Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Messing with metal


Been practising some metalwork, sawing, bashing and soldering. Great fun!
A comet for November. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A new Treasure Bottle bead


I have been making more of my treasure bottle focal beads. They take so long to make that I stagger away from the flame...but I love making them! This one is an inch and a half tall
 (c 4cm) - the pictures show both sides of one bead. They are really hard to photograph and come to life in the hand as is often the case with glass. See my post in May last year for the story behind these.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Returning to the studio

After a pause to heal a broken arm, I'm back and beading again - and it feels good!



I like to see the sea at least once a year: we've just come home from this year's summer break in Sidmouth, Devon:


Now I have to pace myself, but there's so much I want to make!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Staithes harbour

A picture from our summer holiday - magical Staithes with dramatic sky. We stayed in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast, sigh, seems a long time ago now (was only a month ago...)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Beachcomber bracelet

Forum challenge beads


Final bracelet


Quite some time ago I took part in a forum challenge, exchanging images to kick-start a new beadset idea. I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful photo of a harbour at night and made these. I hoarded them for ages before recently deciding to make a knotted bracelet out of some of them adding a stoneware and copper clasp, stoneware cogs and lampwork discs.

 I like to age my copper, but inadvertently used coated wire which refused to darken, lesson learned. As well as this pitfall, I decided I wasn't too fond of the grey cord, so decided to darken it with coffee. This would have done the trick if the cord didn't turn out to be man-made, grr. So I bit the...chocolate, and re-threaded it on darker cotton cording. After all that, I decided to keep it and have worn it frequently this summer. I'm planning to  make a few more along these lines for my shop (minus errors!).
Before alterations

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Treasure bottles



 I made a series of four decorative ocean-themed bottle shaped focals at this time last year and thought I'd make another batch now that summer is on the way (supposedly!). These four are the latest ones and this is the story behind them: 


"Could these bottles have been thrown overboard by a drunken pirate centuries ago, sinking to the ocean bed where they gathered barnacles, seaweed, netting, sand, anemones, and were then washed up onto a sandy shore? Well if they were, mermaids must have magically miniaturised them, which is lucky for jewellery fans..."









I've loved making these - each one is different, and the possibilities are probably endless. I'm keeping the last one for now - I just adore this tealy green glass and I'm not sure if I can get any more. I'd love to see what other jewellery makers do with these. 






 



Oh, I kept another one of the
prototypes and quickly 
wire-wrapped it with one of my 
soldered rings. I can dream of the sea!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Too much fun with metal

I'm having lots of fun playing with copper, forming rings and clasps and headpins.
It's so nice to be able to make most of the components in my jewellery.
Here are some 15mm jumprings with blobs of easy solder waiting for a bit of a heat with my butane torch. The first one I tried didn't work, but a bit of internet checking told me the problem - they needed extra cleaning with a green scrubbie, then it worked a treat.


Then they got into a pickle with a warm salt and vinegar solution to clean them up a bit.


Pretty shiny, just needed a bit more elbow grease, but as I intended to antique them in liver of sulphur, I didn't go mad.


I was quietly pleased to use them in the next bracelet I made.