). Here's some of what I've been up to....

  • kicking through the autumn leaves on the way to school.
  • admiring the dew-decorated spider's webs with Jamie after dropping Ben off at school. 
My cool dude!

  • taking Jamie to preschool for the first time. He loves it there! I asked him if I could come with him the first time. He looked at me as if I was crazy and said very clearly "NO!"
  • starting the new courses I'm teaching for Eastleigh College this year.
  • teaching lots of private students - I must post edit the photos I've taken.
  • working on a new collection of jewellery - lovebirds, owls, rabbits and butterflies. Again, photos coming soon! One of my jobs today is to edit them.
  • sending orders off to new galleries. This little lot went off to Heart Gallery in Hebden Bridge at the end of last week. It's amazing how small the parcels are when the galleries don't need the boxes to go with the jewellery, despite the lovely large size of the orders!
  • visiting Tent London, a great trade show, with some of my studio neighbours. You can see a photo of us all here on the Sorting Office Facebook page.
  • organising the Christmas Gifts Bazaar a friend and I run to raise money for the Wessex Cancer Trust. There will be more details soon, but in the meantime I've set up a Facebook event page here.
  • working on a new e-course and a couple of new tutorials.
  • writing magazine projects.
  • knitting! I've actually been knitting myself something for once - a lovely grey cardigan - and also gifts for some new babies.
Right then, I'd better get on with editing those photos so I don't leave my next blog post too long! Hope you're all enjoying your Autumn too!


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