This week I've created a YouTube channel (thanks to encouragement form my previously mentioned wonderwoman friend!), so just a very short blog to tell you about it. So far I've uploaded videos of how I make a name necklace, which is the one piece that I get most questions about! This link should take you to Part I should you want to have a little look.
I've set myself a task. Apart form blogging every week (so far so good) I'm also coming up with a new idea every week. I'm not completely crazy - the new idea doesn't have to become a finished piece, but I thought it might be good for me. So last week I made a fresh set of wire cards, from idea on Monday, to sent off to printers on Thursday! Not too shabby. Available in my etsy shop.
So this week I had an idea to do a new 'Love' necklace in a slightly different style of handlettering to my usual. This is how I started, with some sketching in front of the telly (couldn't find a black pen for love nor money!)
The next morning I redrew my favourite a few times, and then inked it in on tracing paper.
This morning I unwrapped my new toy (a phone tripod - ridiculously excited with my £6.39 spend) and started filming the process.
Before I start, I have made the silver matt by using a scratcher on the surface. Then the tracing paper is stuck in place, and I drill holes into the little internal areas that need cutting away, like the inside of the 'o' and 'v'. This means that I can thread the saw blade into the hole and cut away these little bits. Once that's done I go around the whole edge, and then, ta-dah!
Now I will file the edges, solder on the chain and polish it. Then there's the dull part...Photographing, writing blurb and uploading the whole thing! Can you tell I prefer the first part of the whole new idea thing?!
Alongside my jewellery business, I started making wire 'drawings' last summer. These have developed into a full blown passion, and I've made far more than I've sold (oops!). Here are some recent ones...
This last one is a commission which was really nice to do.
I've also turned them into 'bouquets' in vintage glass bottles.
All this is great fun, and if it could be a hobby then that would be fine, but I want to make too many of them. To actually cost them with any kind of accuracy means that I'm essentially paying myself the minimum wage! So recently I made a set of cards, and realised that they are selling well in my etsy shop and my real bricks and mortar shop in Bristol.
So over the last few days I've made another set. I start with rough pencil sketches of ideas, which I then make in wire.
Once I've decided on the objects, I make the colour, which is freehand machine embroidery on to soluble fabric. This is how they look when I've washed away the fabric.
Then I stick the 'colour' to the wire, and cut away the excess. Having tried all manner of glues, I've come down to good old fashioned Uhu! It sticks fairly quickly, but not too fast, doesn't stick your fingers to everything in sight, and dries completely clear.
Once they are ready I position them and photograph them. This takes ages - so tricky to get the light right! Now that they are photographed I'm going to mount them and I'm hoping they will become two or even three framed pictures, so at least I'm making a few more pence out of them, once they've sold!
So there you go - all sent off, and now waiting for Monday when they arrive and I'll photograph them again and get them in the shop. Watch this space!
After almost 20 years as a designer in children's publishing a short silversmithing course in 2006 prompted a change of direction. The following year I enrolled on a part-time jewellery course, and found a local studio where I could make and sell my work.
Together with five other crafts people in 2009 I found a space to rent on our busy local high street. Open 6 days a week, 9.30am - 5pm (except August).