First blog for the first apprentice!

July 6, 2011

Well hello, my name is Ella Sadler-Andrews and I am the Lancaster Jewellery Maker’s first ever apprentice! I’ve been meaning to introduce myself for quite sometime now, but as I will explain in this first post, my life isn’t quite so straight forward.

Firstly, I would like to thank the women behind The Jewellery Maker for giving me this opportunity to learn a new trade and to write about something new and exciting. I’m going to be using this blog almost as a diary. The art of jewellery making is a whole new world to me. I’m going to be learning all sorts of new skills, and at the same time, writing about it. I enjoy writing, I enjoy learning; what could be better than blogging my experiences? I think it’s important I share a bit about me so I don’t seem such a stranger…

I am nineteen years old, currently sharing my time between the family house in Lancaster and a shared house in Zichem, Belgium. Why Belgium? I’m a full-time cyclist. I race road bikes for a living. It’s a strange life and not a lot of people fully understand how it works. Although my cycling team is British, the racing in Belgium is far better and more frequent than back in the UK. Hence my residence out here. Being a cyclist involves a lot of training, resting and well, coffee drinking. To put it simply, I have a lot of free time. I currently write a blog for my team and one for a cycling website.

I don’t go to University, I have no want to go to Uni. I love to learn, but I had fourteen years of school. I’ve grown out of a ‘typical’ education. I prefer  to learn in new and exciting ways. My favourite way to learn is to travel. I get itchy feet if I’m stuck in one place for too long. For this trait, I blame my parents. We’ve always travelled; even lived in New Zealand. I even have a suitcase tattooed on my ankle. That and the bike on the other ankle pretty much sum me up.  Hopefully one day I can be a travelling, cycling silversmith. Sounds epic.

With my itchy feet combined with my cycling lifestyle, it’s difficult to commit to any structural education. So when my mum joined a jewellery course and started bringing home beautifully crafted pieces of silver jewellery, I knew that this was something I could see myself doing. I’m a big silver fan. I have four pieces that I wear on a daily basis –

- a small bicycle pendant, hung from a silver chain around my neck, brought back from Mexico by a friend.

– a Russian wedding ring, from my Godmother. I would always steal hers, so for my 14th she bought me my own. That sits on my middle finger, right hand.

- a simple, silver bangle, battered and worn, with the engraving of my parents ‘celebration’ on the inside. This was originally one of my parent’s bangles (my sister has the other). They had both snapped, but for Christmas ’10 they had them re-made for Ruby and I. Probably one of my most treasured possessions.

My interest in my mum’s new skill, and the Jewellery Maker wanting  a silver apprentice is what one might call ‘fate’. It’s something I can do whilst travelling the world and riding my bike. When I am unable to do the practical side to the apprenticeship, I can research and write articles about what I have found, ideas I may have, things I see whilst travelling which are related to the trade. Then when I am home for some time, I can get in the workshop and get my hands dirty. Which naturally, I will keep you updated on.

I think simplicity is the key to beautiful jewellery. An opinion you will probably see reflected through my own work. It’s going to be fab, I’m excited. I think that you should come along too, share the experience.

There are too many lawyers, dentists and traffic wardens out there. What the world needs are more jewellery makers.


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Soon to be turning her hand to a spot of jewellery making!


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