Moving to new home :)

I’m moving house this Saturday morning! I’m leaving the city for a little village, changing the noise of traffic for the noise of sheep and birds in the fields. I’m changing the distance to nearest shop from minutes to miles but I get an awesome view over the Cromarty Firth instead of a view of old hotel walls 🙂

I’m planning to come back online sometimes next week, probably around 22rd June. Please check my blog and shops next week – new pieces are waiting to be listed 🙂

new home

Ring in progress

Ring in progress, originally uploaded by blue-almonds.

Today I was again (see my earlier post HERE) at the MerkinchCommunity Centre with a plan to teach the ladies how to make a ring. I didn’t want the ring to be too complicated but also not too simple – something easy to make but at the same time attractive and intricate. Well – I did’t realise how time consuming wire wrapping is… You will ask “how is that possible you didn’t? you’ve been working with wire wrapping for some time now, you should know!” . You are right, I knew it wasn’t the quickest method of making jewellery but teaching someone completly new skill is different to creating something on your own. It takes even more time! When you use pliers first time in your life you need to get used to holding and manipulating them. Then there is the wire itself. We used silver plated wire as it’s cheaper to start with but it’s tougher than Sterling Silver. For the band we used 1mm wire. To make the ring more interesting I wanted to show the “basket weave” and for this choose 0.2mm silver plated wire as at this thickness the silver plated wire is pretty soft and similar to a thread… and the fun begun 🙂 Once you have shaped the band you start to weave with the hair-thin wire and it’s all about getting the pattern right: neat and repetitive. And this is the part that need your patience and… time. On the photo you can see how much I made in two hours. Not a lot, isn’t it? You start to appreciate this technique 🙂
Next week – setting the stone and finishing off the ring.

Eco-oxidising

Ever wanted to darken your silver jewellery? I just had a thought about more eco-friendly method of oxidising (=darkening) the silver than using the special chemicals available in the specialist jewellery supply shops. It’s a very old, medieval, and a very tasty method 🙂 I use it not so often now (see end of this post) but I like the browny-yellowy shade of the patina which is the final effect, slightly warmer than the one that you get using the other methods.
– you need 1-3 eggs (depending on how big is the object to be darkened)
– boil the eggs hard (about 10mins is the best time)
– put the eggs and the jewellery in an air-tigh container or a sealable plastic bag; must be transparent so you can see the darkening process
– crush the egg shels well, but not peel them, close the container/bag and wait 🙂
– after 5-15mins the silver will blacken. The time depends on the eggs “power” (how much Sulphur they produce). I find the ordinary eggs the most powerful, the organic ones are pretty useless…
– BE CAREFUL where you open the container/bag!!! The smell could be quite strong… better do it outside.
– and the best part: eat the eggs 😀
Nothing gets wasted, it’s healthy and there is no nasty by-products. The only problem is: when you oxidise a lot you’ll soon stop liking hard boiled eggs… 😉

Teaching wire wrapping

wire pendant f, originally uploaded by monattka.

I made this pendant yesterday during my first wire wrapping “tutorial” in the Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness. I was invited there by Monika (you can see her lovely work HERE) whom I met on Flickr and soon we found out we both live in Inverness! The world is small 🙂

I didn’t teach that day really,  it was more of a demonstration what one could do with wire. You see: sea glass and silver wire are enough to create simple but beautiful piece of jewellery, something easy and not expensive to try your new skill on. I also made this pendant (Rhodonite facetted barrel) below to show how to use already drilled stones:

Rodonite barrel

Next week I’m going to show how to make a simple ring with wire and beads 🙂

New collections – part 1

Started working on this project before I went on holiday but didn’t have enough time to show you the photos. There will be two new collections: Polish Gold featuring everyday jewellery with Amber and Polish Diamonds featuring more elegant, quite modern pieces with Polish Banded Flint.  Today – a few items from the Polish Gold Collection:

Muse rules…

It is my Muse who is a true queen in my workshop. Why is that? I had completly different design prepared when I started making this ring: I wanted it to be very geometric with a lovely triangle Agate cabochon. Just when I finished wrapping the band the Muse decided that rough natural Baltic Amber and organic finish are far more suitable… and my fingers followed her wish. Little sparklind Tourmaline is set in the centre of the Amber with a thin wire for even more misterious look. So… there is only the intricate band left from the original geometric design…350-5

350-4

All metal is Sterling Silver, oxidised to give the organic, natural touch, and polished to shine. The Amber measures 2×2.3cm, the little AAA microfaceted Tourmaline is 3mm.  Size: UK – N, US – 6 1/2, Polish 13, French – 52 3/4