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.
I have had a very exciting few weeks. It has involved moving house and studio. Moving house was relatively simple but packing and unpacking my studio felt like a major undertaking. I am happy to say everything is now in its new place and i have begun work on a few new ideas. I will miss the moors but am now very close to the beautiful beach of Filey bay. I am so looking forward to welcoming students to my new studio and ready to begin teaching again in the new year. Best wishes for 2016 everyone!
I don’t know where the beginning of the year has disappeared to, it seems to have absolutely flown past. I have been busy experimenting with the New Mokume Gane techniques and thinking of creating a new range of jewellery.
Last weekend I was at the Guild of Enamellers annual conference which this year was held in Leicester. It is always fantastic to spend a weekend with such a creative group of people. I have had some lovely classes teaching ring making; enamelling and jewellery making using art clay silver. I have done a little bit of enamelling in the round, one of my own personal challenges; creating some new enamelled silver beads. These will be available to purchase during North Yorkshire Open Studios in June as well as other new work including enamelled wall panels and jewellery.
If you are interested in learning to enamel then please contact me to arrange a date. It is a fantastic thing to learn and very addictive. I will be adding more classes to my website throughout the summer but also arrange them on a one-to-one basis on dates to suit – just let me know what dates would suit you?
I still have one or two available dates for couples who wish to make each other wedding rings but as weekends book up quite quickly I would advise you get in touch to discuss this as soon as possible, if you are considering this. It does add an extra special touch to you wedding preparations. Here are Liz and Tom at the end of their day. Their wedding rings are both on a mandrel in front of them but have since been sent off to the assay office and hallmarked ready for their wedding day.
I really enjoy this time of year. Not only can I look forward to Christmas but the busy period is behind me, any galleries I supply need their new stock around mid-October. The garden and the moorland around my studio still have quite a lot of vivid autumn colour at the moment and my favourite Japanese flowering cherry is coming into flower, although it’s only just dropped this year’s leaves. It has done this some previous years and I love that it flowers over such an extended period.
I have spent some time last week emptying my display cabinets, partly because I was having a popup shop in Whitby last Thursday evening. It gave me the opportunity to review my work and make a few decisions about directions for next year.
I have reorganised my display so that all the plant based designs are now together. These include some pieces of crochet in wire, some cloisonné enamels and some of the pieces pierced from silver sheet inspired by my year as artist in residence at Whitby Museum.
These two pendants are all that remain of a collection of floral cloisonné enamels I made many years ago and I intend to do more of this in 2014, including teaching cloisonné enamelling techniques on a regular basis throughout the year. I am looking forward to building up a new collection before the autumn in time for an exhibition by members of the Guild of Enamellers at the Pannett Art Gallery next October.
Enamelling has been my passion for many years and I haven’t quite got over being awarded honorary membership of the Guild at the conference last April, which I think must have been one of the highlights of 2013 for me.
Here I am being presented with my certificate by the then Chair Jane Ball. I have also had three rings included in the ‘Heart of the Heat’ exhibition of enamelling in Birmingham and two enamelled beads selected for the book 1000 Beads due to be published next May by Lark Books (one of which will be on the cover). The emphasis of classes for 2014 will be very much on enamelling including enamelling on copper; enamelling on silver and on art clay silver and enamelling ‘in the round’ or onto curved surfaces.
Overgrown Garden Vessels with Lesley Messam
7th and 8th September 2013,
£385 per person (including materials)
Lesley Messam is an inventive and highly skilled artist and jeweller. She has reached Level 4 in the Metal Clay Masters Registry, only the second person in the world to achieve this. She is constantly experimenting and exploring techniques in construction and is an experienced and generous teacher.
I am delighted that she has agreed to teach here in North Yorkshire and to share her techniques for creating a small vessel with a threaded closure. In this workshop you will learn how to use PMC Sterling* silver clay to construct a very beautiful hollow formed vessel with a clever screw threaded lid, embellished with a cabochon of glass or stone, set after firing.
Sterling silver does have some advantages over fine silver, its additional strength is great for pendants on long chains that could be accidentally knocked and also for rings where durability is important.
Lesley will teach us how to make a screw thread in various sizes at minimal cost. Her method does not use gadgets or kits; works every time; is cheap and works to make the thread in many different sizes.
She will also show you how to add texture your vessel without the use of commercial texture sheets so that you can add embellishments of your own unique design or, if you would prefer to make little roses she will be happy to show you how.
*Art clay silver is an option if you prefer – indicate on the booking form
Please comment giving your email address if you would like a booking form (I won’t publish your comment)
Local B&Bs include Bank House Farm http://www.bankhousefarmhostel.co.uk/
Beggars Bridge B&B http://www.beggarsbridge.co.uk/
Red House Farm B&B (and holiday cottages) http://www.redhousefarm.com/
And there are others – leave me a message via the comments if you would like more information or to book (include your email address, I won’t publish it)
I have been asked on a few occasions to help couples to make their own wedding rings. Here in my studio near Whitby on the North York Moors I have all the tools and equipment you need and can help you to create your own special and unique rings for each other. On Saturday I spent a lovely day helping Nicole and Jamie make each other a wedding ring in sterling silver.
We began the day with coffee and a discussions about the width, thickness and finish of the rings and then Nicole and Jamie learned how to use a piercing saw to cut their silver strip, working out the required length and cutting and filing it. They annealed it and while the silver strips were in the pickle they had a few attempts at stamping a little star punch into copper sheet – and then onto the silver strips. They annealed and pickled them again before forming the basic ring shapes and soldering the join with silver solder
Here are their lovely rings – I am now going to send them off for hallmarking ready for their big day at the beginning of May. Thanks to them both for a thoroughly enjoyable day and best wishes to them for their future together.