29 September 2011

Not all those that wander are lost

I love this little phrase. It was something I found when there was a possibility of a commission coming up, for someone who was going to leave their job to go traveling. They were going to be missed; but they would eventually return.

Along with the etched text, (which I decided not to oxidise); there is a little prehnite stone that I have set in a sterling silver bezel. I finished this today and I will pop it in my Etsy shop this evening.

As you can see, I have been out photographing it today in this crazy hot Summer sun we are having, even though it is now Autumn! I have tried putting it on some colours for a change, as it probably stands more chance of being included in a themed Etsy treasury. Not sure how the brighter colours will sit in my shop though?

28 September 2011

Another commission completed

It was great to get another commission finished today, but I can't risk posting a photo just yet in case the recipient sees it on this blog, and her husband's 'Oh so romantic surprise gift' to her is spotted!

Instead, here is a photo of a little commission I did a couple of weeks ago, of an Ironman Logo pendant. For those that don't know what an Ironman is, you have to complete a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and then run a marathon. There is often a cut off time of around 17 hours for the event. I don't know the person who this was commissioned for, but I bet she will be delighted that someone had gone to the effort to organise such a unique and well earned gift for her.

24 September 2011

Pop-up shop (ha ha)

So we all know pop-up shops are all the rage...now I have got my very own - not quite! I love dipping into other peoples blogs, and I read on one that a particular jeweller's site that she was off to an event, and she would take her treasure box with her. I just thought this sounded such a lovely idea, that yesterday I packed up this little glass topped wooden box, that has lots of different compartments, and now I can also take my shop with me! Then when people say 'Oohh I would love to see your stuff' I can now show them.

I have decided that I will keep my eyes peeled for a Victorian wooden jewellery or sewing box to stash it all in, then it will truly be like a little treasure box.

23 September 2011

My interview in UK Handmade

This is how UK Handmade describe themselves - "UK Handmade is a design led online magazine committed to showcasing and promoting the best creative talent the UK has to offer. The term 'handmade' is now an indicator of quality, care and professionalism that is second to none and something we at UK Handmade wish to encourage and celebrate."

Last month they ran an interview with me and you can read it here

UK Handmade is currently published online every 3 months. The team behind it publish it as a labour of love, because they believe the handmade community in the UK deserves to be showcased loudly and proudly, and they want to continue to do this and grow it into something bigger than it already is. Part of their plans are to get the magazine into print eventually, and they need your support to help them reach that goal. You can support them by purchasing a download of the magazine from their shop. If you click on my interview above, make sure you have a good look around UK Handmade. 

A big thanks to the team there for featuring my work.

It's finished

As promised; pictures of 'Family' that was finished just this morning. It took a whole hour just to get the picture glass to the right size. It really is such a time consuming piece to produce. Now I must go get all the needle-like glass fragments off my floor!

22 September 2011

In the studio with my mentor

It was great to be back in the studio today with a group of friends and our favorite mentor Linda Robertson. www.flushleft.co.uk/LInda.html

She is an extremely talented silversmith who can do magic with metal. Here is a teapot she made for Lulu of all people.

I love the fact that not only does she have amazing technical skills which she is willing to share, but she also can come up with great design solutions when you find something is just not quite right. Above all, she is the person who gave me the confidence to get my work out to a wider audience, and I can't thank her enough for giving me the nudge in that direction. Linda we love you!

21 September 2011

Pooh, you smell funny!

Quite an apt. post since I am reading David Walliam's 'Mister Stink' to the kids for bedtime story this week. Actually the pong in this case is Liver of Sulphur. Yes, my house wiffs of rotten eggs! (I can probably get away with it as long as the Queen doesn't drop in for a cup of tea.) See what I have to put myself through in the name of art?

For those that don't know this odorous concoction is used to add a dark patina to silver. In my case, I use it to darken etched text, so it contrasts well against polished silver. The little bottle in this pic, is like a foul stink bomb. I use a little paint brush to paint it on, and when it's dried I polish back the piece so it remains only in the words. You can see I have started polishing back one tag. The little soldier is an egg cup that I squirted it into, he is standing guard over my workbench.

20 September 2011

Tuesday's wish list

I have a great work space at home where I can do almost every process I need, (except etching which involves lots of nasty corrosive chemicals) but if I had a lucky windfall I would blow it on the following things:

A good pendant drill - although expensive, a good one would be a very useful addition. Cheap electric drills just haven't got the strength.
An ultrasonic cleaner - I just received a catalogue with a pink one in it!
A chenir cutter - a handy bit of kit that holds tube or wire in place so you can then cut it straight. Over £50 so definitely a luxury.
Some shot and barrelling compound for my tumble polisher, you wouldn't believe the price.

Although the etching involves nasty chemicals, it does play an important part in my work, so it would be great to have a bubble tank, a UV lightbox, some nasty chemicals of my own.

I think I better start doing the lottery!

19 September 2011

A special gift

Last week and over the weekend, I have enjoyed working on a version of 'Family' that is for a very special friend's 40th Birthday. I dare post it here as I know how little she looks her computer (but she does have her mobile phone permanently attached to her!) For the first time I have done this piece on a torque rather than a chain, so it can sit high above her chest. This piece needs oxidising- to pick out the detail of the words, polishing, and then the photos need to be mounted in it. It is a time consuming piece to make, but I already know how she will feel when she opens the box and finds this inside. Well worth the effort. I will post a pic of the finished piece later this week.

15 September 2011

The Lesser Bear

I think it's something to do with my fascination with the frozen North, but I had in my mind to work on a Polar Bear piece. Unfortunately, one of these amazing creatures hit the headlines for the wrong reasons this Summer. Here is the shape I have cut out as a centre piece of a necklace.

I was thinking about the Great Bear constellation, and the North Star which is part of it, and originally thought I might have this marked out on the piece and use minute real diamonds for the stars. I have moved the ideas on a bit since then, but that version might resurface?

The Great Bear is also known as Ursa Major, and it is echoed in the sky by Ursa Minor - which is also known as the Lesser Bear (how cute). This has Polaris, or the North Star at its tip. Mmmnnn, I can imagine something sparkly or a crystal appearing on this necklace to indicate this.

For a long time, I have wanted to combine semi precious beads with silver, after seeing an amazing necklace at West Dean one year. I have got some gorgeous little faceted moonstone beads, and some purply blue iolites that remind me of the sky. Not quite sure exactly how it will look yet, but I will post as it progresses.

She's a maniac

Found out I was featured on yet another Aussie blog. See here: http://thelittlemaniac.blogspot.com/2011/08/it-must-have-been-something-you-said.html
Some fab comments about my jewellery! Wow.

I'm back!

Yes the two month Summer hols are over and the kids are firmly back at school. The creative juices are flowing again, and I'll be back posting on my blog. The Summer hols were a great opportunity to take a step back and take stock. It clarified my mind about a couple of things that I was going to do with Charlotte Bezzant Jewellery. Firstly I had been asked to supply my work through notonthehighstreet.com, which was very exciting. They had found me and got in touch as they loved the product and thought it was perfect for their customer. It was a difficult decision to say no, as it would have got my name out to a wider audience, but with the kids being so young, I felt I could easily end up unable to give 100% to either the kids or the business, if it took off too quickly. Secondly, I had been accepted to have a stand at Sparkle at the Landmark Arts Centre, in the run up to Christmas, but I decided to pull out of this, as I knew how much work was required, and knew I would be flat out from now until the event. After a deep breath and finally making those decisions, I felt a weight was lifted and felt free to spend some time designing as opposed to just making. I'll post some photos, and let you see what I am working now on....