Wednesday, 29 February 2012

How many workshops!?!?!?

This weekend was very busy with most weekends. We had Beads & Wire, a Children's Party making Charm Bracelets, Decorative Wire Cuff, Private Tuition - Making a Silver Ring and then a 40th Birthday Workshop with Beads & Wire. I can't believe myself that I managed to fit it all into two days!! I've received some really nice emails since saying how much the people taking part enjoyed themselves...always lovely to receive. To see all the images from the weekend follow the link to our Facebook Page.

Introduction to Beads & Wire

Children's Birthday Workshop - Charm Bracelets, 2 Hours

Private Tuition - Making a Silver Ring, 2 Hours

I have however since the weekend caught a bug that has made me have to take 2 days off of work...apparently there's a lot going around! I'm sure I'll be back to full health soon. Hope your all well. x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

How do you store yours?

I think storing jewellery is really difficult. You don't want to have it tucked away because then you forget what you've got. You don't want it all out getting in the way and maybe damaged. This is how I store my necklaces...on a mannequin. I love how it's become a focal point in my bedroom because of all the colour and obviously the sparkle!!
How do you store yours?

Monday, 20 February 2012

What did I learn?

The answer to that is a lot! I didn't set many stones in the end but I learnt so much from Penny our great tutor for the weekend. I also made all the tools I need to continue practicing at home...and that is exactly what I need...practice. It definitely is a well practiced skill. I feel that I have the knowledge now to develop the skill of flush settings and tension settings. On Sunday we were also introduced to bar settings...I'm looking forward to having a go at making one. I need to download my photos then I will post some and put the rest up on our Facebook page.
So today Mum and I went to The Craft Hobby and Stitch show. We found some new suppliers, some exciting products and also participated in two workshops. The workshops we did were on how to use polymer clay. The first one showed us how to make Mokume Gane using layers of coloured clay and then how to use a bead roller to make beads that we then covered with the patterned layers. It was a great technique that I could see I would use again. The second was how to use the clay to make a rose...I really enjoyed this workshop and could see the potential for using the technique in a new workshop. I'm thinking maybe using the clay to make focal flower beads then baking and using them in a to give it some more thought but it sounds exciting! Looking forward to getting into my own bed tonight and after all the fabulous food I consumed while at West Dean looking forward to getting back to the gym!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Back Home...well nearly!!

Flush Settings

So...the square flush setting didn't go so well yesterday!! I spent most of the day doing it then had to cut it out because I broke the stone then the new stone stone wouldn't set...nevermind...I felt I learnt an awful lot from doing it and that's what this weekend is all about. I have though got to grips with round flush settings. Today I'm going to begin by doing a tension setting then we're looking at channel settings...not sure if I'm going to make one or not depends on if I feel I would use it...whatever I decide it will be good to see how it's done. The food here has been amazing...I have tried to limit what I eat though because you could really over do it!! Well... I'd better get myself started. Full report and pictures after I finish today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:West Dean College

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Stones are being set!!!!

I've set a few round stones so I'm trying a square one...wish me luck!!

West Dean College

I am about to start my day of stone setting....very excited!! More pictures of my success or failure later!!

Friday, 17 February 2012

West Dean College

I am currently sat in a very grand room at West Dean College called the Oak Room. I have a huge fire blazing in front of me and I'm sat in a very old but comfy chair. As I have mentioned before I am here to do a course in stone setting...Non Traditional Stone Setting for Jewellers to be precise. The drive here from Oxford was pretty easy although, following google maps, I think I was taken around the houses a little...never mind I got here safe and sound that's the main thing. The grounds and buildings are amazing and I am lead to believe that is has been designated an area of outstanding beauty...I can quite believe it....I'll take some piccies for you tomorrow. My room is basic but clean and comfortable and there are the most intriguing objects everywhere you walk around the house. Tonight we get in introduction to our course, meet our tutor and have dinner. We are due to meet in the bar at 6.45 so I'd better head off. I'm sure I'll have lots more to tell you tomorrow...
...Bye for now.x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:West Dean

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sparkly Rings!!

On Saturday night Kay, Lucy and I tested out some new ring kits by Swarovski. They include some epoxy clay that you mould around or into a base then push chatons in to create a fabulous sparkly piece of jewellery. They were very easy to make and as you can see very effective...we loved them!! We will be getting them into stock very soon.

Lucy...working hard!

What are you making????

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!!

This year is flying by at an incredible rate already!! So much has been going on with all areas of the shop, workshops, new products, new members of staff and my own development. This week we are interviewing for a new member of staff - the position is for 20 hours and to help with keeping the shop running smoothly, setting up workshops, display and I'm sure much more. I'm very excited about somebody new joining the team and giving me more time to grow the business and set up new areas.

Copper Clay Workshop

At the end of January we had our first Creative Metal Clays workshop. I was very pleased with how the session went and everybody made some fantastic pieces. As the product is still very new, there is still a lot to be discovered and explored with it. I am continually making new samples and trying out new ideas. So far I have found that the fire scale (black oxidising on the surface) is proving difficult to remove and means that the finishing off after firing is taking much longer than the time it takes working with precious metal clay. There are ways of minimising the fire scale - I will be writing a post on Copper Clay, my experiments and what I've discovered.

Steam Punk

We have some Steam Punk parts in the shop which seem to be creating quite a stir with our customers. This is a pendant made during some private tuition. We used one of the more ornate watch parts and created a sterling silver setting which set but didn't detract from the watch. I think it worked really well and made a very interesting pendant.

Valerie's West Dean Explorations

These pieces were made by Valerie who visited West Dean College to participate in their Anti Clastic Raising course. Specific tools and hammers were used to create these wonderful pieces. AntiClastic means that you have a curve running in two directions. It seems to be a very popular technique at the moment. Last week I visited The Spring Fair trade show in Birmingham and some of the tool stands had a new product they were demonstrating that enabled you to make these fabulous curves...obviously I can't refuse a new gadget so watch this space. I'm going off to West Dean this week to learn Non-Traditonal Stone Setting for Jewellers...can't wait to get started with a new technique. I do a little stone setting but have never had any training so am very much looking forward to see how others do it. I have realised that I haven't actually been in any type silversmithing/metal work training since I graduated in 2001!!

Too catch up with all that's been happening visit our Facebook page for new stock and workshop images.