A little glimpse into what we have been making at the bench over the last few of weeks.
Sterling Silver Aquamarine Studs
Twenty One Diamonds to celebrate Twenty One Years
A playful pair of 9ct White Gold Hoop Earrings scattered with a total of twenty one flush set round diamonds ranging from 1mm -1.4mm
Sea Glass Jewellery and a Sterling Silver Pendant for a Harbour Trader
After such a lovely response to my first sea glass ring, I have made a couple more along with a rare purple/mauve sea glass pendant to go into the hut when we are able to open.
Now the weather seems to be brightening up earlier than expected, I will be heading down to the sea front more often to see what we can find for some more bench creations.
Secondly, I have been working on my metal carving which will come in useful when I am at the point of learning to make casting patterns, however when it is finished, this pendant will be for a talented chef from one of our huts at Harbour Market Whitstable.
I got to experiment with a few different burrs and files in a brass version I made first until I had found my favourite few and was confident enough to start it in silver. The biggest thing I'll take away from doing this job, is that it is far easier to leave the last bit of piercing out until I am ready to carve the outer section. This way I'll have a larger surface area to hold onto when creating the angle for the inner parts.
Tourmaline and Diamond Pendant for Sian's 21st Birthday
Our week started with my youngest sisters 21st birthday, and in trying to make it a lovely occasion for her, Dad decided to make her a necklace using a stone that she unknowingly had chosen a couple of years previously when dad made my 21st gift.
Her chosen Deep Green Tourmaline was claw-set in an 18ct Yellow Gold Gallery Setting and paired with a rub-over set 2.2mm Round Diamond.
Poppies and setting more Sea Glass
This was my first time making and setting something on my own ...
These have been some of my favourite sea glass pieces I've made so far. A huge amount of time, work and material is put into a rub over set piece of jewellery, but the end result really makes up for it.
I later cut and filed a fraction of silver from the top as Dad had warned that too much metal to push over can cause creasing in the silver and an untidy finish.
Lastly before beginning to set, a small angle was filed around the top edge of the setting where I would be later pushing the silver.
Next time I'd like to pay more attention and care to reduce the marks made on the outside whilst setting, which will also help alleviate the amount of polishing needed after. I’d also try to remember to focus on troubling areas from earlier on in the process, as I hope this will help enclose the shape more evenly.
I'll have to make lots for the fun of it and hopefully I'll gradually get more skillful at setting.
Handmade Sterling Silver Chain and Heart set with an Untreated Natural Yellow Round Diamond
I first replicated a small section of the chain in copper wire in order for me to visually understand the size, the amount of links required to make an 18" chain, and so that I could make adaptions to the design without wasting silver. It was at this stage that I decided the light wasn't reflecting as I had imagined it to, so dad and I decided to create a small flat on the oval links to bounce light in a different direction.
Following this I handmade each oval and round link in silver - 75 soldering's in total, and pierced out a heart in 2.2mm flat sheet. The customer wanted a yellow stone set into the heart, and against other stones our untreated yellow diamonds had an exceptional colour to them and therefore it was no contest.
Dad kindly demonstrated how to set the untreated yellow diamond whilst I eagerly watched him drill the hole, create a seating ledge and rub over the metal to enclose the diamond.
18ct Yellow Gold Cross Ring with a tube set Round Diamond
This ring was a surprise gift for a customer who had lost a well-loved similar one and wanted it replaced.
Sterling Silver Clover with a Gold Bead pistil of the flower and a tub set Peridot
A very close friend of ours was after a Christmas present for his other half, whom we know loves coloured stones.
After I'd pierced out the flower and gradually got a feeling for the shape, Dad lugged this huge steel bowl filled with pitch out from under a bench. Resting it on the pitch and using ball punches and a nicely weighted hammer he repeatedly worked from the outer part of the petals inwards, hitting delicately the closer to the middle he got, and then turning it over to hit the centre to invert the the curve. This job was a perfect excuse for me to see a new technique in the workshop, and now that I have some understanding of what it can be useful for, I cant wait to try it out for myself.
We also made a small gold bead and soldered it to the flowers centre, along with the jump ring and tube for the stone. It was a choice between a 2mm round amethyst or peridot until we soldered the gold bead and it was then decided that tonally a peridot worked better.
These were just a few examples of what we created in December, we spent lots of time on repairs and trying to make dolls house stock for Christmas orders.
Dad said 'I haven't lived until I'd done a Christmas rush' and he was spot on!
We are both looking forward to the new year!
A second big thank you goes to everyone who ordered items from our miniatures collection. We greatly appreciate your orders, enquiries and kind words and in return we hope to be able to get some brand new miniature pieces to your dolls houses in this next year, as we really love making them!
Mustard Bucket and Spade
Just what you need when you're down at the beach, however this one is for your dining table!
A miniature spun Sterling Silver and Gold Guilt Bucket with a moveable handle, accompanied by a Sterling Silver and Gold Guilt Spade, intended to be used as a quirky Mustard Bucket and Spoon, perfect for any seaside inspired home.
Opal and Diamond Pendant
We have both been busy in the workshop over the last few weeks with private commissions for customers.
This is a recently made Sterling Silver Pendant set with two round Diamonds, and an oval triplet Opal that the customer possessed previously and wanted to incorporate into a new piece of jewellery.
Spent a lovely afternoon collecting sea glass along our Whitstable shores. I have been trying to keep an eye out for particular shapes and colouring for a commissioned piece but was unlucky today... hopefully I'll have more success within the week. For now, we shall see what I can to do with the pieces I found today.
Spaniels are meant to be good at sniffing out and searching but I am yet to find out why Digby is no good as searching for sea glass with me! Fish, crabs and shell crunching is more his forte. However, he clearly enjoys a beach walk!