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Open Studio 20th & 21st November 2021

There have been some exciting changes here! In September, I moved into my brand new studio at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, just a few miles down the road from where I was before. My new studio was formerly a stairwell in the museum, which was converted over the summer. Once the conversion was complete, my brilliant friends, Alice (of Alice Draws the Line) and Jen gave me a hand with painting the studio - thank you ladies! I also had some carpentry done by local joiner Alan Gough, including putting up some much needed cupboards for storage. It was at times challenging, working out how I would fit it all in, but now it is all set up...

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The envelope project in May

For May, I was so delighted to select a little 0.03ct rose cut diamond, which I have been so looking forward to making a piece with. A rose cut is an unusual cut of stone, popular in Victorian times, and this particular diamond is a vintage one (I’m not sure how old) but it is rather wonderful to think it has already had a life in another piece of jewellery before. I decided to keep this one wonderfully simple, and created a 9ct yellow gold ring. This started as a square profile, but I altered it so the top has a subtle rounding, and then textured it with my treasured ball hammer I bought in South Korea on my university...

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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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