Thursday, 26 January 2012

A good days work.

For the first time since moving down here I had all the tools and materials I needed to start making jewellery.

I have been planning for the the last few days what I would make first and decided to start small, making small silver elements to complement the semi precious beads I bought last week.

It felt good to saw, file, solder and even score metal however I am a bit rusty to say the least!

I might need to dig out my copy of Jewelry Concepts and Technology by Oppi Untracht.

My metal was measured out very carefully on Tuesday while I was watching Blithe Spirit!

My coffee break today allowed me to go into the back garden and take a few photos of interesting textures. I just missed getting a photo of the beautiful rainbow.


But I had to get back to work...

I made a round frame to be used with my Fluorite coins and a square frame to be used with my White Agate cubes. I just need to put the 'tops' on the frames to make them into 'boxes'. The round frame was fairly straightforward but the square frame was made by slightly scoring the corners so that the metal bent into a square easier. I need to practice my scoring!

Excellent, my vertical drill seems to be on strike so I had to drill the holes I needed in my metal by hand. The first one took 14 minutes! I got my time down to 5 minutes though. I'll need to try and fix it tomorrow but because I wont get very far by hand drilling everything!

The three 'bits' I made today. I am very chuffed with myself and I would have keep working but it gets very cold in the workshop after the sun goes down.

I really like the hammered texture on the silver box. Fluorite is such a lovely stone and this photo does it no justice at all. I need to work on the design and stringing of this piece but I am very happy with the progress of this afternoon.

Monday, 23 January 2012

The postie rang twice.

Today was a day for parcels arriving. First one was from my mum and dad who hunted down my tools that I had left behind by mistake during the move.

My dad is nothing if not efficient, every inch of box is covered in parcel tape!

It was like Christmas! I especially liked my hammer shaped presents.

My big hammer, mallet, ring sizers, mandrel, ring clamp, a vice, soldering iron, steel blocks, doming punches and blocks, disc cutters, hole punches, drill bits, stone setting tools and a few other bits and pieces are all now back in my possession.
I just need to find my steel ruler and get a new borax cone and there will be no stopping me!

If that wasn't enough excitement for one day then there was another knock at the door. A delivery man with my semi precious stones/beads.

I had not ordered from this company before so I was slightly nervous as well as excited as I opened my parcel. Everything seems of good quality and I will be able to make some very effective, striking pieces with these stones.

A great selection of agate, fossil, coral, jade, dyed turquoise,
fluorite, aventurine, chrysotine, and stabilised lapis chrysocolla.

Friday, 20 January 2012


A long, hard day of work yesterday, lots of paperwork but I was rewarded with this sunset at the end of it. A wee trip into Leicester at lunchtime broke up the day which had started at 8am. I am raring to go now, just waiting on a few tools and materials being delivered.

The view from my workshop.

Today, I tried to update my website but Flash and me don't mix! So I gave up and went into my workshop to sort out my space.

My toolbox was first on my list.

It is amazing what you find in a toolbox you've had for nearly 12 years! I remember at University every term Walsh would come for the 2nd years to pick their tools and I always had to buy something. Usually something I didn't really need. Did I really need 2 of my own ring mandrels in 3rd year? Probably not!

I don't even know what these are! I think they are a carborundum stone, an abrasive rubber polishing block and a stone used to take off fire stain (I can't remember what it's called!)

I found a huge stash of scrap silver which is a bonus.

This is apparently what happens if you fill a jar with excess cold enamel over 8 years then smash the jar!

This most important part of the process, I have my jars sorted out.
Soldering equipment, scrap metal and pliers.

My bench is taking shape now.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


It has been a busy few days here in Newbold Verdon. Doug and I have been busy in the garage setting up our workbenches and clearing out space for the car.
After several trips to the cowp we nearly have a clear floor!

The next step was to set up my work bench. Building proved slightly problematic in that I couldn't remember what it was supposed to look like when built!

After unpacking lot of boxes I have realised that I don't have all my tools down here. My mallet, hammers, doming blocks and steel blocks are hopefully somewhere in my mum and dads house. But I will continue to set up the rest of my tools and equipment.

My blowtorch still works!

The two benches almost set up. It was really satisfying to see everything coming together and for the space to start looking like a real workshop. Doug didn't want to stop setting up for the night even though it was 7pm, freezing and we needed tea.

My kiln, ultrasonic, pickle, barrel and band saw all ready to use.

Today I am going to focus on tidying up in the office space upstairs. It needs some work. I have craft things and teaching materials everywhere. Poor Doug is surrounded in wool and beads while he is doing his college work. I will get quite a lot done today while Doug goes out to buy another bookcase from Ikea.

Busy busy!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

It all starts here.

News! I have moved to Leicestershire. A village called Newbold Verdon which is lovely and peaceful.

I have been here for nearly 4 weeks now, spending Christmas and New Year with friends and family.

Today Doug and I started painting the garage as this will become our shared workshop space. One side Carpentry, one side Jewellery.

There is a long way still to go!

Oh well. We'll think about that after our weekend away! Monday is a new day.