Sunday, 13 May 2012

A little bit of Britain

Last weekend I had a bit of time on my hands and created a few things in my workshop. This first pendant I designed and made for my best friend who lives in Japan after moving there a few years ago - cut from sterling silver sheet and soldered to a small ring for a bail. I thought it would be nice for her to carry a minature British Isles around to remind her of home...I'm hoping she doesn't chance upon this blog before my package reaches her in Japan.

British Isles silver pendant

On tuesday, I'm attending a beginners stone setting course at Holts Academy in London - really looking forward to learning and practicing! It's a two day course over two tuesdays; I'll be learning bezel setting (which I've had a little go at in my workshop) and claw setting.

Have you attended any good courses lately?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Building my creative space / workshop

For the last two months I've been gradually buying tools and equipment to do make things outside of courses and classrooms. First thing I would note: silversmithing is not a cheap hobby! There are loads of necessary bits to buy - but as a beginner you can get away with just the main ones: bench peg, piercing saw, some pliers, mallet, files.

This month I got around to buying the main thing holding me back from using the tools I'd bought so far - a workbench! I ended up going to Ikea and buying their cheapest pine table top and trestle legs. I don't have a wood saw at the moment so for now will have to make do until I can get a semi-circle cut - but the table itself works really well as a cheap option.

My 'workshop' is now all set up in the spare room... luckily we don't have guests staying round very often. The beige carpet is a bit annoying, especially when I drop a tiny piece of silver, but I'm hoping when we get around to buying a house that there will be a suitable place for my bench to move to.
silversmithing workbench / workshop

Close-up of silversmithing tools and workbench
I just received soldering equipment in my latest order, so it's meant I've been able to spend my bank holiday making things at home for the first time. In total so far, I've probably spent around £300 on tools, all from Cookson Gold. My wishlist is still growing though - next I've got to decide between a barrelling machine or a pendant motor - I definitely need something to help with polishing.

I love seeing how other people have set up their workshops / workbenches; whether it's inside or outside, all the equipment built up over the years, etc. I'm really happy with mine at the moment - it's just enough to get me started.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The beginning.

Hello there.
This is a brand new blog - welcome - dedicated to art of silversmithing and creating jewellery. I have only recently begun learning, so this is my new place to document some of the creations, designs, tools, courses, books, sources, etc etc that I come across.

A little introduction about me, first of all...
Name: Spring (yes, this is my real, first name)
Age: 24
I have a corporate-office-type day job. Silversmithing is just a hobby, currently, and aside from silversmithing - I like photography, painting, cooking, reading and interior design.I live at home with my boyfriend and beautiful cat, Cleo.

I started silversmithing earlier this year - my boyfriend bought me some private tuition with Amy Surman in Oxford. Three hours of playing with piercing saws, soldering torches, hammers, and tiny pieces of sterling silver sheet - and I was hooked.
Silver orchid ring - springjewellery
Creation #1: Silver Orchid ring

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