Jewellery Designing

Twinkle, Twinkle…handmade copper keepsake star Christmas tree decorations

It’s been a while since I last posted, but as we’re now deep in the festive season, I am excited to show you my latest personalised keepsakes!

copper christmas star oxidised handstamped tree decoration Folksy

Each star decoration is hand cut from sheet copper; stamped with your choice of greeting or name; textured and oxidised for a rustic finish.

These copper star tree decorations feature a Sterling silver jump ring and come gift boxed in my eco-friendly packaging, ready for giving!

copper christmas star oxidised handstamped tree decoration handmade gift the little red hen

For more information, please take a look at my copper star listing on Folksy

Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear!

Jewellery Designing · shop local

The Little Red Hen’s Latest Stockists – A Summer Update

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My handmade silver and copper jewellery at Made By Kent

For those of you with children, you’ll know that school’s almost out for summer! This last term has seemed particularly long and my little girl, AKA The Little Chick is really ready for some time at home with mum!

I’m going to be closing my Folksy and Etsy online shops for a short time during the summer holidays, starting yesterday the 17th July and re-opening on the 14th of August, so that I can spend some time with my daughter.

In the meantime, my handmade jewellery is still available to buy from these galleries and shops:

I’ll be updating my Facebook and Instagram pages during the holidays so please make sure to follow me as I’d love to keep in touch!

There’s some exciting new products I’ve been working on which I’m looking forward to sharing with you all later in September. There’ll be a sneak peek in my next newsletter, so don’t miss out and subscribe via the pop up form on my website.

Wishing you all a lovely summer, whatever you’re doing!

 

 

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!
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I love my new pegboard, but how long will it stay this organised?!
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Soldering – one of my favourite jobs
jewellery workshop bench and pliers the little red hen jewellery
I love the light in my new workshop
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A personalised interlinking rings pendant
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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

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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.

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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!

Craft Fairs · Out & About in Kent

Kentish Made – Celebrating Local and Handmade

Last November, I was lucky enough to be involved in an exciting pop- up shop held in the village where I live. Katie, the owner of luxury handmade accessories brand Marmaduke Scarlet lives in a beautiful beamed house situated right at the top of the hill. This lovely old house used to be a grocery shop decades ago ( I still remember it from my childhood!) So once again, for a few weeks in November, Katie’s front room was converted back into a shop, albeit this time the groceries were exchanged for gorgeous handmade goodies!

I was excited to be showcasing my handmade jewellery, alongside a selection of talented local makers, including Polly had a Dolly; Ginkgo Floristry; tatty tess and Ddesignmakebake. The shop and Starlight shopping evening event were a runaway success and lots of fun was had and friendships made as a result.

When I heard that Katie was opening Kentish Made this winter for a special Starlight Shopping event, I was thrilled to be invited along! I will be selling a lovely selection of handmade silver and copper jewellery which will make perfect Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.

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This year the Starlight Shopping event will feature some familiar faces and new people too, including local home-roasted coffee company StApple Hurst Roast and gorgeous handmade candle company The Hazel Tree. I’m really looking forward to buying some Christmas gifts myself!

If you’re local to Staplehurst, please do pop in and enjoy Kentish Made’s Starlight Shopping event, this Thursday 1st December,  7pm-10pm or if you can’t make the evening, why not drop into our open morning the following day Friday 9.30am -2.30pm

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Why not check out the Kentish Made Facebook page for updates on the event and lots of information about the makers, and their lovely products!

Jewellery Designing

Autumn Inspiration

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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!

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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.

 

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Hammered copper bangle with oxidised silver detail
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Abstract floral pattern copper pendant
Little Red Hen Folksy Wales 1
Photo credit:Yeshen Venema for Folksy
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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

Making Eco Silver Leaf Pattern Pendants

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Leaves, recycled silver & lots of elbow grease! That’s what is involved in creating my eco silver leaf pattern pendants.

These pendants are one of my favourite things to make. They are always popular, as being simple and elegant they can be worn for a variety of occasions, if not everyday!

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My leaf pattern pendants are handmade from Precious Metal Clay, a fantastic material which incorporates fine silver particles in a non-toxic binder. There are lots of different products available, I like to use Art Clay Silver which has a slower drying time and less shrinkage than other metal clay products I’ve tried.

Another reason I use Art Clay Silver is it’s a great eco-friendly product.  It uses silver recycled from items such as circuit boards, dentistry and photographic processes and mixes them with an organic, non-toxic binder. This binder burns off when fired in a kiln (it can also be torch fired) to leave behind a piece of jewellery that is 99.9% pure silver.

Circle silver clay leaf pattern pendant

First the clay is rolled and shaped (a bit like play dough), then I use a leaf from the garden (a skeleton leaf from craft shops works well too) to make an impression on the clay.  I have a collection of clay cutters, which are a bit like miniature pastry cutters, to cut out the desired shape of the pendants. My favourites are the heart and teardrop and these always seem to be popular with my customers too!

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Rolled soft clay and craft shop skeleton leaf.

I like to use a cocktail stick to make a hole for the pendant jump ring to go through, being very careful not to disturb the delicate design before it’s dried.  Then comes the drying, which can be done at room temperature over twenty-four hours, or in a cool oven within an hour. There’s always drying instructions included in the Metal Clay packet and I’ve found oven drying to be the best and speediest method for me.

It’s important for the clay to be completely bone dry before it is fired in the kiln, as any residual moisture can cause the silver to crack. Any little imperfections can be sanded away at this stage, however this has to be done with extreme care as the dry clay will be very fragile! I’m afraid I’ve had a few casualties in the past, so have learnt the hard way to be very careful.

Following the instructions on my clay packet, I then fire my dry pendants in my table top kiln. This little kiln is one of my favourite tools as it’s so versatile and easy to use.  I always look forward to hearing the timer ping and seeing what the pendants look like, once they are cooled down.

Fine silver heart pendant leaf pattern elegant

I like to burnish my fired pendants with a brass brush; this brings the fine silver to the surface and gives them a subdued, satin finish.  I tidy up the edges and reverse side with polishing papers, this is where the elbow grease comes in! Then give them a quick spin in the tumble polisher too if they need it.  All that’s left is to buff and shine with a silver cloth and then the finished pendants are ready to be boxed up awaiting their new homes.

I love wearing these pendants as they go with everything and suit every occasion, but are really special too. They are available to order from my Folksy Shop and Etsy Shop

Why not take a look and let me know what you think!