Friday, 20 November 2015

We're All Ears - November 2015


'Pods' are the theme for this month and I found this an ideal subject to experiment a bit more with polymer clay.  Perusing the internet I came across some gorgeous examples of pod creations but the problem for me is that I prefer to wear very simple jewellery without too many colours or twists and bendy bits.  So how to make a wearable pod?  Well here's my efforts to suit my somewhat basic style preferences:


Carving, drilling (the blue ones were hollowed out with a drill), texturing and colour mixing....much fun!!  Thanks for popping in,  I really do enjoy your visits and to get back to Earrings Everyday click here...xx

Friday, 16 October 2015

We're All Ears- October 2015


This months inspiration comes from the catwalk and features designs in gorgeous aubergine tones by Monique Lhuillier.  Well, I can count on one hand how many times I have worn high heels in my life as glamour is not my thing at all.  I did however, home in on the outfit with the fur coat as I used to wear an acrylic fun fur like that many, many, many years ago when I was a student.  Back then The Clash and the Sex Pistols (British Punk) were the bands of my formative years. So thinking myself young again, that is the outfit I would choose to wear, only I would have to pick accessories to glam it down a notch or two!   

Jelly Hoops
Now this is an experiment for me, as I've never used polymer clay before.  I focused on the blue that can be seen on the models nail polish (Ok there's a bit of artistic licence going on here!) and I was aiming for an urban vibe with these hoops, although in truth the translucent clay reminds me of jelly sandals. I'm quite pleased I got the copper wire to bake in securely, I've tugged it with pliers and it won't budge so that's a good start.

To get back to Earrings Everyday click here and thanks so much for visiting  xx

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Just a Quickie...

Caught sight of these little harbour porpoises 'jumping' past our house today.  I've never been able to catch them on camera before.  There were quite a few of them and the sea was nice and calm...xx

Friday, 18 September 2015

We're All Ears - September 2015

This months inspiration comes from a video clip of a mesmerizing performance by Japanese dance and art troupe ENRA.  Well there was certainly a lot of visual clues to pick from.....movement, shapes, geometry, fusion, light, reflections...

Here then is my interpretation:

Round sterling silver hoops with geometric brass dangles pierced from brass sheet. I hammered the brass to give a texture of bouncing light and polished them to a high shine to be reflective. On the back they have a soft brushed finished.  

I hope you all had fun with this months get back to Earrings Everyday click here. Thanks for visiting   xx

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Friday, 21 August 2015

We're All Ears - August 2015

USA Antelope-Canyon.jpg
Antelope Canyon - Sculptural Natural Rock Formations
Inspiration this month comes from the amazing rock formations found in the Antelope Canyon, Northern Arizona.  At certain times of the year these weather worn creations are turned into ethereal sculptures by shafts of sunlight beaming through for short magical spells each day. They have a dangerous side too, prone to sudden flash floods that have caused loss of life.  They are to be gazed upon with wonder but like the sea, they must be treated with respect.  Revered and protected by the Navajo people these rocks can only be visited with an official tour guide.

So for me, the above picture is all about copper and silver. I formed these earring drops from copper clay to reflect the textures worn into the sandstone and they hang from small sterling silver textured hoops. 

Copper Clay Earrings

Thanks for visiting and to get back to Earrings Everday to see everyone else's amazing interpretations, cick here...xx

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Behind the Scenes

There's a few things going on behind the scenes...

vintage style bunny

...I'm working towards getting my toy safety certification sorted out for the EU and US. That's a long story for another day.


I'm also thinking about offering some copper clay pieces as jewellery components...

copper clay jewellery components

A name change for my shop may be in order too as it's not just about vintage anymore but maybe not...we'll see...xx

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Baby Sparrow

Fledgling Sparrow
Heard a bit of a fracas going on outside and saw this little guy tumble to the ground.  There are house sparrow nests in several corners of our roof.  He's strong enough to fly so all should be well.  Luckily Evie was inside at the time!


 But I do not think it's funny that I had to light the fire in August!!  xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Friday, 17 July 2015

We're All Ears July 2015

Handstitched Quilt

This months inspiration comes from the stunning quilts hand stitched by women of the Siddi community in India.  The Siddi people are descended from the Bantus of Southeast Africa but many were brought to India by the Portuguese as slaves in the early 16th century. After escaping slavery small groups remained in regions of India to form their own unique and distinct communities.

The Siddi women  produce beautiful art, joining together fragments of brightly coloured discarded saris to form a unique quilt each one telling it's own individual story.  The quilts are known as kawandi and are finished at each corner with a triangular patch of fabric representing a flower.  I started to wonder about what sort of personal adornments the women themselves would wear.  As flowers are an important part of the quilt then perhaps they would wear jewellery with a connection to nature. Here then is my interpretation...domed discs formed from copper clay, 'fossilised' with leaves from my herb garden and dangling below are brightly coloured glass seed beads.  Earthy and elemental...

Copper Leaf Earrings

Sorry about the dark photo but it is another grey stormy day here in Scotland.  Thanks for visiting and to get back to earrings everyday click here...xx

Monday, 22 June 2015

After The Rain...

Apparently it's been the coldest June here in the UK for 24 years...

cranesbill with raindrops

aquilegia with raindrops

...but my wildflower garden is struggling on...xx

Friday, 19 June 2015

We're All Ears June 2015's that time already?  Well I have to apologise, I was pretty excited about this month's inspiration as I live in a small fishing village right on the sea and I grew up in rock pools.  Time got away from me though and this day arrived too quickly.  Here are my efforts for this month but sadly without any decorative beads as I ran out of copper wire to wrap them and had no time to order new supplies.  These are made from copper clay, dipped in liver of sulphur for patina and tumbled for shine and to harden the metal. They are sitting on a beautiful wild oyster shell which I'm happy to say are making a comeback here in our little bay...until they allow fracking...but that's a story for another day..

round and domed

Thank You for visiting and to get back to Earrings everyday click here...xx

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Friday, 15 May 2015

We're All Ears - May 2015


The, sultry, fluid, intense!  Well personally I have two left feet and am painfully uncoordinated when it comes to dancing, but I do love to watch and this month's inspiration was mesmerising.  At first I was dizzy with the gorgeous range of colours but you'll have to forgive me because in the end my earrings became rather monochrome as my attention seemed to focus on the urban backgrounds.

So...I made two pairs of light and swingy urban dangles that would accessorise all those costume changes!  For the first pair I hammered sterling silver discs to give them an industrial texture.  It just so happened that this week in my jewellery class our tutor had some gold leaf for us to try the keum boo technique so I was able to add a little bit of gold for colour contrast.  Phew, that stuff is pricey but I'm told a little goes a long way!  I gave the discs a dark patina to add to the industrial feel and make the gold pop out. 

 The second pair are silver discs that have been reticulated (melted) for texture, also with a few flakes of the gold leaf randomly placed...

I don't know about you but dangly earrings always put me in the mood for dancing!  Thank You for such an upbeat inspiration this month Erin and thanks to you too for stopping by.  To get back to Earrings Everyday click here...xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

My Experiments with Firing Copper Clay in Magic Carbon

Recently I have been playing around again with metal clay.  In particular, I have become very fond of art clay copper.  This has however involved spending some considerable time trying to figure out a firing schedule for my kiln that would successfully fire the copper clay in magic carbon.  The instructions in the package recommend a 30 minute firing schedule at 970 C with the pieces placed straight on to the shelf in the kiln.  I know from experience however, that this method produces a lot of oxidisation which can then result in a loss of the fine detail on the fired piece. 

Firing in magic carbon greatly reduces this oxidisation process but I couldn't find any consistent information about firing schedules.   So for my first attempt, in blissful ignorance I placed my items (yes all of them) in a steel pan filled with magic carbon and fired them at the full 970 C not realising that the carbon would make such a difference to the heat.  You can imagine my dismay when I discovered each and every one was a bubbled mess! My second attempt at a reduced temperature didn't  melt the pieces but the carbon left annoying indentations.  So trawling through the internet, the best advice I could glean was to keep doing firing tests and reduce the temperature by 15 degrees each time until you have success.  Not exactly the specific information I was hoping for but hey ho.....I finally got there (up to attempt number 5 now) by firing at 890 C and holding for two hours.

perfectly sintered!
As you can see, I cut through a thicker test piece and the copper was fully sintered but I did notice that my pieces near the back of  the kiln closest to the heating element still had very slight marks from the carbon (easily filed away) so I think it would be a good idea to leave an inch clear in your firing pan from the back and make sure that the textured side of your pieces are facing the front.  Am I making sense?   My kiln is a small ceramic paragon jewellery kiln by the way.  By firing in this way I was able to preserve the very fine detail of feather and leaf imprints as can be seen below (the earwires haven't been soldered yet which is why the one on the left has come out!).

Copper Clay Earrings

 Remember too that each kiln has it's own personality so what works for me may be a few degrees different for you.  The moral of the story is ...'TEST FIRST and don't put all your pieces in at once until you're sure it's going to work'!!  Expert information is probably freely available on a metal clay forum or in a good book somewhere but I'm a Thursdays child so my life is all about going the long way round and making things as hard as possible for myself!

Thanks for visiting  xx

Tattered Butterfly


This poor creature landed at my feet as I was hanging out the washing today.  I gently put her back amongst the flowers, she looked as though she needed a rest...xx 

Friday, 17 April 2015

We're All Ears Inspiration - April 2015,_Ciudad_de_las_Artes_y_las_Ciencias,_Valencia,_Espa%C3%B1a,_2014-06-29,_DD_71.JPG#/media/File:El_Hemisf%C3%A9rico,_Ciudad_de_las_Artes_y_las_Ciencias,_Valencia,_Espa%C3%B1a,_2014-06-29,_DD_71.JPG
"El Hemisférico, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia, España, 2014-06-29, DD 71" by Diego Delso.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This month, Erin brought us inspiration from a selection of modern architectural designs which were "...created as a way to honor the melding of science, technology, nature and art....".  My eye was drawn to the way that each building has been constructed with an organic outer curve containing geometric shapes within, so this is what I decided to go with.

Just recently I have been reacquainting myself with metal clay so my contributions this month are made from art clay copper. The first pair are intended to be a merging of the geometric and the organic using a curved shape and a geometric pattern.  On the back I have soldered little hooks as a safety catch and I used a torch to bring out the copper rainbow colours. It's a very simple design but I'll still road test them for a couple of weeks to see how those hooks fare, maybe they're not even necessary.   

Copper Clay Earrings  - Front

Copper Clay Earrings - Safety Hook

My second pair follow along the same theme but here I overlaid a leaf texture over part of the geometric pattern on the top pieces and the little dangles below are also leaf textured. I slightly domed the discs to reflect the curves of the buildings then gave them a bath in liver of sulphur to bring out the details.

Copper Clay Earrings Domed and Textured

I fired my pieces in a kiln with magic carbon as I had read that this was a better way to preserve the fine detail of the textures than the open shelf method given on the package instructions.  I had to faff around a lot to find a firing schedule that was hot enough to sinter the copper but not so hot that the carbon would leave annoying indentations on my pieces.  If you are interested in exploring this medium then if I can help I would be happy to let you know what finally worked for me or maybe I'll write a short post about it soon.

Thanks so much for visiting and to get back to Earrings Everyday click here...xx


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Antique Ring and WW1 Spectacles

Well, I started this year with such high hopes and ambitions to extend my vintage shop and reopen my jewellery shop on Etsy.  However 2015 has not been kind to my friends and family and I have felt the need to retreat for a while.  I am grateful to the many people who have included a selection of my items in their lovely treasuries on Etsy these past few weeks and I hope to get back on the hunt very soon.  

WW1 Spectacles - HMS Black Prince

I had wanted to tell you about these wonderful old spectacles I found.  They came labelled with the owners home address and the naval ship he was serving on.  I googled the ship (HMS Black Prince) and discovered a detailed account of it's demise under enemy fire during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. There were no survivors but when I checked the fatality list, this particular name did not appear. Sadly I never got the chance to do further research as they went off to a new home in London.  I do love these kind of finds with fascinating glimpses into previous lives.  I hope the new owner has bought them to uncover their full history and I really hope that the original owner survived the war.

Victorian Ring - George Loveridge

This Victorian ring is currently drawing a lot of views to my shop and it has been featured in a new blog by Karus Chains, an online dealer specialising in jewellery just for men.   Their blog aims to spotlight interesting men's jewellery finds on Etsy and other online market places and you can read their article here.  The ring itself dates back to 1897 and bears the makers mark for George Loveridge & Co.  If you want to view more details of the ring just click here to reach my Etsy shop. The ring was brought to me by my brother who used to own an antique shop in a previous chapter of his life...thank you B!! 

Friday, 16 January 2015

We're All Ears January 2015


This month's inspiration for 'We're All Ears' comes from the Panetone Spring Colours for 2015.  When viewed together the mute colours all seem a bit bland but they do evoke a sort of earthy naturalness that I tend to lean towards.  So going with grey and pink, for the first of my offerings this month I have constructed a design from beach pebbles.  I tube riveted them (from a tutorial by Stonz) and lashed them (I think this is a barrel knot?) to copper tone leather cord using a dusty pink macrame thread.  I need a bit more practice with the tube riveting but I like how the frayed ends of the thread provide a soft contrast to the pebbles.

Tube Riveted Beach Pebbles

My second pair are just a bit of fun, repurposing a previous design. I removed the beads and using the textured silver part of the dangles I threaded through the holes and there's those frayed ends again! If I'd had more time I would have oxidised them to make them more grey and less shiny to go with the grey and pink theme but this reveal has come round too quickly this month!!

Silver and Pink

Anyway, click here to get back to Earrings Everyday to see the wonderful creations everyone else has come up with.... bye for now xx