Tag Archives: Sally

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.

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Steampunk Butterfly Part Three

Well, I’ve finally finished my Steampunk Butterfly, having had a wonderfully productive day in the shed with Sally.

I finished the final components, a cog to screw onto the back so that it can be worn as a brooch through a buttonhole on a coat or jacket (it’s way too heavy to be pinned to anything lighter) and some loops for a chain or cord so that it can be worn as a pendant.

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So now it was time to rivet everything together, first a wing, then the body, then the rest of the wings…

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So, I proudly present my Spiny Sharkly Steampunk Butterfly in all it’s glory! Just need to make a chain, I am working on a sympathetic design at the moment…

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You learn fast, young Paduan!

Had a lovely day with Sally today. She turned up with a trolley full of her new toys and a box of cake. Game on.

We’d done some metal bashing in the kitchen before the shed landed, but that’s nearly a year ago now. I’ve been doing it pretty much on a daily basis, but Sal has been concentrating on her beadwork since then. So we went back to square one and decided to make copper rings. Stones chosen, it was time to cut a bezel strip and solder it. It took her a few goes to get a good soldered join, got there in the end though!

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Amnoyingly she didn’t break a single saw blade. Grrrr. I broke at least three today! Cutting and soldering her ring shank was a very smooth operation, just going to show that I am a fantastic teacher 😉 With a talented apprentice, obviously.

The clock was against us as usual, so Sal had to load up her stuff and head off in time for the school run. She’s planning to finish her ring tonight, can’t wait to see it!

This is my finished ring, the ammonite I mentioned in a previous post. Rather pleased with it, I have to say!

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When shall we three meet again?

20110628-195704.jpgThe three of us got together today for the first time in ages, and spent a lovely sunny day making things.  Pauline on wirework, Sally on beading and Mel on silver clay monograms.


Discovering Silver

Being a crafter for more years than I care to recall, and a magpie to boot, it was only a matter of time before I turned my hand to making jewellery. I just never really got round to starting, except for a day’s silversmithing that I did with some close friends in lieu of a hen night three years ago. We learned a little about wirework, making balls and some simple soldering, and I made a pretty ring and a slightly less elegant pair of earrings!

I was adopted as a young baby, and recently got in touch with my bio-mum, Pauline.  Turns out all my crafty tendencies were inherited (who knew there was a gene for that???), as well as most of my other traits, and we’ve been getting on like a house on fire.  We thought it would be nice to go away for a mother-daughter weekend, to get to know each other a bit better, and booked a course in precious metal clay at Zantium Crafts in Derbyshire for February this year.  Precious metal clay (pmc) is basically very fine silver particles mixed with water and an organic binder which you mould and shape like any other clay, than fire it at very high temperatures to burn away the binder giving you solid silver.

It seemed like a great idea to do a course in a craft neither of us had tried before, but neither of us could wait until the February and we were both kitted out and producing silver by Christmas! Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all…  Still, lots of the rellies had handmade silver jewellery for Christmas, so it all worked out.

The course itself was great, taught by the lovely Xuella Arnold.  We both learned a lot, drank a lot and laughed a lot.  Mum showed a real talent for making leaves and birds, while I had fun making bugs.  We met some very interesting people and bounced lots of ideas around the studio.

I actually found it quite hard working in a big open studio with other people watching me and coming to see what I was doing.  Quite a few of my projects broke apart after firing in the kiln, which was so frustrating, convinced it wasn’t firing hot enough, I repaired them and refired using a blowtorch.  That seemed to do the trick, and has really put me off using a kiln.  I definitely work better without trying to have a conversation at the same time.  Luckily Mum and me can work in virtual silence together.  My studio until recently has been the breakfast bar in my kitchen, and my firing and soldering was done with a blowtorch on the cooker!  My husband got a bit fed up with scorch marks on the worktop and swarf in his coffee, so now I work in a shed.  Maybe I’ll get a kitchen revamp now I’ve ruined this one 😉

Since the tsunami in Japan in the spring, prices of pmc have doubled, so I’m spending more and more of my time working with traditional silversmithing techniques, with both silver and copper.  I love using a wide range of stones, from locally found sea glass to stunning black opals, via big sparkly CZs and semi precious amethysts, labradorites and moonstones. Mum and me, with our friend Sally formed Spiny Sharkly Things as a collective to showcase and sell our designs.  There is a link to our eBay shop at the top right of the page if you’d like one of our shinies for your own.  The gallery post below this one shows some of my earlier work, and there’s a lot more to come!


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