Jewellery Designing

A New Workshop – A Spring Update

It’s been too long since I’ve last posted on my blog! Christmas is always a manic time of year for a maker and alongside the seasonal rush, I’ve been kept busy organising my new workshop space.

I spent the hectic Christmas working from my kitchen, while my new workshop and office was being built. As you can imagine, I’m delighted that it’s now finished and I can spend more time making lots of jewellery!

Here’s some photos of my new workshop and some works in progress on the bench.

New Workshop red hen jewellery making in progress
Lots of works in progress: a messy bench =a happy jeweller!
Processed with VSCO with a8 preset
I love my new pegboard, but how long will it stay this organised?!
soldering earring silver close up redhen jewellery
Soldering – one of my favourite jobs
jewellery workshop bench and pliers the little red hen jewellery
I love the light in my new workshop
Processed with VSCO with a7 preset
A personalised interlinking rings pendant
Processed with VSCO with  preset
I’m so pleased with my new logo stamp! All my gift boxes are made from eco-friendly materials

I’m really enjoying designing and making in my new workshop, look out for some new designs coming soon!

Jewellery Designing

Woodland Inspired Fern Jewellery

fern pattern fine silver necklace_edited-1

I’m pleased to share with you my latest makes! Inspired by peaceful woodland walks along paths shaded with ferns, I’ve created a beautiful eco silver pendant and earrings. These pieces are made using Precious Metal Clay; the clay is imprinted with a real fern leaf from my garden, fired in a kiln and then oxidised for a beautiful rustic finish. The finished pieces are 99.9% pure silver.

19989336_1546891835385078_4393988280757088338_n

Precious Metal Clay is a fabulous eco-friendly material which uses silver recycled from industrial processes. I love using it in some of my designs as it easily takes impressions from my nature finds!

Handmade silver clay rectangle pendant leaf pattern

And here’s the matching earrings…

oxidised leaf pattern fern nature inspired drop earringsecosilver clay fern pattern dangle earrings

I love them so much I decided to make a pendant using copper clay too. Matching earrings will be following soon, so watch this space!

With autumn fast approaching, the lovely warm tones of this copper jewellery complement the season perfectly!

This handmade fern leaf pattern jewellery is available to order from my Folksy shop.  Let me know what you think? I’d love to hear from you!

Jewellery Designing · Jewellery Tips

5 Ways To Care For Your Handmade Silver Jewellery

hammered silver hoops pendant

One question I’m often asked is ‘how do I care for my handmade jewellery?’ Well, I’d like to share my top tips with you for keeping your jewellery in great condition. I use Sterling silver in my jewellery designs. One of the problems with Sterling silver is that it tarnishes (goes black) when exposed to the air. Below are my top tips for keeping your jewellery super shiny!

  • Wear your jewellery regularly! The oils in your skin help to clean your jewellery.
  • Avoid contact with chemicals and always remove before swimming and showering.
  • When getting dressed, always put your jewellery on last of all. Perfume, cosmetics and hairspray all increase the risk of tarnishing.
  • When not in use, store your jewellery in a zip lock plastic bag or other air tight container. I will be posting out these little bags with my online orders, they’re just the right size to pop in your jewellery box!
  • If your jewellery does become tarnished, a quick gentle polish with a silver cleaning cloth will leave it looking sparkly and new again.

These silver cleaning cloths are now available to order from my Folksy shop

silver circle pendant polishing cloth the little red hen.jpg

The two Sterling silver hammered pendants pictured above are available to order now from my Folksy shop, why not pop over and take a look!

photography

Instagram Challenge #marchmeethemaker 2017

If you follow my blog, you may remember last year I took part in this fun and engaging Instagram photo challenge. Devised by illustrator and fellow Etsy seller, Joanne Hawker, the idea is to post a daily photo based on a theme that Joanne has selected focusing on life as maker. Each photo is tagged with #marchmeetthemaker and I really enjoyed searching for new, interesting designers and makers to follow.

It was a real challenge to plan, select and take photos which fitted the chosen theme of the day, whilst still fitting in with the overal style of my gallery.  I enjoyed using the Boomerang app to create a fun effect on day 5.

Here’s a selection of my favourite photos I took for the challenge. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Marchmeetthemaker!

If you’ve enjoyed looking at these photos, please visit my Instagram feed to see all my #marchmeetthemaker posts!

Jewellery Designing

Autumn Inspiration

11698906_920331044707830_5018267611600176730_o
Orange coloured quartz (looks like amber) & Sterling silver earrings.

After a glorious Summer, with hot sunshine continuing well into September, we’re only just beginning to feel the chill of Autumn. Although I dread the return of dark mornings and even darker nights as the evenings draw in, I do love the Autumn for the creative inspiration it provides.

As you know, I love using copper in my jewellery designs and what better time of year than autumn to create some new autumn inspired pieces!

Processed with VSCO with n1 preset
Textured copper bar pendant, Sterling silver chain.

Leaves feature heavily in my jewellery designs, my favourites being my eco silver leaf range. I’ve recently been experimenting with a product called Copper Clay. It’s handled in the same way as Silver Clay,  when fired in a kiln, you’re left with a product that’s pure copper. Copper Clay produces a more organic, grainy texture than jewellery made with sheet copper. Pictured below are some examples.

 

2015-11-06-15-34-07-01
Hammered copper bangle with oxidised silver detail
wp-1476044764287.jpeg
Abstract floral pattern copper pendant
Little Red Hen Folksy Wales 1
Photo credit:Yeshen Venema for Folksy
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
copper handmade pumpkin stud earrings

My favourite autumn inspired piece of jewellery has to be these cute copper pumpkin stud earrings, fully handmade from sheet copper and perfect for Halloween!

You can take a look at all my copper jewellery by visiting my Folksy and Etsy shops.

 

Jewellery Designing

Lovely Labradorite

I love using semi – precious stones in my jewellery designs and today I’d like to share withyou one of my favourites:Labradorite!

image

This beautiful stone, with its flashes of green, blue and purple was first discovered on the East Coast of Canada in 1770. Historically, it has inspired legends and was believed to have healing powers, by the Inuit people of Labrador.

image
Labradorite belongs to the Feldspar group of minerals and is a relatively soft stone: 6-6.5 on the mohs scale, a specific scale to measure the hardness of precious and semi – precious stones.

image

Jewellery Designing

Instagram Challenge #marchmeetthemaker

I just love Instagram! Taking photographs is one of my hobbies, so it’s a social media platform I really enjoy using.

During March, I took part in an Instagram challenge called #marchmeetthemaker. This was invented by illustrator @joannehawker and involved taking a photo a day with a set theme. The aim was to get to know the maker a little bit better, by offering a behind the scenes glimpse of everything involved in running a creative business.

I really enjoyed the challenge of showing my creative processes, whilst taking photos that blended in with the rest of my gallery.

Here’s some of my favourites to share with you!

And some more…

And my absolute favourite!

wp-1459930698591.jpeg
Day 2 You

If you’re on Instagram, why not pop over and say hello to me @thelittleredhenjewellery  I’d love to see you there!