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The envelope project in April

In April, from my envelopes, I chose a strand of beautiful snowflake obsidian gemstone beads to work with. I was so inspired by their form and snowflake pattern that I chose to design and create a necklace. Feeling ambitious after the necklace I created last month, I also decided to use a technique and tool I haven't used for a while: press forming.  Snowflake obsidian is a black gemstone with a grey-white inclusions which appear rather like ice patterns. For my feature necklace, I wanted to create a pebble shaped centrepiece with the snowflake obsidian colours reversed, so the 'white' silver as the background with a textured pattern oxisided black.  A vintage hammer with a rough file texture worked really well...

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The envelope project in March

On 1st March for the envelope project, as we were still homeschooling, I asked my daughter Bryony to choose the envelope, and inside was a long leaf shaped black obsidian bead, which originally came from a strand of about twelve beads. I only have a very few of these left. I contemplated using a couple for some earrings, but when it came to it, a new pendant design was what felt right - and in a new twist, I made it so that bead in the centre of the pendant and can be rotated. It hangs from a continuous 'over the head' chain, with two hammered leaf outline details. It was great fun making this one, I like the tactile addition...

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Completing the dragonfly pendant

In January, I chose an exquisite small square amethyst cabochon to use in a new design. By the end of January, the piece was almost complete although I hadn't actually set the stone in place - this is the part where the bezel is pushed over the stone, anchoring it in place. And so, last week, I finally set the beautiful amethyst cabochon into the dragonfly pendant and gave it the final polish to complete. I really enjoyed incorporating the leaf texture onto the wings of the dragonfly, the texture is on both front and back of the wings. There is also a subtle hammered texture on the body of the dragonfly, which was forged by hand from a single...

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The envelope project for 2021

Full of new year optimism, I decided to set myself a creative project for this year. As many jewellers do, I have a collection of beautiful gemstones, some of which I have had for years, and I decided this was the year I would start to use some of them. I chose 12 gemstones from my collection and hid them inside 12 little envelopes, to be opened on the first of each month. As luck would have it, both the January and February gemstones were amethyst! I'll be sharing some of the ideas and development as well as the finished pieces I make with the gemstones each month. I hope you'll enjoy following along as each design emerges. For January...

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