A friend recently reminded me that although I’d shown pictures of my new studio being built I hadn’t actually posted photos of it finished. I’m really enjoying working and teaching in this purpose designed space. There is plenty of room around the benches so that students can move about without disturbing each other and I can see what they’re working on. The enamelling kilns are all installed and working and the soldering station has very good ventilation.
If you’d like to take a class in either enamelling or Jewellery making then please use the contact form and give me a few details of what you’d like to do.
I have been really lucky to spend a week enamelling at Ravstedhus in Denmark. This was organised by the Guild of Enamellers, mainly by Tom Lundsten and coordinated at the UK end by Jill Leventon. The workshop facilities are absolutely amazing. There is every tool I could dream of and some that I’ve no idea what they do. It’s been a great opportunity to experiment and I’ve played around with some ideas.
It has been great to make new friends; share ideas and discuss techniques and approaches. The workshop has been open until 10pm each day (the latest I’ve managed has been 9pm). We did have a trip to a museum just over the border in Germany on Wednesday afternoon.
I’m writing this in my room, we finish here and have a big clean up tomorrow I think. I will return home inspired and invigorated and probably a bit tired but what a wonderful experience this has been.
I am very excited that I’m having a new, purpose designed studio built, here in Hunmanby, near Filey on the Yorkshire coast. It’s going to be perfect with plenty of room for jewellery making and enamelling. It’s had the first fix of electrics and all the insulation has been done except along the front wall as they’re waiting for the windows to be delivered and installed. There will be loads of lighting both in the ceiling and task lighting above the work benches. Work seems to be going to schedule and it should be done within another couple of weeks. In the meantime I’m still using my temporary studio – the one I’ve used for the past 18 months but I’m looking forward to the move
Today I’ve really enjoyed teaching Jude and Rosie something about making jewellery using Art Clay Silver. It was the first time they had used it and they made some beautiful pieces. We began by using a leaf and rolling it over the clay. Art Clay takes on very fine detail so Rosie and Jude used this to create contrast of smooth and a delicately textured area. We then made small molds from limpet shells so they could learn to press the silver clay in, using it economically to make small three dimensional pieces. We followed this by making unique texture plates and rolling out the silver clay between them, to make pieces textured on both sides (I forgot to photograph the backs). They then made bails and used up the remaining silver clay rolling out another leaf printed piece.
After drying and refining the edges all of the pieces were fired in the kiln. I then showed them how to polish and finish their work, adding patina to some of them. This was a very productive day and they both worked to a very high standard of finish. I hope they will enjoy their silver clay adventures.
I am honoured and very excited to have a piece accepted into the Ima-kara Mame-sara 2016 metalworks and crafts exhibition in Japan. I will have a piece in the Japan Enamel Artists Association exhibition too, also this month.
A couple of weeks ago I spent the day helping to make a pair of wedding rings. These are always enjoyable days and on this occasion one of the rings was shaped to sit neatly against an engagement ring; quite a technical process for for a couple who’ve not made jewellery before. They’ve now been hallmarked and are ready for the big day.
I’ve had a lovely day helping Lisa and Stuart make a replacement wedding ring. They made each other a wedding ring early last year, in my old studio but Stuart has somehow mislaid his – he takes it off for safety when he’s woodworking or playing sport. It didn’t take quite as long this time as they remembered the steps and also took it in turns to do the making. It will now be sent for hallmarking and the Stuart will have a ring to wear again (he’s hoping the original one will turn up now).
If you are interested in making each other a wedding ring then please contact me using the enquiry form on the classes page.