Posted in Jewellery, Upcycling, tagged assemblage jewellery, back-stitched spiders' web stitch, beach glass, Claigan Coral Beach, locket, ring, sea glass, Skye, upcycled jewellery, upcycling on 14/04/2017|
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I’ve been upcycling jewellery recently and having a lot of fun putting bits and pieces together to make something from nothing. I had a small lot of vintage 1970s silver tone ring blanks which were crying out for some nuggets of sea glass.
Then I used freshwater pearls and seed and bugle beads in a variety of shades of green to create a set of sea-themed dangles for my Mermaid’s Garden dangle ring. The centre is finished with a piece of ‘coral’ I beach-combed from Claigan Coral Beach on the Isle of Skye as a child in the 1970s. I always thought it was actually coral, but according to the internet it’s ‘desiccated and sun-bleached algae’ which is much less attractive sounding!
Then an assemblage piece – Ship’s Wheel Locket. The original vintage goldtone locket had a slight depression in the front so I shaped a piece of polished broken abalone to fit into it and then added a lovely ship’s wheel charm on top of that so the sea green swirls of the abalone can be glimpsed through the spokes of the wheel.
Lastly I reverted to embroidery for the Cottage Garden pendant. This gold tone pendant had a pierced pattern around the edge which was just begging to have some sort of thread added. I chose a heavy Caron cotton thread in lovely muted cottage garden shades and added a simple row of slanted stitches, following the pattern of the holes.
Then it occurred to me that I could do a sort of back-stitched spider’s web around the champagne coloured diamantes and turn them into flowers, which worked very well.
Always good when a plan comes together.
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Posted in Goldwork, Uncategorized, tagged beading, brooch, bugle beads, french knots, goldwork, ring, sea glass, sea washed pottery, seed beads, silver, turquoise, upcycled jewellery, upcycling on 09/10/2016|
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Back in May we had a goldwork initial workshop with Brenda Scarman and I started to work a letter ‘O’ for a birthday card for my mother. As it was her birthday a couple of weeks ago I can finally reveal something I’ve finished!
At the end of the workshop I had got this far:
I simplified the scrolls in the middle due to the thickness of the double couching thread and added more chips of silver purl, silver seed beads, turquoise bugle beads and french knots to the border.
Not happy with the squashed spiral on the lower left, so I restitched that.
Carried on beading and french knotting…
…until it was finally finished.
And then I decided I preferred it up the other way!
Simply framed with grey card to become a special birthday card. And a finish!!
I’ve also upcycled an odd clip on earring front to make a beaded brooch…
…and turned some of my huge collection of sea glass and china into rings.
Loads more projects still to get stuck into though!
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Posted in Beading, Jewellery, Ribbon Embroidery, Upcycling, tagged 20% off, brooch, etsy, Etsy coupon, eyelets, feather stitch, french knots, repurposing, ribbon roses, ring, silk, upcycling on 28/11/2014|
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Thank you all for your comments on the green quartz vintage necklace. I was leaning towards number 4 myself, so it’s good to know that other people liked that one too. In the meantime I’ve been playing with some more upcycling. First, a vintage brass ring which was just crying out for some embroidery in the centre.
I measured the centre of the bezel, drew an appropriate sized circle on vilene and filled it with a mixture of eyelets and French knots in a variegated blue and copper coloured cotton thread.
I cut it out, stabilised the back with Modge Podge and prepared to add it to the ring. It was too big. By some way. Back to the drawing board. This time I changed my mind as to the colour. The copper didn’t work with the soft gold of the ring, so I went for an old gold and dusty crimson variegated thread. (And I measured the circle more carefully this time…) In progress…
…and finished and mounted in the ring. I’m so pleased with the colour this time. I’ve called it Desert Rose and put it into my Etsy shop here.
Then I found a vintage brooch with turquoise/blue rhinestones around the edge but its central stone missing. I ran up a blue silk ribbon rose inside a wreath of feather stitch on some hand dyed silk dupion and mounted it over a dome of vilene to replace the centre.
That can be found here.
And finally I took the sad and sorry remains of a vintage brass and glass bead necklace apart and put it back together with some vintage copper/turquoise faux pearls, modern glass beads – turquoise rondelles and tiger striped ovals…
…hand made glass beads with amber nodules on the surface…
…and a fabulous hand made green/turquoise glass focal bead I’d been saving for such an occasion…
…to create this:
Which is also in my Etsy shop here.
To celebrate my little burst of creativity and the run up to Christmas, (and hopefully encourage some buyers!) I’ve created a discount code.
If you enter TOPAZ1 at the checkout from now until the 20th of December 2014 then you can get 20% off any item – vintage, upcycled or handmade jewellery – from my Etsy shop.
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Some time ago I cast a very flat acorn cup in silver with the intention of using it to hold embroidery as the bezel of a ring.
I turned the rest of my scrap silver into a flat sheet and cut a section for the shank of the ring which I textured with lace before cutting out the shape I’d designed for the shank.
The shank formed and soldered.
I don’t know if it’s me, but the silver seemes more ready to melt and reticulate than the brass I’ve used for most of my work and the solder joint actually fused and reticulated slightly.
So there was a fair amount of cleaning up to do…
…before I could get to this point.
I managed to clean up the mess at the back fairly successfully so was extra careful when soldering the cup onto the shank. It was looking like a textbook solder…when the back of the shank suddenly slumped and I ended up with another fused reticulated mess, and one that is going to be less easy to sort than the back. :o(
It was literally half a second and by the time I’d pulled the torch off, the damage was done.
Luckily I’d always intended that this was to be for me and the ring still fits nicely, the fusing being hidden when it’s worn.
A learning experience and the end result, although flawed, is still unusual and wearable.
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Last week was the final session of my jewellery making and silversmithing course in Sheffield and this week I’ve felt there is a definite hole in my life.
I want to continue my metalworking very much, but reluctantly I won’t be rejoining the class in September for two main reasons. Firstly, it’s an eighty minute drive there, meaning I’m actually driving for nearly three hours in total on top of a full working day and two and half hours intensive work in the workshop. Also despite my attempts to drive economically I’m using £20 worth of fuel for each 100 mile round trip, which has added over £300 onto the original cost of the course.
I’m investigating courses in Grimsby and Hull, both within an hour’s travelling time and hoping I can start one of those in the new year. Until then, I hope I’ve stored up enough of the things I can’t do at home to keep me going.
So last week I had a plan. A ring to finish, a beloved pair of earrings with a broken integral earhook which needed a new earhook making from silver wire and then soldering onto the earring, bales to solder, loads of stuff for the barreller and more domes to shape.
I decided to make some of the domes from this piece of impressed brass.
The doming process altered the texturing from the impressing slightly but I like the effect and it’s nicely different from the hammered domes I also made.
Should give me plenty to do when I start adding the silk cocoons.
The earring took three goes to solder but is mended beautifully, the pieces in the barreller are ready to be transformed into jewellery and I got two bales soldered. The big project was the ring and it’s almost finished, just a minor bit of tidying up to do.
More on the ring in my next post.
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My tutor is keen for me to start working in silver but at the moment, as I’m not selling any of my jewellery, the cost is a bit of a worry. However, I do want to move into silver and also take advantage of the opportunity to try different techniques on my course so the other week I gathered up some scrap silver (broken jewellery) I’d got and decided to try some casting.
Some while ago I picked up these wonderful flat acorn cups…
…and inspired by their flat frame like shapes, made some tiny embroideries to put into them.
What if…I could cast one in silver to become a bezel for a ring with embroidery inside it?
It took most of the evening, learning how to hammer the Delft clay solidly into the mould and make channels to let the silver in and the air out, marvelling at how incredibly the clay, which is more like a mouldable sand, holds the finest details of the acorn cup.
Then melting oddments of silver in a crucible on the hearth with the biggest blowtorch. Fighting the blinding afterglow in the centre of my vision to swiftly tip the contents of the crucible into the mould with everything mentally crossed that after two hours work setting the mould up that it would work when we opened it. It was pretty intense.
And the delight when my perfect silver acorn cup emerged from the charred clay was worth it all.
With the original. I can’t believe the fine detail inside the cup.
All that’s been done is I’ve cut off the excess silver from the back and it’s been polished in the barreller.
Trouble is, I’m not sure I want to put some embroidery into the cup and hide all that fine detail now.
Oh well, another one for the creative subconscious to work on while I get stuck into all the other projects clamouring for attention.
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