Course Review, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Update

Wire Work

Wirework

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe it’s August already!  Where is this year going??????  I have just realised how long it has been since my last blog post, and I have been so naughty neglecting it!    But…….you may be happy to know (or not!) that I have just brainstormed a load of topics for future blog posts, so stay tuned!

Anyway, to catch you all up on what has been happening in my little corner of the world……..

I recently attended a wirework jewellery class.  It was run by the very lovely Jo of Willow Moon jewellery (See link below) and the class was to make a wirework bracelet and ring in copper wire.  Jo also offered the option to make in sterling silver, for a very small extra fee.  I really wanted to make something that I could wear every day, so I went for the sterling silver option!

After a good introductory chat from Jo, where she explained all about what we would be making, the different options, and an overview of the tools we would be using, we got started!  I chose to do a sleek, non-beaded bracelet.  Jo measured out the wire we would need, and we got to work! The design used seven lengths of wire, and I swapped two of them for copper to add another pretty element.

All throughout the day Jo explained, and demonstrated, each technique very clearly and by mid-afternoon myself, and the other three ladies had all managed to finish our bracelets!  They were all very different – but equally beautiful!    To finish off the class, we then made wire wrapped rings!  Jo had a lovely assortment of beads for us to choose from, and I think we all managed to make at least two!  They were quite quick and easy, and huge amounts of fun!

Jo had also brought some examples of her own work in, which were completely drool-worthy!  She also had an assortment of semi-precious cabochons, and the most gorgeous lilac coloured pearls that she explained a lady had used in a previous workshop to make her bridal tiara!  How amazing is that!

The class ended far too quickly for me!  I could have stayed on for hours!  But Jo did send me home with the copper wire that I would have used for the standard class option, so I had goodies to play with at home! 

Needless to say, when I got home I promptly got my tools out and had a practice, and managed to make another two, slimmer, bracelets! 

So,  the end of this tale is that I have completely fallen in love with wirework!  I ordered some supplies in, and I have been practising!  Many of you will know that I have a hoard of gemstones and beads, and this is giving me a fantastic chance to use some of them!

I have made myself a pendant in a similar style to my bracelet, and a couple of wire tree of life pendants, wrapped around some gorgeous labradorite!

I will keep you updated on my wirework experimentations, but I also wanted to quickly mention a big upcoming project.   Starting from the 1st September, I am running a month long Stitch-A-Long!  There are plenty of details on my facebook page and group, but this will also have its own blog post shortly!

In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather – stay safe!  Wear sunscreen!

Hugs

Zoe

https://www.facebook.com/willowmoonjewellery/

Course Review, Uncategorized

Wire Wrapping Class

On Saturday I took myself off to Nottingham for the day again, to attend another class at the Nottingham Jewellery School (which is fast becoming my favourite place to visit).  This months class was Wire Wrapping, with the fabulous Angela Askins of Angleberry Jewellery.

The day started with an introduction to wire, the different types, strengths etc. and what to look for in a good working wire.  Angela had also brought her bead boxes with her, which I could have happily spent the rest of the day playing with!!!!!!

After a brief overview of the tools we would be working with, we got started.  The first task was to master turning loops and making our own ear-wires.  I was particularly interested in this, as I get through a lot of earwires!  We practised this for a little while, then moved on to making earrings wrapped with beads.

A short break for lunch, then back to it – in the afternoon session we were making figure of eight links, which could be used for so many things, then on to a wire wrapped ring!   Angela gave full instructions on how to get the sizing right, and how to make sure the ring is finished perfectly, so it is comfortable to wear.  We had a little time left at the end of the day, so practised making spirals, and adding beads.

It really was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with a lot of laughter, and I went home with two finished pieces of jewellery, and the makings for several more.  As soon as I got home I added bails to the two spiral pendants, and used the figure of eight links to make a bracelet!

I noticed today that the course is being run again next year – if you are able to get to Nottingham, I highly recommend booking yourself on it!  Pop across to the Focus Galleries website for details of all the upcoming courses.  I can’t wait for the next one!

https://www.focusgallerynottingham.com/

Until next time…….

Uncategorized

My Silver Smithing Adventure

On Saturday, I took myself off to Nottingham for the Three Rings in a Day Workshop run by Alys Power at the Focus Art Gallery in Nottingham.

After an early start to get the bus into Nottingham, and a little bit of retail therapy first, I made my way up to the gallery.  As you approach, the window display catches your eye with the beautiful creations they have on offer to tempt you with!  As you enter, the delights continue, with many different styles of jewellery, homeware, art, glassware, and ceramics.  There really is something for everyone, and I imagine it to be the absolute perfect place to find a special gift.

The workshop is actually held at the Nottingham Jewellery School, which resides underneath the main gallery.  As you make you way down the stairs, there are more displays of artworks, and the first section you enter is where refreshments are laid out.  Teas in every flavour, coffees, and the most delicious of cakes are plentiful, and are fully available throughout the day.

While we were enjoying a very welcome cuppa (and maybe a sneaky little bit of cake), our tutor, the lovely Alys of Alys Power Jewellery joined us, and started things off with a welcome, brief introduction, the obligatory safety information, and an overview of the day, then off we went into the workshop to get started!

The focus of the mornings session was to have a look at designs, talk about possibilities, and to get started on making our first ring.  Alys gave a very clear, and easy to understand explanation of how to size a ring, and the types of silver we would be using.    After we all worked out what size we needed, and decided which silver wire we would be using (which felt like the most important decision ever to be made)  we got started.  I’m not going to go into every detail of how to make a ring (get yourself booked onto one of Alys’s courses!) but needless to say we cut, and we shaped using professional jewellers tools, and then the scary fun bit – we soldered! 

After a short break for lunch, it was back into it, and Alys explained the tools and methods to shape, texture, finish and polish our rings.  At the end of which we had our first ring!  The sense of achievement cannot be put into words!  We had made our very own, completely individual and unique, sterling silver ring!   After basking in our achievement, it was off to start our second and third!  

I choe to make a set of rings with a hammered texture, that I could wear all together, and chose three different depths and styles of silver to work with.  Following the procedures Alys had taught, I cut and shaped the rings, soldered again, the beat them into shape and size with a hammer (very therapeutic!) and then used a ball peen hammer to add the texture.  A bit of filing, and polishing to finish, and the results were a set of three rings that I was incredibly proud of!  

I had a little time left before the end of the class, so I actually set to, and made a fourth ring!  Using the same methods, but using a different shaped silver wire, I ended up with a complete set of four rings, that can be worn together, individually, or in any combination! 

 

After spending a little time admiring each others achievements, it was sadly time to go home.  I cannot remember a day going by so quickly before!  But what we achieved with Alys’s tuition and guidance was incredible.  If you ever find yourself in the Nottingham area, I would highly recommend booking yourself on one of Alys’s courses, and make sure you have a good tour of the Gallery too – I can guarantee you will find something to tempt yourself with!

Both the Gallery, and Alys Power Jewellery do mail order!  You can find them here;-

https://www.focusgallerynottingham.com/ 

http://www.alyspower.co.uk/