Happy New Year!
And before you ask, I have not made any resolutions because I would only break them. Stop eating as much chocolate? Already broken. Do more exercise? Already broken. It's just not gonna happen, people. But I do hope to continue being creative as much as possible. I certainly was over Christmas when I had three weeks off and I spent most of it down the shed. There were several new jewellery-making techniques I wanted to try out and it's so much easier to do it when you have a block of time to work on them, make mistakes, re-do them and make them better etc.
The photo below shows some of the things I was up to. Top left is a piece of filigree work. I've never done it before so I had to make my own filigree wire from 0.4mm sterling wire twisted together and then popped through a rolling mill at approximately 0.5mm. Since taking this photo I finished the piece up a little more, but there are some slight imperfections so I won't sell it. I want to take it a little further next time. My plan is to set my enamel painting of my cat as a cabochon and use the filigree around and above it.
At the top is an example of the PMC seashell earrings I mentioned in my last post. I made a mould from real shells and they came out well. My plan is to put them in my Etsy shop soon. I have made a purple pair which are particularly lush.
The minimalist pendant on the right with the blue CZ is already in my Etsy shop. Sometimes less is more, and I love using square wire. Eventually I would like to make a larger piece like this, but as I have not yet got a hallmark I thought I would concentrate on smaller pieces for my shop first. Any silver item over 7.8g in the UK has to be hallmarked, but it's quite expensive to set up so I'm going to wait a while; it will come eventually!
At the bottom is an experiment I am very excited about. It's a layered pendant made from sterling silver; I call them 'shadow boxes'. There are loads of things wrong with it but as usual I wrote down all of my processes so next time I will be able to make it better. I just wanted to see if I could do it first. I might make it a little bit bigger too as this piece is tiny: only 2cm across!
I really like the piece in the bottom left corner and it will be in my Etsy shop soon when the chain arrives for it. It's fine silver cast in Himalayan salt and then set with two CZ's. I really like it but I was unsure whether or not other people would. I've had a couple of people say they love it so I'm pleased. Setting the CZ's was an absolute nightmare though so I'll have to figure out a better way of doing it or perhaps just hit it with a bigger hammer!
Another experiment not shown in the photo above is the pendant below left featuring silver granulation and a CZ. Again, this one isn't perfect so I won't be selling it, but I hope these photos show you that making jewellery (or anything for that matter) is a progressive process. All those shiny Instagram photos start with someone sketching ideas and making mistakes along the way until they get to the finished product. Sometimes people who want to start their own businesses look at other people's creations and are too overwhelmed to even start - everyone else's stuff always seems so amazing! The only difference is they don't post photos of the pieces they have melted or ruined!
I bought a set of small metal flower stamps recently from eBay and decided to make some sterling earrings (above middle) which are currently on my Etsy shop. Ebay does well out of me - there are so many tempting tools on there for £10 or £20 and I find it very hard to resist. I console myself with the fact that they are useful things and I am not just buying handbags or shoes!
So there you have a little round-up of some of the experiments I made over Christmas. I am currently working on a little degu-inspired pendant for all the rodent-loving freaks out there like me. You don't really see hamster or guinea pig or degu-inspired pieces out there, so I'm going to make some. They will be very niche but sometimes you've just got to do what makes you happy and hope that someone else out there will like it too!
Anyway, I think that maybe my New Year's Resolution should be to blog a bit more this year. I really enjoy all aspects of running a tiny business, like photography, working on the website (which is going to need a revamp) and blogging. Just don't hold me to it!
Until next time,
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