New ellipses …

Silver Castings - necklace and jump rings

I collected some new castings in the week and finally got them onto my bench today. I made the original copper models of these, looking at pictures I took of the shapes of little fishing boats moored out in a harbour.

There’s a very definite stripe that runs through the centre, on a curve, which I think I’ll put a bright, burnished edge onto once it’s all cleaned up and joined together.

Until then, here’s an idea of what it will be like when it all comes together:

18ct Yellow gold & silver stacking rings

I made these rather lovely 18ct yellow gold and silver stacking rings this autumn and have just realised that the images never made it onto my blog … Working in yellow gold made a nice change from my more usual red gold and the soft sandy texture looked great in yellow metal:

Caddy Spoon

I make some long handled tea spoons that have been part of my stand for a while now and, at a recent show, I took a commission for a caddy spoon version.

A Caddy Spoon is not an item that I’ve made before but is somehing that I’ve wanted to try for a while. I had a little drawing of the customer’s tea caddy and a fair idea of what would suit – knowing that they already liked my tea spoons. So I set about cutting the bowl of the spoon and raising it up then trimming it to back to a shape that I liked.

I had a few issues with the size of the handle – my long handled tea spoons have 4mm round handles but that just looked way too light weight once it was cut to the right length for this short handled caddy spoon. So I took the dimensions up to around 5mm round and think that it balances much better now. It certainly feels nicer in your hand and I’m a lot happier with the design knowing that I changed the weight of the handle.

Here’s a few images of the work in progress …

and the finished spoon, ready to go for hallmarking:

Commissions: Stacking Rings

A little commission for a set of stacking rings went through the workshop last week  (they’re a larger sizer of a design that the customer liked on my stand at a show)

On the peg, before polishing:

Ready to go – the set consists of 2x plain and 2x decorated stacking, reticulated silver rings:

Stacking rings …

I had a little time this week to make some new seaside rings, ready for my trip to Malvern next week:

I made some little 3 or 4 ring stacks in a mix of sizes …

Fixed on some decoration …

Pickled them clean …

and got them ready for a good polishing next week …

British Craft Trade Fair 2012

I spent the weekend at the British Craft Trade Fair introducing some of my work to trade buyers and getting the first real public reaction to the new beachcomber pieces. I’ve never independantly taken my work to a trade show before but the whole expereince was overwhelmingly positive.

The show had over 400 stands filled with handmade, british contemporary craft and the high standard of the work on show was inspiring. It was wonderful to be in such creative company and everyone was so nice. Working on your own it’s easy to forget how many other people are working and learning about handmaking all the time too – and I swapped a few good stories and bits of advice with the other exhibitors.

Anyway, it wasn’t all about us jewellers talking shop – here’s how my stand looked for the show:

I’m really quite pleased with how much I got into a 1m x 2m space and the clean minimal look that the white walls gave it all. I generally have more space at retail shows but I think I’ll keep using this set up, only with a bigger table top …

Serendipity #1

I’ve been struggling for a week or so to come up with a larger, eye catching piece for the middle of my stand at the BCTF in a couple of weeks. I’ve thrown a lot of ideas around the workshop but the right one has been eluding me … I knew that I wanted to work at a slightly larger scale (and maybe use some stones) but nothing I tried was working.

Then Marcia Lanyon came to town:

A London based stone dealer Marcia and her team make a trip up to the Quarter a few times a year to sell to students in the university (where I first encountered her) and, more recently, to the general public in Cookson‘s foyer. The nicest thing about her visits is that you get time and space to fully inspect the stock, sorting through the jumble of lovely things that she and her team bring with her.

I was idling through the selection when I came by this:

A kind of fossilised coral. Isn’t it beautiful?

Each piece is different, with faint coral textures and an abstract shape all it’s own. It’s going to be just perfect for a big, new press formed piece!

I planned it all out and made the dies today so tomorrow I’ll set to work on it …

Lockets and hinges [oh, my]

 

Master of Hinges - work by Bronwen Tyler Jones

When I was at art college, doing my foundation degree, I had a thing for hinges.

This odd little crush is reasserting itself somewhat now that there’s no one else around in the studio to tell me to get over it and make some proper jewellery. And so, after recieving a book on the subject for Christmas (an out of print book I might add – somehow scavenged from the ‘net in mysterious circumstances by Mr W) I  have set out to learn to make them properly.

It’s complex, but I’m enjoying the challenge of actually crafting a lot of small elements and fitting them into a whole …

 

Et Voila - hinge!

… there’s an extra set of knuckles in here that I didn’t remember to photograph. Bacially, the outer tube holds the rotating hinge sections in and prevents them opening full. It’s fiddly, but very neat once it’s all done.

Making Bunting … Part Two

Bunting is addictive. I had been warned (by Jenny at Junky Chicken) but clearly I didn’t listen and now I have five meters worth of the stuff! It’s going to make my stand look lovely next weekend, plus, it was lots of fun to make:

and I even had enough fabric, time and creativity left to do a little machine embroidery and make some envelopes for my letters too: