Monday, 20 September 2010

A proper jewellery post at last!

Our internet connection has been playing up again over the last few days, which has been very annoying. I know I've said it before, but it's really quite frightening how much we rely on computers in general and the internet nowadays! Anyway, now that I've been able to post on here again I thought it was about time I showed you some jewellery photos!

I've been really conscious over the last couple of weeks that although i've shown you photos of my knitting and of students' jewellery I haven't shown you any new pieces for far too long. I have been making lots of things, honest, but due to not being able to work in a proper space for much of the summer most of what I've been doing is made-to-order pieces from website and notonthehighstreet orders. Lots of lovebirds (both pendants and earrings) have flown out of the door, some as travelling as far Washington State and Queensland and a couple staying very close to home, and my bangles, especially the charm bangles, have been very popular too. But now I'm back working in a wonderful workshop (thank you again T!) I've had the space and, to be honest, the inclination, to create properly again.

I've got several pieces lined up to show you next week that are waiting for bails or earwires to be soldered on or for stones to be set, but I finished this piece yesterday. I hope that you like it! The pearl in the middle is from my friend Brenda who has now set up her etsy shop Iced Hot Rocks and I've cut the flower by hand from sterling silver. The pendant has two bails on the back with one half of the chain attached to each, and I decided to lightly oxidise the whole necklace to really highlight the pearl. The flower was inspired by a pattern on a piece of Japanese fabric that a friend has made a bag out of - I didn't have my camera with me when I saw it, so I had to make do with a quick sketch. I think it turned out well though! The necklace is on my website here.

Brenda has some lovely gemstones in her shop - go and have a look! The pieces I've got to show you next week use her stones too.

A quick note about hallmarking - as any of you who have used letter stamps on your metal jewellery will know, stamping creates a "bruise" on the other side of the metal. This means that I have to carefully design a piece of jewellery to decide where the hallmark should be so that I can either file and sand the bruising back down without damaging the shape or texture of the design or, as in the case of this necklace, ask for the hallmark to be stamped on the back of a section that will be hidden by another piece of silver or a stone. 

Japanese Pearl was sent up to Goldsmiths Hall (the London Assay Office where I get my hallmarking done) in bits - the flower (flat to make it easier to stamp), the jump rings for the bail and the chain, and the bezel for the stone. This way everything could be assayed (tested to make certain that it was definitely sterling silver) and the hallmark applied without causing damage to the piece, and everything could be put together when it got home to me!  

And a bit of info for those of you who aren't in the UK or the EU, over here every piece that is 7.78g of silver or more (or 1g of gold or more) has by law to be assayed and hallmarked before it can be sold.

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