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.
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:
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:
At the end of the first day, we had a bunch of pieces in progress:
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.
Then I turned my focus to making resin pendants.
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.
To satisfy my desire to play with dangly bits, I made several pendants with loops at the bottom, ready to receive them:
And then I started attaching little bolts, nuts, screws, stones and hammered/etched metal plates. I was thrilled with the results…
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!
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!