Monday, 30 July 2012

Overthinking the whole packaging thing... plus pink topaz

I have spent about three weeks looking at different options for jewellery boxes and packaging... and I'm completely stuck. I've worked out that ideally, I need boxes which:
- are pretty, modern, and a nice colour
- can be printed on the outside with my logo
- don't have a ridiculous minimum order number
- do not cost £££

So... not an overly demanding list of requirements, right? But perhaps I am too fussy - what I really don't want are cheap cardboard boxes. My ideal box is something elegant and pretty like this:

...but unfortunately I would need to order 1000 minimum in each size. Ah. Perhaps not then.

So, I've finally whittled down the suppliers to just two options, and I think I've made my mind up at last (in the absence of anything better!): I think I will go for these boxes from Potters instead of these from Finer Packaging because a) Finer can't print on the outside of the lid, only inside; b) their minimum order for printing is 100 per size.

Any other packaging suppliers I should check out? Am I making the right choice?

In other news, I made this modern pink topaz ring on the weekend. It has a high bezel made from 0.5mm sheet, and a hammered band.

Modern pink topaz silver ring
Modern pink topaz silver ring
The hammered band...

Modern pink topaz silver ring
Fits me well... perhaps I should keep this for me?

Sunday, 22 July 2012


I've been making lots of cufflinks lately. My friend owns a shop in Woodstock, Oxfordshire - The Cotswold Tailor, and so I've come up with a few solid silver cufflink designs to create samples for the shop. He also owns a tailoring company, so I thought personalised monogrammed cufflinks would be a nice partner to a bespoke suit.

It's also giving me a chance to play with my new stamps... not as easy as I first thought, but annealing is definitely the key! The cufflink fittings are from Cookson Gold.

Once I've finished making these samples, I've got a few more complex design ideas for rings / pendants that I'm looking forward to attempting soon, plus I have a few opals and pretty stones I need to set.

Personalised monogrammed silver cufflinksPersonalised monogrammed silver cufflinksSolid silver union jack cufflinks
 Solid silver union jack cufflinks 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Filigree and claw setting pendant

Oh dear, life has been a bit hectic recently - spending time with family, going on holiday, etc - so haven't really had a lot of spare time to blog. I shall make a promise to myself to try and post at least once a week!

In June, I made this for my nearly-Step-Mother's birthday, at an all-day workshop with Amy Surman. I really wanted to try making a claw setting from scratch, and thought I'd attempt filigree at the same time! This took about 6 hours - very time consuming but quite ambitious given the number of new techniques I was trying, and there are a crazy number of soldering joints in this one piece (probably 40-ish?!). Most of this piece was made using different sizes of wire (1.2mm-ish square wire, 0.8mm for the setting and some of the structure, 0.6 for the filigree) - I curled all the bits and just played around to see what worked, instead of following a design pattern exactly.

It was polished in a magnetic polisher - which is a nifty machine like a tiny tumbler, with tiny pins and which polishes in about 15 mins... and now I really want one.

Silver filigree pendant

Luckily, my nearly-step-mother really liked it, and appreciated how it was made specially for her - she has even asked me to make matching earrings for her Christmas gift, haha!
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