31 January 2012

A bit of pretty

I have been working on sourcing some stones for a possible commission. I just had to post this picture as I thought these blue chalcedony stones were just the most gorgeous shade.

All finished.

I love this. Didn't I say I have got just the coat for it? Quite looking forward to the school run now!

30 January 2012

What a whopper!

Just finished this amazing huge blue cocktail ring. It looks really stunning.

Unfortunately it is not for me, (although there is a possibility I could end up with it as the client has not seen it yet!) This was a commissioned piece, that was originally talked about a long time ago. Because it was not urgent, it was put on the back burner, and when the topic and deadline came up again, there was a real sense of urgency in sourcing a big blue stone. Little did I know how very tricky this would be. I have an amazing huge aquamarine that I picked up in Thailand about 15 years ago, and it was astounding to see how many £100's a stone like it would cost now. In the end the ring has been made with a 12 x 24mm quartz stone, in a Blue London Topaz shade.

Working with a rectangular stone is quite different to rounds and ovals. Firstly the bezel needs some right angles. I was keen for the bezel to look 'weighty' as the stone was so big, so this was made in 1mm silver which needed scoring and folding. The bezel was then sat on 1mm sheet which formed a base for the stone. This helped add visual width to the ring, as we were originally hoping to use a wider stone, but were unable to source one. The stone itself sits on an internal ledge of silver Bezel wire. The inside of the bezel has been foiled so that it will remain shiny under the stone as the silver tarnishes. I am proud of what a perfect snug fit I got for the stone, I suppose this is something that gets easier the more rings you make. It was nerve wracking cutting down into the corners of the bezel of a finished, polished ring, to set the stone, but everything went smoothly and working with a burnisher I did a rub over setting, which met perfectly at the corners and slopes of the faceted stone.

This gives an idea of scale compared to a 5p. As you can tell, I have been struggling with camera focus. This was taken on one of the boys cameras as my Ixus died before Xmas, and Santa didn't get my note and bring me a new one. I might make it my job to get a new one today, as it really makes a difference in the digital world we live in.

And finally, apologies to everyone that the ring has been photographed on my hand. I have had several comments that I should use more hand cream. Unfortunately these are working hands - quite lucky they look as good as they do considering that I had just been using lots of rouge to polish!

20 January 2012


It was an emotional end to 2011, with a family bereavement, an apt funeral, a full on Christmas, and a New Year spent catching up with some old friends. I started 2012 somewhat drained, but a couple of weeks in feel I am on the mend.

After not touching my jewellery bench for a couple of weeks, it was lovely to be back in the studio with old friends, and to feel ready to get on with things again.

I worked on my Polar Bear piece which I hadn't been able to finish before Christmas, as I just was not satisfied with the look of it. Happily, the penny dropped and I decided it needed to be a brooch not a necklace. I have just the coat for it. I made a bezel for the moonstone 'moon', attached two little half jumps at the back, and attached two chains of different lengths and thicknesses. I had some minute faceted moonstone beads which I thought I would incorporate, but at the minute, I think these might be a bit much.

The bear was inspired by my love of the frozen North, ice and snow, and in my sketchbook was about stars and the constellation of Ursa Major - the great bear. It's amazing how ideas and designs change for me as I work on them. I am very happy with this but it has ended up quite different from my initial ideas.

The stone is not set yet, and the brooch and pin findings have just been ordered today, but I know it will be finished by this time next week, and I am so looking forward to wearing it.

...It's good to be back.