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!
Megan, the middle daughter of Stephen Randall, who has joined him in the workshop to follow a career in Jewellery Making and Silversmithing