Jewellery making intensive

When my family went away recently, I decided to make the most of my time alone in the house with an intensive on jewellery making.  Rather than making one or two pieces here and there, I find it easier to set up all my tools, dive in deep and play hard for a while.

I started by gathering inspiration.  I scoured my favourite jewellery boards on pinterest, printed pics that inspired me, and stuck them in my journal. One thing I love is pieces of jewellery with little dangly bits hanging from them, and I’d like to use all sorts of interesting found objects for my danglies, but I can never think what to use other than beads.  So I made a whole section in my journal devoted to interesting dangly ideas, and listed bits and pieces to collect for these.

Jewellery making intensive

I also wanted to try leather wrist cuffs, and some round/oval shaped pendants.  While I worked, I had my journal open and referred back to it several times a day.

Here’s me, in the bathroom with my blow torch, soldering some pieces:

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My friend Ella came over, and did a heap of the grunt work – sanding and filing metal pieces for me to prepare them for etching and soldering.  To thank her, I taught her a few soldering basics, and here she is, making her own pendant:


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At the end of the first day, we had a bunch of pieces in progress:


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And a day later, they’d all come together in the form of actual pendants.  I was very pleased with the feathers in nests.  The feathers came from a boa from an antique shop in France.  And the stones themselves were from a sunrise beach walk I took earlier in the year.


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Then I turned my focus to making resin pendants.


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I went through all the paintings I’ve done this last year, and selected my favourites.  I created tiny prints of them, and placed them inside the little metal frames I’d made.


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To satisfy my desire to play with dangly bits, I made several pendants with loops at the bottom, ready to receive them:


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And then I started attaching little bolts, nuts, screws, stones and hammered/etched metal plates.  I was thrilled with the results…


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Then I turned my attention to making the leather wrist cuffs.  They gave me an entire day of trouble, before finally coming together.  The problem was, I just couldn’t work out how to do the clasp.  I thought of press studs but my leather was too thick for my studs, and once they’d all been layered together, the whole thing just felt too chunky to go on a wrist.  Back to the drawing board.  Pinterest gave me a fair bit of inspiration, but nothing was perfect for my needs.  So I sat up in bed at night and sketched out ideas in my journal.  The next morning, I tested them out, and ta da!  I had my first leather wrist cuff!


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And then my family came home and I realised I’d averaged about 11 hours of work a day, and suddenly I was EXHAUSTED!  It took me a whole day in bed to recover.  But once I was on my feet again, I photographed everything and now most of the pieces are in my Etsy shop.  Pop over there to have a look at everything, if you like.  There’s so many pieces that came up just gorgeous.  And I think they make lovely Christmas gifts, so feel free to get organised with your Christmas shopping at the same time!


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