Thursday, 30 September 2010

Olive Green Sea Glass and Silver Ring

Beautiful new deep olive green sea glass ring.

I've only made a few rings so far and this is by far my favourite! Somewhat foolishly I made it to fit me and now I would like to keep it, but no, it is in the shop for somebody else to enjoy.

Every part of the ring has been hand crafted, apart from the fabulous piece of sea glass which was probably dropped into the North Sea hundreds of years ago, smashed to pieces and then smoothed to the lovely oval shape it is now. The shank has been made using D shaped sterling silver wire for extra comfort and the bezel setting holding the glass has a recycled fine silver base and fine silver sides.

Both the colour and the shape of this piece of glass are unusual and as soon as I picked it up I knew it was going to be a ring as it is a great size and fairly flat so would sit well in a bezel.

This morning I have two chains to finish up before adding sea glass to the necklace and the most ace double sided blue patterned pottery to the bracelet. Then this afternoon we're heading to the beach at low tide as it has finally stopped raining and I have run out of earring pairs. I'm hoping to have many more pieces for the four Christmas fair days coming up so I'd better crack on!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Big Waves

On our last venture to the beach I came back with only one piece of sea glass in my pocket.

You see this wasn't a foraging visit, oh no, this was a 'it's stormy let's go look at the big waves' kind of a visit.

Oh Yeah!

It was an exhilarating couple of hours! More photos on Flickr soon.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Happy Autumn!

Happy Autumn everyone!

It's a rather different first day of Autumn this year as according to National Geographic:

"For the first time since 1991, the full moon will shed light on the beginning of fall—the Northern Hemisphere's autumnal equinox, which in 2010 officially begins Wednesday at 11:13 pm ET."

The full moon shines behind Michigan's Ludington Lighthouse in October 2001.

Photograph by Jeff Kiessel, Ludington Daily News/AP

It's an exciting season, my first Scottish Autumn! Yesterday we picked a stack of elderberries and damsons and have started preparing some tantalising tipples and today I installed our dalek like compost bin ready to start composting for next year! Thanks to R's parents for the bin and berries, we'll share the outcome!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Silver Moon and Aqua Sea Glass Pendant

I've been enjoying working with silver clay recently and this pretty little pendant features a hammered silver circle, made using silver clay, and a lovely piece of aqua sea glass.

I first started using silver clay for two main reasons:
1. I could start using it without a huge outlay for tools and equipment
2. It is made from recycled silver

You can read more about the company behind Art Clay Silver here.

Since I first thought about making jewellery, way back in the first Summer after leaving full time teaching, I wanted to adopt a sustainable approach to the work and started by making driftwood beads. This was a big fat fail due to not knowing how to actually work with the beads once I'd made them so I spent some time working with beads and wire to improve my skill set. Once we moved house in Spring 2010 I was able to move on to develop various techniques for working with silver and I am really enjoying what I'm learning.

Now I am at a stage where I use approximately 70% recycled materials in my jewellery work including sea glass and pottery, Art Clay Silver and recycled packaging materials and am hoping to improve that further over the next year. Having been researching this area for some time and having encountered some other UK based jewellers who desire to continue making jewellery in a more sustainable, even ethical way I thought I would share some links with you. If you are at all interested in this area please do get in touch and if you have any suggestions I'd be very grateful.

First up there have been two suggestions on the UK Handmade forum regarding UK based suppliers of ethically sourced, Fair Trade,sustainable and recycled silver: (NO LONGER ACTIVE May 2013)
The aim of Green Silver is to give independent jewellers and metal smiths the power to buy their silver from recycled sources, at a decent price.

"Our Gold and Platinum are sourced from our partners Oro Verde™, and are therefore certified Fair Trade. Our silver is not. Despite much searching, we have not been able to find an artisanal supply of silver that is both ecologically sustainable and benefits miners. We continue to work at this, but until we get there we will continue to use our own 100% Recycled Stirling Silver, sourced from here in the UK. We believe this is a better ethical alternative than using silver from mines that damage the environment by using chemicals such as mercury and arsenic.

I have been in touch with both and will hopefully soon be able to use recycled silver wire and sheet in my work. Do get in touch with them if you are interested, the more people getting involved in using sustainable silver, the more likely that there will be a supply for UK jewellers.

You should check out the fabulous Ute Decker's website for a glance at her amazing work and to share in her vast research into ethical jewellery which includes the media's dealings with and debates over the whole issue of ethical jewellery, tips to 'greenify' your jewellery bench and supplier links.

I wanted this post to be positive as I'm quite sure I don't need to bombard you with horrendous images and facts about the negative impact on both human life and the environment mining can have, but just in case you need reminding you can read more here.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Esther's Inheritance by Sandor Marai

Chirnside Gallery

I am pleased to announce that a selection of my sea glass and silver jewellery is now available at Chirnside Gallery. The Gallery is on the main street in Chirnside and also happens to be the Post Office; clearly a good call moving here when our nearest Post Office is a lovely gallery too!

The two pendants above are at the gallery and I love how the fired and polished art clay silver works with the sea glass. The deep blue piece of glass is gorgeous, like a moonlit sky, although it is still slightly damp from tumbling in this photo!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Palace Green Pavilion Arts and Crafts Week

Thanks to Annie for letting me know this was in the Berwick Advertiser today! Hopefully you will be able to read it if you click on the picture to enlarge . . .

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Morgan's Passing by Anne Tyler

'You would say he was a man who had gone to pieces, or maybe he's always been in pieces: maybe he'd arrived unassembled. . .'

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Two Fairs and Some Studios

After a busy fair last Monday I gave myself Friday off to go and visit some of the studios opened to the public as part of the Crossing Borders Open Studios Weekend. It was gloriously sunny and we had a fabulous day meeting some brilliant people and enjoying their wonderful work. R has written about it here and I have to admit I was with him in the studio envy! Thank you to everyone who welcomed us in especially to jeweller Anne Collin and painter and sculptor Gill Walton.

The rest of the week has been spent making new pieces and preparing for the next fair which was at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm on Sunday. Preparing did include going to the beach up at Belhaven Bay for a picnic and some fresh air where I found a beast of a piece of driftwood to use on my stall.

It was a good day and hopefully lots of money will have been raised for the Rotary Club's chosen charities. My next booked fair is November the 6th and I'm deciding over a few others in the run up to Christmas. Hopefully there will be news of more jewellery making workshops in Berwick upon Tweed soon! If you are interested in attending a workshop do comment or drop me an email and I'll keep you updated on dates, times and locations.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

"Anyone in the neighbourhood could tell you how Michael and Pauline first met."

Friday, 3 September 2010

Chain Bridge Honey Farm Sunday 5th September

In another fabulously last minute adventure I'll be selling my jewellery at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm's Open Day this Sunday, 5th September from 10am - 5pm.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

Fate takes many forms.

When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey – named Beatrice and Virgil – and the epic journey they undertake together.


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