I don’t claim to have the answer to Life, the Universe and everything (except the one in the title, of course), but I think that we are all trying to cram so much more into our day (and in my case, well into the night).
My mantra these days is “one thing at a time” – try to do too much at once and you’ll get less done rather than more. Oh, and if things look too complicated then do something else first and let your subconcious work out the hard stuff on it’s own – when you come back to the problem then it will be much easier.
Designing and making jewellery uses more brainpower then you would first guess – I need a lot of concentration (and less distractions) to be able to get the best out of my head and into 3D form. Designs evolve as they go from my head to paper, then change again as I work and form the silver. Some things look great on the page but don’t work quite as well in real life and then I need to think again and try to find out what the piece actually wants to be.
This concept of flowing ideas and my thoughts about life came together in my “Path of Life pendants”. They curve and curl like the path of our lives – some twined together, some leading off on their own … but all unique and with a sparkle that’s like the light inside each of us.
Spirals have always been special – ever since the first carvings/paintings there have been spirals. For me, they have always symbolised life and our journey through time. Some of these pendants have reused (think reincarnated, if you will) gems – even the lowliest glass diamante can be as beautiful as the most expensive diamond, and I choose each gem with care for it’s new life (some are semi-precious, some crystal and cz, and some are vintage glass). As each one is unique, I can make them even more special by incorporating colours and shapes that mean something to the client/recipient.
You may have had hard times and need to be reminded that you have turned a corner on your life path, you may see the spirals branching off and think of the choices you have made, or you might just see no other significance than its simple beauty. Either way, please go look at them on the website and let me know what you think.
I have just deconstructed (carefully cut, snipped, broken, twisted off and snapped) all my designs that didn’t make the grade.
Harsh, I know, but jewellery making is all about learning through trial and error; and these were certainly more error than perfection! My techniques are improving all the time and sometimes, designs just don’t come out right (even when they look beautiful on paper).
Gems were salvaged first and have been put away for another day (I am such a magpie with sparkly things). That left me with a large pile of silver pieces – some will just be cut up finer and be made into the little “filigran” ball I use for filigree; but the others I have plans for.
I’ve placed some of the pieces flat on my soldering board with filigran balls on weak points (e.g. where lots of wires join) or where they look good. I use silver solder ready mixed with flux – it comes in a syringe and is great for this type of jewellery as I can place it exactly where it needs to go (and it won’t fall off). Some I solder with ring shanks, some will be adjustable open-backed rings. After soldering and pickling, I shape them on my ring mandrel and then off to polish them up to a shine!
Recycled rings – beauty out of chaos and destruction. Let me know what you think of them!
I’ve always been a part-time, secret writer of tiny stories and poems – most of which I wouldn’t show even if you got me drunk to giggling point. If you have read the Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman then … Continue reading
I want to start making my packaging a bit more special. I used to be a graphic designer (hopefully it shows!) and I suppose that’s why I find the packaging just as interesting as the jewellery. I want my packaging to say that within this box lies a real treasure; I want it to be elegant and stylish with a touch of glitter and sparkle.
I’ve always loved the way things are packaged in old hollywood films – with lots of tissue paper and a box with a lid that comes off without untying the ribbon. With a film maker/geek for a husband (www.winterblood.com), I know that it’s done that way so it’s easy to do re-takes and also because some actors can’t talk and untie a ribbon at the same time; but it still looks elegant and luxurious to me.
I’ve designed small “certificate” cards to go with each piece of jewellery. They have a description of the piece, letting you know what it’s made up of, and a section at the top for a short personalised message. On the back, I try to include a wish or a quote – something that’s unique to each card and each individual piece of jewellery. I think that this gives the recipient a sense that their piece of jewellery is special and unique to them – not just something that has been mass-produced. It creates a good feeling even before the jewellery has been taken out of the box, and that’s all part of the packaging magic.
As an update to this post, I’ve now started to decorate the plain gift boxes to compliment each unique item. Each box will have ribbon or sparkles or charms (or all three!) to continue the storyline of the jewellery or just give a small hint of what you will find inside. I’m not charging any extra for this – the box is as much part of the gift experience as the jewellery itself.
For a new pink piece I’ve created, the black box (made from recycled card/paper) has pink fabric ribbon threaded through a metal heart with clear glass sparkles. I can add a name tag to the front too. The box will be as unique as the jewellery and to me, that’s how it should be.
You can see a picture of the basic box and ribbon with certificate/information (it is usually only one card printed both sides but I’ve done it here as two single sided cards so you can see what both sides would look like).
Gift Box and Certificate for Blue Rose Filigree Pendant