For those of you with children, you’ll know that school’s almost out for summer! This last term has seemed particularly long and my little girl, AKA The Little Chick is really ready for some time at home with mum!
I’m going to be closing my Folksy and Etsy online shops for a short time during the summer holidays, starting yesterday the 17th July and re-opening on the 14th of August, so that I can spend some time with my daughter.
In the meantime, my handmade jewellery is still available to buy from these galleries and shops:
I’ll be updating my Facebook and Instagram pages during the holidays so please make sure to follow me as I’d love to keep in touch!
There’s some exciting new products I’ve been working on which I’m looking forward to sharing with you all later in September. There’ll be a sneak peek in my next newsletter, so don’t miss out and subscribe via the pop up form on my website.
Wishing you all a lovely summer, whatever you’re doing!
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!
Last November, I was lucky enough to be involved in an exciting pop- up shop held in the village where I live. Katie, the owner of luxury handmade accessories brand Marmaduke Scarlet lives in a beautiful beamed house situated right at the top of the hill. This lovely old house used to be a grocery shop decades ago ( I still remember it from my childhood!) So once again, for a few weeks in November, Katie’s front room was converted back into a shop, albeit this time the groceries were exchanged for gorgeous handmade goodies!
I was excited to be showcasing my handmade jewellery, alongside a selection of talented local makers, including Polly had a Dolly; Ginkgo Floristry; tatty tess and Ddesignmakebake. The shop and Starlight shopping evening event were a runaway success and lots of fun was had and friendships made as a result.
the little red hen jewellery
Ginko Floristry Christmas door wreath
Even the doll’s house has a Christmas wreath!
Gorgeous collar from Marmaduke Scarlet
Ginko Floristry’s Festive Wreath
Gingerbread house by Dippybake
Lots of Christmas floral goodies!
When I heard that Katie was opening Kentish Made this winter for a special Starlight Shopping event, I was thrilled to be invited along! I will be selling a lovely selection of handmade silver and copper jewellery which will make perfect Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.
This year the Starlight Shopping event will feature some familiar faces and new people too, including local home-roasted coffee company StApple Hurst Roast and gorgeous handmade candle company The Hazel Tree. I’m really looking forward to buying some Christmas gifts myself!
If you’re local to Staplehurst, please do pop in and enjoy Kentish Made’s Starlight Shopping event, this Thursday 1st December, 7pm-10pm or if you can’t make the evening, why not drop into our open morning the following day Friday 9.30am -2.30pm
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Why not check out the Kentish Made Facebook page for updates on the event and lots of information about the makers, and their lovely products!
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.
Leaves, recycled silver & lots of elbow grease! That’s what is involved in creating my eco silver leaf pattern pendants.
These pendants are one of my favourite things to make. They are always popular, as being simple and elegant they can be worn for a variety of occasions, if not everyday!
My leaf pattern pendants are handmade from Precious Metal Clay, a fantastic material which incorporates fine silver particles in a non-toxic binder. There are lots of different products available, I like to use Art Clay Silver which has a slower drying time and less shrinkage than other metal clay products I’ve tried.
Another reason I use Art Clay Silver is it’s a great eco-friendly product. It uses silver recycled from items such as circuit boards, dentistry and photographic processes and mixes them with an organic, non-toxic binder. This binder burns off when fired in a kiln (it can also be torch fired) to leave behind a piece of jewellery that is 99.9% pure silver.
First the clay is rolled and shaped (a bit like play dough), then I use a leaf from the garden (a skeleton leaf from craft shops works well too) to make an impression on the clay. I have a collection of clay cutters, which are a bit like miniature pastry cutters, to cut out the desired shape of the pendants. My favourites are the heart and teardrop and these always seem to be popular with my customers too!
I like to use a cocktail stick to make a hole for the pendant jump ring to go through, being very careful not to disturb the delicate design before it’s dried. Then comes the drying, which can be done at room temperature over twenty-four hours, or in a cool oven within an hour. There’s always drying instructions included in the Metal Clay packet and I’ve found oven drying to be the best and speediest method for me.
It’s important for the clay to be completely bone dry before it is fired in the kiln, as any residual moisture can cause the silver to crack. Any little imperfections can be sanded away at this stage, however this has to be done with extreme care as the dry clay will be very fragile! I’m afraid I’ve had a few casualties in the past, so have learnt the hard way to be very careful.
Following the instructions on my clay packet, I then fire my dry pendants in my table top kiln. This little kiln is one of my favourite tools as it’s so versatile and easy to use. I always look forward to hearing the timer ping and seeing what the pendants look like, once they are cooled down.
I like to burnish my fired pendants with a brass brush; this brings the fine silver to the surface and gives them a subdued, satin finish. I tidy up the edges and reverse side with polishing papers, this is where the elbow grease comes in! Then give them a quick spin in the tumble polisher too if they need it. All that’s left is to buff and shine with a silver cloth and then the finished pendants are ready to be boxed up awaiting their new homes.
I love wearing these pendants as they go with everything and suit every occasion, but are really special too. They are available to order from my Folksy Shop and Etsy Shop
Why not take a look and let me know what you think!
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.
Last week I updated my Etsy shop to use Etsy’s new look. I love the new flexibility to feature and highlight items and the great new shop banner! The opportunity to add photos of your workspace and making process is a really good addition too.
Oxidised silver & moonstone dangle earrings
Silver wire twist pendant
Eco silver heart pendant with leaf pattern
Silver beaded hoop earrings
Rainbow Fluorite bead necklace with silver bark pendant
Silver personalised pendant
Personalised copper butterfly pendants
I’m continuing to add products and it’s been really encouraging to get positive feedback from my followers.
Silver and labradorite drop earrings
The ever – popular silver wire twist pendant
To celebrate my new look Etsy shop, I’m running a flash sale:20% off everything in my Etsy shop until midnight, Wednesday 20/04.
Just use code ETSY20 at the checkout!
I hope you enjoy having a browse, please let me know what you think?
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.