It’s been too long since I’ve last posted on my blog! Christmas is always a manic time of year for a maker and alongside the seasonal rush, I’ve been kept busy organising my new workshop space.
I spent the hectic Christmas working from my kitchen, while my new workshop and office was being built. As you can imagine, I’m delighted that it’s now finished and I can spend more time making lots of jewellery!
Here’s some photos of my new workshop and some works in progress on the bench.
I’m really enjoying designing and making in my new workshop, look out for some new designs coming soon!
I’m pleased to share with you my latest makes! Inspired by peaceful woodland walks along paths shaded with ferns, I’ve created a beautiful eco silver pendant and earrings. These pieces are made using Precious Metal Clay; the clay is imprinted with a real fern leaf from my garden, fired in a kiln and then oxidised for a beautiful rustic finish. The finished pieces are 99.9% pure silver.
Precious Metal Clay is a fabulous eco-friendly material which uses silver recycled from industrial processes. I love using it in some of my designs as it easily takes impressions from my nature finds!
And here’s the matching earrings…
I love them so much I decided to make a pendant using copper clay too. Matching earrings will be following soon, so watch this space!
With autumn fast approaching, the lovely warm tones of this copper jewellery complement the season perfectly!
This handmade fern leaf pattern jewellery is available to order from my Folksy shop. Let me know what you think? I’d love to hear from you!
One question I’m often asked is ‘how do I care for my handmade jewellery?’ Well, I’d like to share my top tips with you for keeping your jewellery in great condition. I use Sterling silver in my jewellery designs. One of the problems with Sterling silver is that it tarnishes (goes black) when exposed to the air. Below are my top tips for keeping your jewellery super shiny!
Wear your jewellery regularly! The oils in your skin help to clean your jewellery.
Avoid contact with chemicals and always remove before swimming and showering.
When getting dressed, always put your jewellery on last of all. Perfume, cosmetics and hairspray all increase the risk of tarnishing.
When not in use, store your jewellery in a zip lock plastic bag or other air tight container. I will be posting out these little bags with my online orders, they’re just the right size to pop in your jewellery box!
If your jewellery does become tarnished, a quick gentle polish with a silver cleaning cloth will leave it looking sparkly and new again.
These silver cleaning cloths are now available to order from my Folksy shop
The two Sterling silver hammered pendants pictured above are available to order now from my Folksy shop, why not pop over and take a look!
If you follow my blog, you may remember last year I took part in this fun and engaging Instagram photo challenge. Devised by illustrator and fellow Etsy seller, Joanne Hawker, the idea is to post a daily photo based on a theme that Joanne has selected focusing on life as maker. Each photo is tagged with #marchmeetthemaker and I really enjoyed searching for new, interesting designers and makers to follow.
It was a real challenge to plan, select and take photos which fitted the chosen theme of the day, whilst still fitting in with the overal style of my gallery. I enjoyed using the Boomerang app to create a fun effect on day 5.
Here’s a selection of my favourite photos I took for the challenge. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Marchmeetthemaker!
If you’ve enjoyed looking at these photos, please visit my Instagram feed to see all my #marchmeetthemaker posts!
After a glorious Summer, with hot sunshine continuing well into September, we’re only just beginning to feel the chill of Autumn. Although I dread the return of dark mornings and even darker nights as the evenings draw in, I do love the Autumn for the creative inspiration it provides.
As you know, I love using copper in my jewellery designs and what better time of year than autumn to create some new autumn inspired pieces!
Leaves feature heavily in my jewellery designs, my favourites being my eco silver leaf range. I’ve recently been experimenting with a product called Copper Clay. It’s handled in the same way as Silver Clay, when fired in a kiln, you’re left with a product that’s pure copper. Copper Clay produces a more organic, grainy texture than jewellery made with sheet copper. Pictured below are some examples.
copper clay leaf pendant
copper clay leaf rarrings
My favourite autumn inspired piece of jewellery has to be these cute copper pumpkin stud earrings, fully handmade from sheet copper and perfect for Halloween!
You can take a look at all my copper jewellery by visiting my Folksy and Etsy shops.
I love using semi – precious stones in my jewellery designs and today I’d like to share withyou one of my favourites:Labradorite!
This beautiful stone, with its flashes of green, blue and purple was first discovered on the East Coast of Canada in 1770. Historically, it has inspired legends and was believed to have healing powers, by the Inuit people of Labrador.
Labradorite belongs to the Feldspar group of minerals and is a relatively soft stone: 6-6.5 on the mohs scale, a specific scale to measure the hardness of precious and semi – precious stones.
I just love Instagram! Taking photographs is one of my hobbies, so it’s a social media platform I really enjoy using.
During March, I took part in an Instagram challenge called #marchmeetthemaker. This was invented by illustrator @joannehawker and involved taking a photo a day with a set theme. The aim was to get to know the maker a little bit better, by offering a behind the scenes glimpse of everything involved in running a creative business.
I really enjoyed the challenge of showing my creative processes, whilst taking photos that blended in with the rest of my gallery.
Although I had the best intentions of blogging regularly, I’m afraid those intentions have fallen by the wayside! A busy family Christmas, winter bugs and lots of jewellery orders have meant that it’s been put very firmly on the back burner. I’d like to change that though, so here I am, hoping again to share a glimpse into my world of jewellery making!
I love to use copper frequently in my jewellery designs, here’s 5 reasons why:
It’s versatile. I love the many different ways you can treat and create using this metal. It can be polished to a high shine, given a wire-brushed, rustic finish; oxidised for an antique effect; stamped and textured to create interesting patterns.
It’s easy to work with as it’s relatively soft; can be soldered with silver in the same project, using silver solder; so doesn’t require any extra equipment than needed when working with silver.
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It’s inexpensive. As much as I love creating beautiful jewellery in silver, it’s great to offer the same designs at a more affordable price. As copper is such an attractive metal, nothing is compromised. (I hope!)
Using copper is a perfect way of practising a design idea before I make it in silver. Mistakes are often inevitable when trying out a new design and it’s cheaper price makes copper the perfect ‘model’ material.
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The gorgeous autumn tones of copper really lend itself to designs based on natural forms. My jewellery is often inspired by the beautiful countryside where I live and I use copper to reflect that.