Friday, January 24, 2014

Red Wire Wrapped Heart

Today I made another wire wrapped heart but this time I used red wire over copper and added a few beads. I used large gold coloured seed beads. I'm liking wire wrapping and have a few more ideas now to make a few new pieces. I haven't decided yet weather to make a beaded chain for this pendant or just you a plain copper or silver chain to hang it on. I think the pendant is fussy enough without a beaded chain added to it so I will have to try it out and see what works best.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Some New Pieces From The Workshop

I cut out a butterfly and heart pendant on Monday and today I got back to the workshop to finish them both. They are both made from copper sheet and finished with a high polish and then a hammered finish. I had wanted to make a butterfly for a while but kept putting it off when I had other things I wanted to make. I'm really glad I got back to make it now because it turned out better than I thought it would. The heart is a plain and simple heart shaped piece but has a lovely pattern with the hammered finish. Again I love a hammered finish and I'm using it a lot at the moment, I'm sure I will move on from it at some point but right now I really think it is suiting the pieces I am making. They are plain pieces and the hammered finish just adds that little extra.

 I then decided to make another heart shaped piece. (It must be all the valentines related things I'm seeing online at the moment.) I made an aluminium heart and a copper heart outline of the exact same size. They are only connected with the jump ring so they move about independently of each other. I really love this piece and for once I'm also really happy with how the pictures turned out, I think they show it off really well.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Copper Wirework Heart

I recently picked up the February 2014 issue of Making Jewellery Magazine and fell in love with Sian Hamilton's Wired Heart tutorial.

Using the copper wire that I've been gathering out of old scrap electrical cables I made the heart.

To make it a little bit more Valentine-y I made a beaded chain using red seed beads and silver plated wire.

I love how its turned out.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today in the Workshop: Brass Heart

Today I went to the workshop with absolutely no plan on what I wanted to do. I just started sketching simple little shapes and decided on a heart. I haven't made any heart shaped pendants yet and I haven't used my brass sheet metal either. So a brass heart it was.

I drew a basic heart shape and pierced it out sanded, polished and hammered the surface to give it a nice finish. (I love hammered finishes if you haven't noticed yet.) I'm happy with the finished piece. I'm getting better with piercing straight lines and round without having to go back and fix it a bit with a file. I have again no plans for tomorrow in the workshop so I guess we will just have to wait and see what I come up with.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Copper Flower Pendant and Cross

So far this week I have made two pieces in the workshop. The first piece is a cross pendant made using Aluminium and Copper. I used a high shine polish and hammered finish. The Aluminium cross to the back is curved and the copper cross is flat. I liked the way they sat using this method.  I love mixing copper and silver coloured metals together so I love the look of this pendant.

The second piece Ive made this week is a copper flower pendant. It is a project featured in the February issue of Beads and Beyond magazine to be made from silver sheet. I made the flower pendant in copper instead and also used a hammered finish. I also added a drill hole to take a jump ring to suspend the chain. The project is called Daisy Daisy by Joanne Tinley. Thank you Joanne I loved trying this piece. Im going to have a go at the smaller flower tomorrow.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Today in The Workshop

I spent all evening wanting to get into the workshop yesterday to try out a few ideas I had so this morning I started and got two of the ideas running around in my head done. I am actually pretty happy with how they have turned out. As I'm still only getting used to my tools and being back at the bench Im expecting a few problems but until today I still hadn't broken a single saw blade (which is amazing for me I used to go through so many). I know I have to work a bit on my polishing still as I was used to using a huge polishing machine and doing it with a dremel is very different. But I'm getting there.

The first piece I made was a horseshoe. Its basic and simple but gave me a challenge with the saw to see how I would get on. The major problem I came across here is I drew the horseshoe freehand which looked ok until I had it cut out. I kept the lines pretty well but my drawing was a tad bit off but what horseshoe is perfectly symetrical? This piece is made of aluminium.

The second piece I made is actually made up of two different pendants both musical notes one in aluminium and one in copper. I love the look of aluminium (or silver) and copper together so this gave me  chance to make something using both. I love how it turned out. I love this piece now so I'm going to stick to the theme and try a few more pieces this week. As soon as it was finished I had so many ideas.

I am currently using aluminium instead of silver for the cost aspect. As these are just practice pieces and I'm just playing around in the workshop trying to find my style again it seems like the most cost effective thing to do. The last thing I need is to be worrying about having too much unusable scrap silver lying around. My next purchase will be some melting equipment so I will be able to reuse the scrap metal when I need it but right now I don't have this option.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Workshop Update

And Yes That's Batman on The Shelf

I spent today cleaning the workshop a bit more. I'm trying to find the best places to store everything so its easier to find things when I need them. Up until today I just had a load of big boxes on the shelves but today I got a lot sorted. I even found loads of things I didn't know I had. My workshop combines both metal work and beads so storage is a huge issue for all the tools and supplies. Thankfully my dad built me loads of shelves which have very quickly filled up.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

London Jewellery School

If you haven't heard of London Jewellery School you should check them out. They offer fantastic long and short term classes.

This week they launched their new venture Jewellery From Home. It is an online version of their school which will suit so many of us not able to travel to London to take part in their courses. You can also follow them on twitter (London Jewellery School and Jewellery From Home), I find great tips and advise in their tweets.

This gives us something new to do without having to go out on a cold night.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lord of The Rings Ring

When I was first training as a silversmith one of the things we were taught was to cast using the lost wax method. Our instructor had made a replica of the ring from "The Lord Of The Rings" as a present for someone so he used this to create the mold and show us how to cast.

I trained years ago and had always thought I had left it in the class in my desk when I left until yesterday when I was cleaning my workshop and found it in a little box with loads of old notes. It was still in the same state it had been in as soon as it was removed from the casting so this gave me a great excuse to use some of my new tools Ive been collecting up and see how I would get on cleaning it up. This is a job I did a lot when I was doing work experience in a jewellery workshop and Im happy to say Ive not done too badly. As the engraving was cast onto the ring I was a little afraid to sand and file too much away from the surface so there are still a few marks that I would rather have gone but all in all its not too bad.

Below are the before and after pictures.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I wanted to put together a post thats not really got anything to do with jewellery but more with the surroundings in which I get inspiration for some of pieces. These are photos thats Ive taken from over Christmas and into January during the storms we have been having. The tides are high at the moment and with the storms thats bringing the opportunity to see some bit waves and great views.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Loads of Copper

Starting out
So Much Copper Wire

I was given a length of wire by an electrician recently that was of no use anymore so that I could strip the copper out of it. Its about 1.5 metres long and has about 30-40 strands on copper inside measuring about 0.5mm. Its taken me all day already just to get some of the rubber coating off as its an outdoor cable so is heavily insulated. When Im done Im going to end up with more copper than I will know what to do with which means loads of experiments. (I honestly have no idea what Im going to do with it but you dont say no to free copper wire).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Its The Blogs 1st Birthday

I have now been blogging for a full year. ts gone by really fast but I have gotten to know some great people along the way and cant wait to get to know some more. My views are consistantly growing and so are my followers here and on twitter and pinterest. So thank you to everyone for sticking with me through this first year as I've learned how to keep a blog running. Come back in the next few days as I have a nice surprise coming to celebrate my First Birthday.