Sunday, 10 June 2012

Silver rings

I have always loved rings - they are probably my favourite type of jewellery. That's probably why the first thing I ever made was a ring. I love the possibilities with rings, and how they are perfect for showing off pretty stones.

Simple amethyst and silver ringSimple amethyst and silver ring modelled on a hand
I made this simple ring to practice stone setting - my first attempt at a bezel setting (I made this before the camera charm). Choosing a square cut amethyst for a first go wasn't the easiest, but it turned out ok. I left the band with a brushed matte finish, but polished the bezel cup and the edges of the ring band to a high shine for contrast.

Once I had the basics sorted, I moved on to something a little more difficult. This ring (which I name the 'pebble ring') is inspired by the pebbley beach near where I grew up. The uneven but smooth rounded pebbles and bits of sea glass which my sister and I used to collect as kids. I made each 'pebble' separately by melting bits of silver and used blue-green chalcedony reminiscent of both the sea and those little bits of sea glass. I collected all the silver pebbles together around a bezel and soldered the whole thing together.

Silver 'Pebble' ring with Chalcedony stone

Silver 'Pebble' ring modelled on a hand

This one is just for me to wear - I love it's irregularity and the colour of the stone. I have a couple of other ring designs in my sketchbook, just waiting to be made - along with a whole little pile of pretty stones that I can't stop myself buying off Etsy. Lots of work ahead!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Camera and dragonfly pendants

Since setting up my workbench in April / May, I've managed to make a few things at home. These were two of the first things I made - a camera pendant / charm and a dragonfly pendant. I've been obsessed with camera things since getting into photography about 5 years ago and I've always wanted a cute camera necklace - so I made my own! It's set with a blue-green chalcedony cabochon as the lens.

Camera pendant necklace charm

silver dragonfly pendant necklace
The dragonfly was inspired by the season and the summer weather aproaching. The silver wings have been textured with hammers.

I also bought a new dremel last month, which has actually enabled me to polish things now. It's a pretty cool tool, except I still haven't worked out all the different accessories - but it's opened up a whole new range a possibilities. I choose the dremel over a barrelling machine (although I want both) to give me the flexibility of using it with drills, burrs, etc - but now I'm drooling over a magnetic polisher instead of a tumbler, which I only discovered on saturday - as it polishes delicate pieces in about 15 minutes flat. My tool wishlist is growing longer every day...!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Holts Academy review - Beginners Stone Setting course

This is probably a bit overdue - but I should probably write about the Beginners Stone Setting course I attended at Holts Academy in mid-May. I've been putting this off slightly, because it's not exactly going to be a positive review - but I tried googling reviews before I signed up, and couldn't find anything - so maybe this will help one or two people out there *shrug*.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the course - it was really badly organised and didn't really meet any of my expectations - so in the end I actually only attended the first day, because I didn't think it was worth following through to the second day.

Full review after the jump....
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