28 March 2012

Get on with some work!

There definitely doesn't appear to be enough work going on here on this blog, so I thought I better add a post today so the world knew that apart from marathon training / selecting my new garden studio (yippeee!) / attending the 2012 Open Studio meeting / helping to organise the Diamond Jubilee Street party etc., etc., I was doing some jewellery today.

I was working with these pretty aquamarine faceted beads, as I am planning some bangle sets with these involved (a 'plop' to string, give me a blow torch any day!)

I was also thinking about polishing up these other castings - which actually is a time consuming job as they are quite rough when they come back from the casters.

And I happily started working on a new idea that I have been mulling over for some time. The first of a locket / box / book type thing (I'm sure I will decide what it is called as it evolves) to wear on a necklace. I have been sketching them for some time, but today I just decided to take the plunge, and start making one, as I often work well in 3D, letting ideas evolve as I go along. I'll keep you posted on these.

And for good measure... the weather was amazing here 22 degrees in March. Summer blue skies, and I took this picture of the amazing blossom in my front garden. A tree that my brother and his wife bought me a few years ago when we had our front garden done.

26 March 2012

Monday morning from my front door

I am training for my third marathon. This is how my Monday morning looked. I am so lucky to be able to tip out my front door and run 19 miles with all this to look at.

Amazing sunshine and blue skies. Little weary now! x

22 March 2012

Nest etching

I arrived home today, to find the postman had delivered this lovely little 9 x 6 cm etching of a nest and eggs. You can find these etchings by Andrea Cook here at Atelier28 on Etsy.

It is next to the tiniest palm sized nest that my son found abandoned in the grounds of local Hampton Court Palace. Just lovely.

20 March 2012

Back to the aquamarines

The second one is finished and the third just needs it's stone setting. Phew- the burnisher turned up! It had fallen into an open drawer, and it was not the one where it lives.

A finished commission

An amethyst sparkler.

19 March 2012

Aquamarine rings

Today I have been working with the aquamarines that I bought a week ago. This ring is pretty finished (apart from the case of the missing burnisher! - I am sure I spend a disproportionate amount of time looking for things). Another one is well underway. I was hoping to get three done today, but at some point I have to squash in a run, as I am marathon training right now.

They offer unique difficulties for photography. Normally I diffuse direct sunlight, but here the stones then look dull, and it is the amazing colour of them that I want to show off.

16 March 2012

What's happened to me?

There was this very gorgeous cherry red leather satchel... but somehow I spent my money on these instead!?!


14 March 2012

Wild horses

This is what I have been making for my horse mad niece. I thought it might be rather twee and not make it on to the blog, but actually I love it. In all fairness, it is meant to have a second chain attached that has 'Erin' beautifully pierced out, but at this moment in time - I can't find the blummin thing! The name was a fiddle to cut, and I am sure it must turn up, but I have spent an awfully long time looking... I just know that if I start the process again, I'll find it just when I finish.

Might even stick one of these in the Etsy shop. x

12 March 2012

Today's work

Here's what I have been working on this morning. More Arctic hares.

I love the plain simplicity of the un-etched sitting one. The first one of these that I made, sold before I even had a decent photo of it, so apart from the fact I love it, it was a perfect reason to make another. The leaping one will probably have one of the new moonstones added. I have done a new one of these as someone close to me has their eye on one (- and it is Mother's day on Sunday!) The etched one has a snippet of the words I wrote in Finland last year - "the pale sunlight of the North rose across the Wilderness" and one of the new moonstones. All of them have a brushed finish. Originally I was going to oxidise the text, but now I think I might leave it as it is, a subtle trace. I am not done with the Hares just yet. I think there will be an opening box / locket type one. I really love tiny opening things, but I shy away from them as mini hinges are such hard work as they must be so precision perfect. I was re-reading a Tim McCreight book that I have all about boxes and lockets yesterday, and I will persevere - practice makes perfect!

It was the one year anniversary of the devastating tsunami in Japan yesterday, so it seems apt that I am sharing my work bench today with some cherry blossom. x

11 March 2012

All the colours of the sea

Yippeee, it's been gem shopping weekend. I was on the hunt for some aquamarines, and found lots of scrummy stuff. It's a bit of a departure from my usual faceted stones, so hope it goes down well. Here's a look at my shopping.

I couldn't resist a few faceted ones - a couple of Green Brazillian amethysts, a couple of topaz, an aquamarine, and some tiny white sapphires. There are also some rainbow moonstones here, for arctic creatures, and also some aquamarine faceted beads in a couple of shades, and some Apatite beads.

Someone asked me the other day where my inspiration comes from. It can be from all sorts of things, but I love being outdoors, in the wilds of nature. My palette is very subdued anyway, but I wonder if the day at the coast the other weekend had anything to do with this...

Just can't wait to get busy; just wish there were more hours in the day.

8 March 2012

Daffodil door

My front door is always decorated with something, and here's how it looks today.

Sunny and Spring like, but I need to change that ribbon to yellow!

I was in the shared studio with my fellow jewellers today, but it was not a particularly productive session. I had to enlarge a ring that is a commission that was just a little too snug. I got that done and sent it off to be hallmarked. I can't wait to get it back, set the stone and hand it over. I sent a handful of other bits off to the Assay office too. I was working on a necklace for my niece's 11th birthday which I'll post about soon. It"s girly and fun. I had to take all my stock back to the Parkshot Gallery, as I had used it when I did my talk the other day. I had an Etsy purchase to post, and another commission to drop off. So far; March has been eating away at my stock, which is a very good thing, but now I really need to get busy making. Before I know it, it will be the Easter holidays, the kids will be off school, and things on the jewellery front will grind to a halt! I am buzzing with inspiration and ideas, and keen to have a long spell at my work bench.

5 March 2012

From start to finish

Here is the process from start to finish of the bangle that I have just completed today. This one is winging it"s way off to LA.

4 March 2012

Off to the Himalayas

Not me! I love a nice story about why someone picks one of my bits of jewellery, and I was delighted with one this weekend. One of the Arctic Hares was bought as a gift for someone who is trekking up to Everest Base camp, as a lucky talisman. It made my day.

3 March 2012

Miriam Hanid

This beautiful bowl by Miriam Hanid was absolutely stunning. It is decorated with her hand engraving, and set with minute diamonds. I have been considering doing a hand engraving course for some time - mainly due to my love of text, and her work and talking to her, made me decide that I really must get on and do it. There's a course at West Dean, that I have had my eye on, now I just need to check the diary.


Whizzed along to 'Desire' yesterday. It certainly seemed busy, which had the added bonus of lots of traffic through the Parkshot Gallery which is at the same venue. (Hurrah = good sales for me!)

There were a lot of the familiar faces there, and also some new ones. I loved Anna Faine's work because it was fun, but it also had some wonderful intricate hand piercing (this girl is good with a saw.) I could easily have taken home her 'All you need' pendant because it was like a Victorian chatelaine, something which I have a thing about, (in fact my sketch book has loads of pictures of them in!) Here is a picture of it.

check out her website at www.annafaine.co.uk curiouser... and curiouser.

1 March 2012

Arctic Hares

Just finished these two brushed silver Arctic Hares and have handed them over to the Parkshot Gallery along with my very favourite polar bear piece. To be honest I don't really want to part with the polar bear, but I have handed him over as there is an opportunity that is too good to miss...

Brushed Arctic Hare pin brooch with moonstone. 40mm wide.

Brushed Arctic Hare pin brooch. Height 27mm.

This weekend, Desire the Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair is taking place in Queen Charlotte Hall at Parkshot. This means that the place will be full of people who love silver jewellery - you can understand why I was keen to get them finished.

Bravely I have left my coat at the Gallery. The charcoal wool shows the pieces off a treat, and would be great for displaying them. I just hope it does not end up in lost property!