Blog Archives

Simple Silver Jewellery Making – Project 1- Heart Shaped Silver Pendant

April 29, 2012
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This is a special project split into 4 video tutorials. In the next four videos Janet shows you how to make a Heart Shaped Silver Pendant. Video 1 Video 2 Video 3 Video 4 We hope you enjoyed the Silver Pendant project, please let us know what you thought about the videos and if you have any questions then please leave them in the comments section below.

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Apprentice Blog number four : I finished the ring before it finished me.

January 25, 2012
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Apprentice Blog number four : I finished the ring before it finished me.

  My pre-Christmas blog update. Better late than never! From the apprentice, Ella.   I finished the ring; the ring that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. After my last blog it took me one more session of hard labour to get it to a decent standard. I first had to solder it shut. We used easy solder as to avoid opening up the solder holding together the two strips. This process went relatively smoothly (in comparison to the first lot of soldering!). Janet and I weren’t initially sure that the join was strong enough as you could clearly still see the join. Fortunately it was, but it meant that I was going to have a tough time trying to make the solder line disappear. I was so happy just to have soldered it shut with minimal trouble that the mess I had made in the process didn’t bother me. I wasn’t fussed that the soldering was obvious. Now however, I couldn’t settle for that. It’s quite interesting to see how my standards have changed now that I am more skilled and have seen what I can do (this will all make sense in my next blog).       Next came the laborious job of filing and polishing. I worked for a while on the closing seal to see if I could erase the join. I managed to file away a very small amount but my soldering was poor quality and with any more filing, the join would’ve become weak and the silver very thin. In all honesty, by this time I wanted to finish this project ASAP. I’d just had enough of the grief it had given me! If you remember, I accidentally made a nick in the ring. Turns out I couldn’t completely get rid of...

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Apprentice Blog : Weeks 3 and 4

November 15, 2011
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Apprentice Blog : Weeks 3 and 4

Written by Ella Sadler-Andrews Since my last update I’ve moved pretty far with my learning.  In my third session, we focused on soldering.  Soldering is the skill of using various solders as an aid in ‘sticking’ one piece of metal to another.  There are varying percentages of silver in solder.  Hard solder has the highest amount of silver in it, making its melting point very close to that of sterling silver. Whereas easy solder has the least amount of silver in it, making it melt well before silver.  The purpose of these different solders is say, for example, if you were soldering a ring together and then you needed to solder something onto that ring, and would therefore avoid the initial solder from melting and thus the ring becoming undone, you would use a hard solder. You would then use an easier solder to solder what you needed onto the ring, which would require less heat, and therefore not melting the hard solder holding the ring together.  If you only require one thing to be soldered, you use, as a general rule, hard solder. (My soldered ‘e’ and pre soldered curls onto copper.) My first design piece that I described last blog requires of me to solder the silver curls onto a copper background.  To practice for this, I soldered a silver ‘e’ onto the copper heart I sawed out last time. Choosing the right size piece of solder and then attempting to cut it out of the solder strip is a skill in itself.  If you use a bigger piece than necessary, then the excess solder splodges everywhere it isn’t needed and makes a right mess! Once I managed to cut a small enough piece, I had to borax (that funny flux substance again) the copper, silver wire...

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Apprentice blog : The first two weeks.

November 8, 2011
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Apprentice blog : The first two weeks.

By Ella Sadler-Andrews I’ve finally started the practical side to my jewellery apprenticeship. Considering we initially came up with this plan in May (rough guess, can’t actually remember exactly…) it’s been a looong time coming. But hell, it’s been worth the wait! We’ve had two sessions so far, starting with some pretty basic stuff. My coach/teacher/boss has been Janet. I chose not to go to University for many reasons, one being I was fed up of conventional education and teaching. Janet knows this so I can tell she’s making a super effort not to bore me or have a ‘regular’ teaching style. I’m pretty impatient, especially when it comes to watching demonstrations. I’d rather just get on with it and freestyle…Janet keeps the instructions to a minimal, and practical to the max. (I would say) I’m a quick learner, I pick things up easily. I understand however, that some things within working with metals that I can’t just ad lib. For instance, soldering and fusing. That blumming blow torch is lethal. If Janet hadn’t have given me instruction with that weapon then I can safely say, I’d have no eyebrows left. So as Julie Andrews would say… ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start’. I’ve started working with copper to begin with. Firstly, I got to mark out a rectangle of copper which I then went on to saw out. I was never one for woodwork at school, but with this more delicate sawing, I only managed to break one blade! I eventually got to the stage of sawing out a (very) small star and a (very) small heart. Copper’s edges are sharp. So sharp, I even cut my finger lightly on my own piece.  To avoid this and to also make an article...

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September update

August 11, 2011
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Our weekly classes are now underway and are going well, do enquire if you wish to join any of these.  We have 3 and 5 day Intensive courses, and 1 day classes in Silver Clay, Beading and Make a ring or bangle courses on offer. Check out the relevant pages for dates and times. If you have any questions of queries, please do drop us a line, you can email us using the contacts page. Or direct at thejewellerymaker@gmail.com or phone us on 01524 874033. We look forward to welcoming you at 8-4-2 Harpers Mill, White Cross Industrial Estate, South Road, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ, on one of our courses. Janet and Delia

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5 Day Course Special Offer!

July 1, 2011
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Hi everyone, Just to remind you that we have a 5 day course coming up on the 19th – 23rd September and the 17th – 21st October. Accommodation can be arranged by us, or you are free to make your own arrangements. We will start each day at 10am, where were we will spend the morning teaching you, helping with design work, and then in the afternoon you will be let loose to create your designs in the afternoon. Weather permitting, we will venture out for a day, where you can take photos, collect natural objects and generally be inspired to come back and design fantastic pieces of jewellery. We are offering this course with a £200 discount, at £295!!  And in addition to this great saving we are offering a silver starter kit worth £62, as featured in Making Jewellery Magazine.  This free gift will include,  10g Silver Clay, Silver Sheet, Silver wire etc. Great savings and a great week!!  You will meet new people, make new friends, enjoy a trip out, make beautiful jewellery, and hopefully be inspired to keep making  for years to come! Get in touch if you would like more information, or to book your place! Best wishes Janet and Delia 01524 874033

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Student feedback

June 22, 2011
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We have had some lovely feedback and comments from some of our students that have attended our courses, here are a few; “Delia! thankyou so much for making Larraine and I so welcome on saturday. I’ve never made any kind of jewellery before but with your help and patience we were really pleased with our handy work. It was a fab day with a lovely group of girls, one who went shopping for chocolate a lunch time them force feed us some on her return ha ha.We will be seeing you again soon and bringing freinds with us”. “Hello Delia, I’m just mailing to say thankyou for such an enjoyable day at your silver clay class on Saturday.I’m not on facebook so cannot “like” or “comment”. I would like to attend again in the future and I am back at work tomorrow so I can look in my diary at my rota as Tuesday afternoons sound appealing. I shall wear my pendant with pride and reccommend your course. I wish you both success in your venture( and start charging upfront)you are obviously commited to providing a friendly and welcoming experience. Hoping to see you again soon” “Thanks again for today, it was brilliant”. It is always good to hear positive feedback and to know that people have really enjoyed making and creating their own jewellery. Some of the design ideas are amazing! Photos from our recent silver clay class will be on the Silver Clay page shortly. Take a look and let us know what you think! Janet

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A Brief History of Jewellery

January 28, 2011
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The first Jewellery finds date back to as early as 100,000 years ago.  In this case Nassarius shells were used and holes drilled in them with a flint tool. They were found in Skhul cave on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Isreal. They were thought to be strung on some kind of cord and worn by the person.  These were thought to be the earliest form of jewellery. It is thought that jewellery was used as a sign of wealth or for showing others they were a member of a certain group.   Jewellery was important and had great meaning even thought to ward off evil.  It was also used as a way of holding hair up or to tie clothing. Earlier pieces were made of natural objects, such as stones, shells, wood, bone and feathers.  Later precious metals were used as they are today.  They skills used to create this precious metal jewellery, by hand, have changed very little over the years and when you begin to make a piece of jewellery yourself, you really appreciate the skills of the people in ancient times. Sources: BBC Science and environment website All about gemstones website Wikipedia – History of jewellery

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Article on Using Silver Clay worth a read

November 12, 2010
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Hello Everyone, if you’re considering booking our 1 day course on making jewellery from Silver Clay then please take the time to read this article written by Adam Hunter from CooksonGold. It’s interesting to read and may help you decide whether or not to sign up. Personally Silver Clay is my favourite medium, it’s easy to use and the design possiblities are endless. Let me know what you think of the article.    Cheers Delia (START)  Whether you are an experienced jewellery maker or a complete beginner, silver metal clay is by far the easiest of the metal clays to use. The possibilities are endless; you can twist it, roll it, bend it, sculpt it, pull it or cut it and when fired it becomes pure, 99.9% silver. It’s a fun and exciting material which means you can be as creative as you like and you can make anything from decorative necklaces to wear at parties to gorgeous drop earrings as a Christmas present for your mum. But there are a few basics you need to know before making a start. You will firstly need a supply of silver art clay, which you can easily buy from jewellery suppliers. Silver art clay is the best clay for using at home as it requires a lower firing temperature than other metal clays. You will also need a wire brush for cleaning your silver clay after being fired, as there will be a remaining layer of clay that appears dull and uninteresting which needs to be removed before it is used or worn. You will also need somewhere or someway of firing your silver clay creation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean buying a proper kiln. Firing can be done at home with a pot that can be used with your gas stove or...

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Stage 1 Lesson 2

October 16, 2010
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Thursdays lesson went really well again, and everyone’s getting to know each other now.  We covered alot this week, including sweat soldering, texturing using a hammer and doming.  The designs and creativity is starting to show now, which is brilliant.  Several of our students have been designing and doing sketches of what they want to make.  Really enjoyed hearing about these designs and lovely to see the enthusiasm too!  It s what its all about!  Looking forward to next time everyone.  We start an afternoon class this coming Tuesday 19th, if anyone is interested just get in touch as places are still available.  Let us know also, if another evening or afternoon would be more convenient for you and we will try to accommodate you. Janet

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