Sunday, 25 October 2015

Kate and Kia's Silver Pendant Day

Long time no post....eeeek! Just been way too busy in lovely new studio - I do love it! Lots and lots of workshops, I was concerned that my workshops would not run after the big move but people have been very willing to head out to Corbridge.
Kate and Kia, mother and daughter, have attended one of my workshops before with Kia's daughter Olivia, the three generations made silver rings, they now wanted to make silver pendants. Both girls had great ideas (puts me to shame I have to say). Kate had originally wanted to make a very organic looking pendant, I smaller version of a pendant she bought in the 70's but it just was not going to be possible so she spent the morning having fun with copper, experimenting with textures using hammers, stamps and my beloved new rolling mill (sad I know), she practised piercing metal (cutting with a jewellers piercing saw) and designed and made a gorgeous art nouveau looking textured pendant.
Kia brought along a plastic pendant that she loved and wore a lot but wanted it made out of silver, as with Kate Kia experimented with texture and practised piercing before finalizing her design and left proudly with her amazing statement silver pendant....

Kate's Pendant
Kia's Pendant

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A Day In The Silver Room.....

I know, buses, you wait for ever for one then they all..... It seems to be the same with my posts, though I'm not trying to give the impression anybody is particularly waiting for one... I just have lots to tell at the moment and have scheduled a time to do it (actually achieving ambition to set a time to catch up with social media networking, website work, paperwork..)
Sooo, I taught my first workshop on Friday in my new studio, I had the pleasure of teaching fabulous glass artist and teacher Helen Grierson husband Joe and their two daughters (I almost typed 'lovely' but pictured them all rolling their eyes...)  how to make wrap around silver rings, the day was so much fun and they were an absolute pleasure to teach, I always find it amazing how people show up not really knowing what exactly they want to make then after some metal bashing 'play time' a cunning plan emerges... and this family certainly had great ideas, ones I may steal, inspirational students!

Helen kindly blogged her silver room experience, have a peek

New Studio in Corbridge!!!

After much deliberation I have finally opened another studio in the lovely bustling town of Corbridge! I share lovely large airy rooms (beautiful fire places !) with talented interior designer and installation artist Heidi Ranson there is also (conveniently) a wonderful Italian restaurant Il Piccolo and wine bar nearby!
My main reason for opening another studio is predominantly - space, I need more space for workshops, my workshops are still very small so lots of personal attention, but I can now accommodate four students comfortably. Secondary reason, public accessibility, I need to be able to open to the public more frequently, and for the public to be able to pop in to see me. Heidi and myself plan to hold open studio's on the first Saturday of every month.

So much space!! Its a really lovely place to work, light and bright, and within easy access of cosy cafe's for lunch or afternoon tea, if later then restaurants and pubs for great food, lots of independent shops to browse and walks for the energetic, I'm really looking forward to experiencing all of these!
If you would like to take part in a workshop just contact me, I'll post my new Autumn schedule soon.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Handmade Silver Spinner/Meditation Rings

It has not been THAT long surely since I last posted!!?? Nay..  Anyway hopefully this post will make up for some of my neglect..
I just love to make spinner or meditation rings! There are sooo many variations on this theme, different textures, different satellites/spinners, different metals, wavy tops, flat tops - any top you want, wide ones thin ones... I'll stop there and show you this fun ring making process.

I will be teaching a Spinner/Meditation Ring Making Workshop on Sunday September 20th in my studio in Corbridge, in The Upper Storehouse (above Il Piccolo) . 10am until 4pm, the cost is £70.00, this includes all materials.
In the beginning there was lovely shiny sheet silver, covered in plastic to protect it from all... cut to size for the perfect fit.
Now for the fun part! Texturing the silver, there are so many possibilities, I chose a random O pattern for this ring, the silver was annealed and the pattern was stamped on with a heavy duty hammer, I find that simple designs work well, interesting  images can be stamped with the most mundane objects, nails, old beaten up hammers, letter stamps.
Students practise on copper first, they gain confidence in working with metal, gauge how hard to hit it,  have fun experimenting with the many ways to texture.
The ring is soldered, it is raised up on a cotter pin, to allow the heat to travel underneath, it is not round yet, when soldering a ring it is important for both ends to meet and the join to be tight, solder does not fill a gap, the sides to be soldered must be flat for a good fit, hence the D shape. After the solder has flowed and ring has been pickled the excess solder is filed from the inside and the ring hammered around a steel mandrel to produce your lovely round silver ring..
Now for the satellite or spinner rings that will rotate freely around the main ring, above you can see two silver rings, just soldered and ready to be pickled and cleaned up, these rings can be silver, copper, brass or gold, thin or thick and textured, stones can be set onto them, the choices are huge - its what makes these rings so much fun!
The spinner/meditation ring set, all ready to be put together....
The finished rings, they are incredibly comfortable to wear, come along to a workshop, if two or more people would like to make one I can run a workshop when its works for you!


Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year!!! Winter/Spring 2015 Workshop Dates.

Happy New Year!!! I hope 2015 will be a happy one for you all! I had my busiest lead up to Christmas ever, which was great, it is so satisfying when starting up a new business and all the hard work that entails to feel it grow, so busy is good! I intended to spend January, usually my quietest month, designing new collections and updating my website and blog but I have hit the cold January ground running...... and so on with a new, very different and exciting commission, I'll tell you all about it later....
My new Winter/Spring workshop schedule is online, please visit my New Workshop Dates page for details.
I'm posting a few photos of previous students wonderful work for your perusal!! To be invited to 'peruse' seems to be back in fashion at the moment, I'm frequently coming across it, I like it, how civilized...
So, please, at your leisure....

Denise's chalcedony ring.
Kerry's cornelian and agate pendant.
Sue and Rachel's personalised bangles.
Kate's bangle

Suzie's bangle
Jessica's cocktail ring

Jessica's leaf earrings

Rachel's chalcedony ring
Mark and Danielle's wedding rings
Paul's amber ring