Monthly Archives: April 2012

And now for something completely different…

Well, a bit different, at least. I’ve written a bit about tube settings on here recently, and thought about using a length of tube as a structural element as well as a spiky setting!

So here’s some pictures of a bit of fun 🙂 The three spike ring is set with garnets, and the five spiker with white CZs.




That’s a Wrap

Just got home from another lovely day’s workshop at Lemon Blues with Melissa Warren, not knitting this time but making yarn wrapping landscape pictures.  A very relaxing pastime that requires very little by way of equipment – just some thick card, double sided sticky tape a huge collection of various yarns!  The one with the boat is my dad’s birthday present, and the purple one? Well, obviously that’s for ME.

Moonlighting with Pirates

Not been able to do anything in the jewellery line today because I’ve been busy getting Beardy’s enterprise, Pirate Genes online across the usual social media. He’s selling vintage and designer clothes at very non piss-taking prices; mostly online but also at the occasional bike rally or craft market. The site is a bit minimal at the moment, but do click over there for a look! You can like it on Facebook or follow things on Twitter @pirate_genes 🙂




My name is Mel and I am a MAGPIE. Unsuprisingly I have quite an array of sparkly rocks to gaze at, fondle and occasionally make into jewellery. While diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, cubic zirconia make damn good drinking buddies. Loud and glittery.

Round stones are pretty easy to set, and I think I’ve pretty much got the hang of those, and I like a challenge, so I had a go with the purple marquise I had. Quite a modern looking setting, this, involving doming a disc of silver and cutting it in two before soldering the outside edges together. It looks a little like a boat.

It looked a little lonely, so I decided to make it part of a set of stacking rings. I thought the Suffragette colours of green, white and violet would make a nice set, and coincidentally would match a couple of my dresses rather nicely! I picked an 8mm intense green brilliant cut round CZ and an 11mm triangular one in white.

I liked geometry at school, so made a first attempt at a conical setting for the emerald-ish rock. It took a fair bit of drawing with a protractor and compasses to make a template, but I think it worked out pretty well. As for the white stone (oooh, imagining a DIAMOND this big!), that was a case of cutting half a hexagon, folding into three and soldering the joint.

Soldering the mounts to matching rings, setting the stones and polishing to different levels of satin finish was the final step, I’m really chuffed with how they turned out. Now, keep or sell, keep or sell?



It’s not that I’m bored with sheet and wire, far from it. I just fancied doing something…. Different. So I’ve been having a go with cold water casting. Basically you melt your silver and drop it into a bucket of water. Retrieve the resulting splats, select the good ones and remelt the rest. Repeat until you run out of gas. Solder the best bits together to make something pretty. That’s about it, really. Anyway, I need to make some flowery things for the Bloomin’ Women event at the end of June, so here’s a pendant.


Celtic Rings


I’ve always loved Celtic knotwork, and of course it lends itself so well to jewellery! I’ve made a few things in the past, like painted slates and cross stitch designs with Celtic themes but have only just started doing it in silver. I posted yesterday about the little ring I made for my nearly nine year old lad, these are the grown up versions!

So we have a mens’ ring with a gorgeous deep red spinel and a ladies’ ring with a super-sparkly high set marquise cut CZ. The stones in these rings are quite flashy, and closer in you can see the crisp detail in the silver.



I always feel a little sad that children’s jewellery is generally cheap shitty crap made from metallic paint and plastic. Why not give them something to treasure that has a bit of intrinsic value? I’m not talking hundreds or thousands of pounds here, but when a pair of kids’ trainers can easily cost sixty quid, why not spend twenty on a nice silver ring? I made this for my lad today, as he really liked the grown up one that I wear. He asked me to engrave his full name on it too, and I just about managed to squeeze it in 🙂 Of course he’ll grow out of it, but I made it for his middle finger, so there’s a couple of smaller fingers to stretch things out a little longer…. Maybe he’ll lose it, maybe he’ll wear it until it’s too small to go on his hand and it might end up on a chain and be given to his own child one day. It’ll be interesting to see where it ends up 🙂



Anyhow, do get in touch if you’d like me to make one for your nipper. I can do Celtic ones like this, plain ones, ones with silver balls on, solitaires in a whole array of colours and settings and engrave the inside to boot.

Really Rather Rude Ring

I’ve recently been experimenting with tube settings as a way of rubover setting small round stones. Basically it is really fiddly to make a mount from sheet or wire for a stone under 5mm!
I had made a few very low profile settings for the centres of some small silver flowers, and thought it would be fun to make the settings really tall! I’ve made some rather spiky rings (I’ll be blogging those later this week!) and Beardy suggested I do a middle finger one…. So here it is 😉 You can buy yours here!



Death by Killer Heels

I spent the day with Melissa Warren at Hereford, in the Shire Hall at a charity designer clothes sale called Killer Heels; in aid of Save the Children. We were told to expect a few hundred visitors through the door, so we ser off at 6:45 thus morning to start setting up at eight. Not being a natural early riser, that was. Just. Horrible. We had a lovely drive over to Hereford and both got set up in time to have a cuppa before the doors opened at ten.


The ravening hordes never arrived, sadly. I was quite pleased with my sales though, six pieces plus a commission for a spiky ring 🙂 I had lots of lovely comments about both the stall and the shinies, so I think I’ve got that bit pretty well sorted now!

Tea. Cake. Cardiff.

Ambling around Cardiff today with my lovely friend Andy, we had a look around Craft in the Bay, which features designer-makers of the Makers’ Guild in Wales. My aim is to join the Guild in the next two years and have my work on display here. Oh, and they have a lovely cafe with enormous teapots and some heavenly cake 🙂


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