Friday 12 August 2011

Spreading the jewellery making addiction

Take two friends with hopes of setting up their own jewellery business, silver, hammers, saws, torches, a few files and me in my workshop and this is what you get.....

Sunday was my first day of private tuition since before Jamie was born, and it was lovely to be back - in many ways it was as if I'd never had a break! Susie and Julia made a bangle each and then a pendant in the afternoon. Julia's pendant may look simple but it takes a good eye and careful filing to achieve a smooth symmetrical shape like her tear drop. Susie decided to make a pendant with a more organic feel, with silver balls forming the centre of a flower.

I taught on Thursday this week as well  but as Anna and Syd were both working on more complex pieces they haven't quite finished yet - I'll show you the pictures when all is done and polished! All the tuition dates for August have now been booked, but I have three dates in September with hopefully a couple more to come when Jamie settles into going to the childminder's on Thursday. The dates I have so far are Thursday 1st September, Saturday 10th September and Sunday 11th December. More details of private tuition can be found here - email me if you would like more information or to book a date!


  1. These are really beautiful, do you use half hard or deadsoft wire for bangles? what's a good wire gauge to use for bangles and rings?

  2. Hi Tene,
    I prefer to use deadsoft wire for everything. I do so much shaping and hammering that I find that my work gets work-hardened quickly and I need to anneal it part way through anyway. If I started with half hard wire I'd have to anneal it more and I'd be giving myself more work! As for the wire gauge - it really depends on the look you are going for. I use a variety of shapes of wire for bangles and rings (round, oval, square, D shape) and a wide range of guages. My most popular bangle is made from 2.5mm by 5mm oval wire.
    I hope that helps!

  3. Thank you so much for your help.

    Do you ever use argentium silver and if so, does it feel the same as sterling silver wire? Do you have to treat argentium wire differently than sterling silver?

    Do you have a tutorial for making rings. I would like to know how you get the right measurement for a ring. Does hammering a ring after soldering with a chasing hammer stretch it and if that's the case how much wire will I need for a size 7 ring?

    Thanks and have a wonderful day. You have a lovely blog.

  4. I haven't used argentium, but as far as I'm aware you treat it in the same way as you do sterling silver.

    I don't have a tutorial on making rings (yet!), but I do have one on making bangles and a ring is essentially a small bangle, you just have to be more careful with the sizing. The part you have to be most careful with in terms of measuring is adding a little extra to the measurement of the inside circumference of the ring to take into account the thickness of the wire. Different textbooks suggest different amounts, but I add on 1.5 times the diameter of the wire. So, if I'm making a UK size P ring from 2mm round wire, the inside diameter of the ring according to my measurements is 58mm. I then have to add on 1.5 x 2mm = 3mm, meaning I cut 61mm of wire.

    As for stretching the ring by hammering, if you hammer it hard then yes you could increase the size. However, if you hammer firmly but without bashing it to just texture the metal you won't increase the size.

    I don't know how much you'd need for a size 7 ring as I use UK sizes, but I know that if you have a look on google you will find tables that tell you the inside circumference of all the different sized rings.

    I hope that helps - and I'm glad you like my blog! You can find the bangles tutorial by looking on the "tutorials" page at the top of the blog.

  5. Thanks alot for taking the time out of your busy schedule to respond to all my questions.

  6. My pleasure Tene! Hope you have fun making rings.


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