Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wonderful Ring Making Workshop!

 I held a wonderful ring making workshop on Saturday here in my studio in The Biscuit Factory. Lynn, Corinne and Sue made really lovely silver rings in the day long workshop. Lynn and Corinne had not had any jewellery making experience and managed to make two rings! Corinne had the lovely idea of making one each for her daughters, a very personal gift.

Techniques covered included cutting metal ( piercing in jewellery making terms!) filing, soldering, forming around a mandrel and polishing. These were helped along with copious helpings of tea and biscuits and a delicious lunch in the cafe!

I think the gals were deservedly proud of their creations! I find it amazing the different creations people produce from the one basic design.

Next ring making workshop is Saturday Februrary 4th. Just email me to book one for yourself or to purchase one as a gift. If two or more want to do the workshop on a different date let me know and we can arrange a day to suit you. Maximum number is four.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


Again - I apologise big time for my HUGE gap in posting, lots of stuff going on, one major bit of 'stuff' is my studio move. I recently moved to the The Biscuit Factory  http://www.thebiscuitfactory.com/  in Newcastle. It has been a wonderful move, I just love my new studio and its location.

This weekend I took part in the annual Ouseburn open studios  http://www.ouseburnopenstudios.org/  The Biscuit Factory, The Biscuit Tin Studio's, Cobalt, Foundry Lane Studio's, Lime St, Mushroom Works and Northern Print were all open for the public to wander around, chat to artists, check out their studio's and buy unique work! It was a good turnout, I totally enjoyed meeting people and having them in my workspace. Thankyou to everybody who made the effort to come along and meet us!! My only regret was my inability to visit other artists open studio's!!

I will be holding jewellery making workshops in my lovely new studio in the New Year, the first Saturday of the month.
Only 4 students per class, so lots of attention per student, tea and biscuits included! Choice of bringing your own lunch or a wonderful lunch in the Biscuit Factory cafe (not included - sorry!)

Saturday Februrary 4th Ring making workshop.

Saturday March 3rd Bangle making workshop.

Saturday April 14th Pendant making workshop.

Saturday May 5th Earring making workshop.

These day long workshops are £50.00 with materials extra, to give you an idea of material cost a typical ring will cost around £9.00.

These workshops make wonderful gifts, vouchers are available from me - just email!!

Check my blog for workshop updates, I will add new dates and details.

Ring making workwshop will happen next weekend - December 3rd - I will post pics!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Molten Metal an Adventurous Day!

For a while I have bemoaned buying silver when I have lots of scrap, so after much procrastination ( scaredy cat) and with the help of numerous books and Andrew Berry, I finally did the molten dirty ...

First I had to purchase heat resistant solder boards to build a soldering station, I really did not want to burn down my workshop! I also needed an ingot mold to pour molten silver into, crucible and crucible holder, plus a biiig burner for my torch, big heat requires big burner! Here you can see scrap silver placed into the crucible awaiting its transformation.

Biiig torch doing its job - it is really beautiful at this point, it is necessary to bang the crucible on the surface and swirl that mercury looking glowing wonder around to remove anything that is not silver. The crucible must be placed next to the ingot so to warm the ingot, pouring molten silver into a cold ingot is a big no no, can result in exploding silver due to contraction of ingot mold! I guess you only do it once....

The ingot is poured and looks a little disappointing sitting cold and grey in the ingot, glowing molten glory no more! Its ashen appearence is due to exposure to air, but that is nothing that a dip in acid cannot cure!

Here we have lovely organic looking silver plucked out of the ingot post acid bath and the sheet silver I worked so hard for, this requires heavy duty hammering and numerous passings through the rolling mill. But it is worth it, recycled silver ready to be formed!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Slapped Fingers

Well it is slapped fingers for me - but not too hard as it may impede my work! I fully intended to blog weekly and months have passed since my last post. I am not proud of this! I definitely need to get my blogging act together! One thing that has happened in this time that I would like to mention is that myself and and two  artist friends of mine Jill Gibson and Sue Jackson have started an art group called Shincliffe Arts. We meet once a month with other artists to try different artistic disciplines, discuss techniques and ideas, current and future events and exhibitions. Our first meeting's task was to sketch with sticks and ink - it was an excellent project to free us all up and produced wonderful work! Jill is a web designer and has built us a wonderful website, so please take a peek when you have time!  shincliffearts.com

I have a thing for hares!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Its a Ring Thing.

So I have been very much into making rings lately, I have had a ring made for myself and felt it to be such a personal piece of jewellery. Silversmithing presents many challenges but rings have the added challenge of sizing, fingers swell and shrink depending on temperature and time of day - am/pm, and many other situations. I like a challenge, I think I enjoy the planning of a piece as much as the creation! Anyway I found these beautiful stones, a deep violet blue iolite and sparkling iridescent mystic topaz. I wanted to set them in a simple contemporary setting that could be stacked/paired with other rings for a different look. I am posting a few work in progress pictures here to show the process:

After making the silver bands I measure the stones and get to work on the collets, to hold the stones,  yep these are the collets - not so pretty - yet!

Collets prettied up with their prospective partners all ready to get it together. The stones must fit perfectly onto the inner rims inside these collets. Setting stones is the very last stage, so first the collet must be soldered onto the band.

Before the big polish.......

After the big polish, honestly polishing seems to take as long as the construction! They look gold here, but thats the light, they are still very much silver!

Could not resist popping the the stones in upside down - actually I prefer them this way!.

The finished beauties! They can be found in my Etsy shop inthesilverroom.etsy.com  

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Well hello

So this is my first post, woo hoo, and for this momentous occasion I am posting a pic of a special birthday present I made for my brother on his fortieth birthday (sorry to mention that bro). It is a silver ring with four gold rings running freely around, these represent each decade of  his life. As he does not tend to wear rings this one hangs from a leather thong - around his neck.

I think he is pleased, and he does wear it, though it is always hard to read brothers!!