Friday, December 21, 2012

Making moulds

I’ve been having fun recently making silicone moulds of various knick-knacks I have lying about and then using those to cast resin pieces.  Here are a few….

(Resin and glass beads)

I gave these as Christmas presents to friends.  Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling the surprise, they couldn’t wait until Christmas day and have already opened them!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Decorations

I mentioned a while ago that I was making porcelain Christmas decorations and here they are finished….

OK, these may not be traditionally Christmassy but it was important to me that they fit in with the rest of the things that I make.  I hope people like them because I've made quite a few!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.  

Monday, December 10, 2012


I live in fingerless gloves this time of year - I just can't get my hands warm!!  So when I saw that Angela Barrow had a felt workshop on making them I signed up straight away.  Here is the result....

As you can see we also made matching scarves - I'm very pleased with the result.  Also, Angela sent us away with our own custom-made glove template so now I can make felt gloves to match every outfit!!!

Have a look at Angela's blog to see what everyone else made at the workshop - and you can also see the other workshops Angela has planned for next year - highly recommended!

P.S.  I know I haven't shown you much of my silver jewellery recently, but I'm currently working on Christmas presents for people who I know look at this blog.  I just wanted to keep them in suspense until Christmas day!!  Promise I'll show you what I've been up to in the New Year.  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Something new

Well I know you are going to be a little confused by me saying I’m doing something new and then showing you earrings.  But for me it is.  I don’t have pierced ears so making earrings is not something I’d naturally do.  However, I was playing with some resin with these leaves and bird charms.  I loved the result but you really need light shining through to get the full effect (kind of like stained glass) so earrings seemed the best choice.    

Friday, November 23, 2012

Porcelain necklaces

I've been trying some new Porcelain shapes and here are a couple made up into necklaces.  First up, some porcelain butterflies.  The necklaces have been knotted with some glass beads.....

...and then some Porcelain ovals with seed beads.....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Still playing with resin

I’ve been playing with coloured resin and some bought pendants.  I think the resin really adds something and it is a great way to use up the last of a batch of resin – I hate wasting a drop!  

....and here is a couple of them made up into necklaces - I felt the need for colour!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The kiln gods were smiling…..

I haven’t shown you any of my thrown pots for a while but I was really pleased with how these bowls came out….

 and on the inside.......

These are now taking pride of place on my kitchen table.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Anyone for Scrabble?

I’ve been making pendants out of wooden scrabble tiles, paper and resin.  A simple idea (and not a new one – you’ll find lots of lovely examples on the web) but, I think, kind of fun…

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Moon and Seven Stars Pendant

It had to be done didn’t it? – a pendant to celebrate the name of this blog.  It is a continuation of the idea from my ‘Taking Flight’pendant – using a shape cut from silver along with the negative space it leaves behind.  I’ve made this pendant two-sided.  

If you are in the mood for silver you can choose this side….

But if you’d like a flash of colour choose this side……

(Sterling Silver and Resin)

People have asked me why I choose this particular name for this blog.  It is actually the name of a folk tune.  You may or may not know that I play the fiddle.  I think you would describe my playing as serviceable – I’m no great musician! – but I do enjoy it.
The Moon and Seven Stars is a jig that I learnt from a fabulous fiddle player – Carolyn Francis – when I used to play with the Lakeland Fiddlers (I moved house and play with a different group now).  It is a great tune, and I’ve always thought the name was pretty special, so I thought I’d borrow it!  It comes from the Winder manuscripts.  The Winder family came from Wyresdale, near where I live, and happily they kept manuscripts (from around 1790 to the start of the First World War) of the music they played.  Andy Hornby - a much more talented musician than I - has done some research on the Winders if you are interested. 

If you are curious how the tune goes, there are quite a few versions on YouTube – here is one on the mandolin…. 

….and if you can play music, the dots (sheet music) are available on Andy’s website.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Experimenting with Resin (3)

Here are some more of my resin experiments.  If you remember from last time I was looking for a better way of concealing the bail so I thought I'd try using some haematite beads as frames for the resin.

Here is some gold leaf suspended in the clear resin....

(Resin, gold leaf, haematite)

....and this is a brass wire butterfly that I found in my stash....

(Resin, brass, haematite)

I'm much happier with the look of these bails.  I did get some pesky air bubbles creep in the resin though - I've got to work on that.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Experimenting with Resin (2)

Part 2 in my continuing adventures with resin....!  I've been experimenting with embedding various bits and pieces in the resin.....

This is a free-form resin shape with a skeleton leaf.  I've made this one into a ring.....

I added some fabric to this one.....

and feathers to this.....

I love the crystal-clear quality of these pieces but I'm going to have to find a better way of concealing the bail - more experiments required!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Taking Flight Pendant

During a recent walk through the woods, I saw a Speckled Wood butterfly take flight - flitting ahead of me in the dappled light from the tree canopy.  I stopped and watched because I haven’t seen many butterflies this year – probably because of the very wet summer we’ve had here in the UK.  As I stood there, this idea came to me of a silver butterfly taking flight, pulling itself free out of a sheet of metal... 

(Sterling silver)

 I also took a picture of it on the woodland path where I saw the butterfly....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Experimenting with Resin

I've previously talked about experimenting with enamel and resin and I concluded that resin suited me better.  I've carried on with my resin experiments and I'm really enjoying myself.  Here are a few pendants made with coloured resin and (bought) silver-plated pendant blanks...

....and here's one of them made up into a necklace...

...I've also been trying adding some glitter to clear resin.....

I'm still happily experimenting - my mind is buzzing with ideas - will let you know how I get on!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Midland Ring

I recently went for afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel in Morecambe – for my good friend Julie’s leaving do from work.  The Midland is a newly renovated Art Deco hotel and you have tea in the Sun Terrace – where you get great views over Morecambe Bay.  I’m afraid I stuffed myself silly with the delicious cakes and scones! 
During my visit, I got rather inspired by the strong lines and geometry from the Art Deco period and this ring is the result.  I’ve had this sodalite stone in my stash for a while now.  The pattern is lovely on it so I grabbed it as soon as I saw it. 

(Sterling silver and sodalite)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Still trying some more designs….

I’m still on my quest for more variety of designs for my porcelain disks.  Here is a necklace – a tumble of glass beads and organza…..  

(Porcelain, glass beads, organza ribbon)

....and this is a macramé bracelet, I’ve used amethyst and seed beads in a flower design with my favourite twisting knot…. 

 (Porcelain, amethyst, seed beads)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Evolution pendant

Well, I’d love to tell you how I carefully thought about and planned this design but that would be a big, fat lie - it just kind of evolved!  I was reticulated a piece of silver and for some reason this large air bubble appeared.  After scratching my head for a while, I realised that it kind of matched the shape of this dichroic glass cabochon that I made in a workshop (at the same time as this one) with Jo at the Silver Forge.  So I domed the reticulated silver and soldered on the setting for the cabochon.  Since I was in an experimental mood I tried a different bail too.  My friend said ‘oh, this is one of your abstract pieces’ which I think is her polite way of saying she doesn’t much like it.  But the shape appeals to me – what do you think?

Friday, September 14, 2012


I bought these lampwork beads at a craft fair.  The maker (sorry, she doesn’t have a website so I can’t give you a link) was selling some of her beautiful beads made up into jewellery but also strands of loose beads.   Naturally I gravitated to the loose beads.  I made sterling silver links and combined them, with the beads, into a necklace and bracelet. 

(Sterling silver and lampwork beads)

(Sterling silver and lampwork beads)

My cat, Tigger, was ‘helping’ during this photo shoot.  I had to grab the shot of the bracelet in between tail swishes! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pendants in Progress

I spent a happy afternoon yesterday making more porcelain pendants.  I was trying a few new shapes this time and some new textures (buttons and lace) that I’ve found.  I was even – and I apologise for saying this – making Christmas decorations.  It seems bonkers to be thinking about Christmas now but there are quite a few steps these need to go through before they are finished (they need to be fired twice and glazed) so I thought I ought to get these started. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Wave Ring

I was on holiday in the spring in the Canaries.  It was wonderful to be in the sun after the gloom of a Lancashire winter.  One of the best things - apart from being with family - was that I could swim in the sea.  I haven’t done that in ages.  I find it strangely calming to bob up and down with the waves – letting yourself go where they choose to take you for a time.  To remind me of this, I made this ring – and a promise to myself that I’d swim in the sea more often.  

(Sterling silver)

Friday, August 31, 2012


I had an impulse purchase of a kumihimo foam disk a few weeks ago and I’ve been braiding ever since – I’ve got a little addicted.  I’ve been trying out various cords and threads and throwing in some seed beads.  Here are a few examples…

I like that the disk is so lightweight and portable.  I’ll keep it in my bag so if I ever find myself sitting somewhere (on a train, at the hairdressers….) I’ve got something to keep me occupied.  Most of the things that I do require tools and space (I’d look a bit deranged in the hairdressers with a hammer or torch!!) so it is good to find something that I can take out and about with me.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trying some new designs…

I’m trying out some new designs for the porcelain disks – I wanted a bit more variety.  First up I knotted some freshwater pearls onto silk and threw in one of the disks.  I wanted this to look asymmetric. 

 (Porcelain, freshwater pearls)

Next, is a bracelet made with seed beads and copper.  I love this colour combination.  I got this design from a tutorial on the Gossiping Goddess blog – thanks Lesley!  I modified it slightly by adding a macramé clasp – but it is a great tutorial, really easy to follow.

 (Porcelain, glass seed beads, copper)

Monday, August 20, 2012


This weekend, I was looking back at some of the things I made when I was first starting to work with silver.  It is always interesting to look back sometimes – reflecting on the things that seemed so challenging at the time and which are now second nature. 

This is the first thing I ever made in silver.

(Sterling Silver)

Actually, I had a broken finger when I made this ring.  I’d signed up for the class and was excited about it so I still went along even though my arm was in a sling!  Not ideal circumstances to learn silversmithing but I thought I could at least watch what was happening in the class.  But to her credit Adele, my teacher, took it all in her stride and said she thought I could still make something.  She had me make this ring – helping out when two hands were required! 

This is the first stone that I set.  I still wear this pendant because I like the shape of it and the stone (Azurite) is lovely. 

(Sterling Silver and Azurite)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Experimenting with Enamel

I did an enamelling course at the weekend.  It was only for a day so it was just a taster of what it was like but I was pleased with what I came up with... 

 (Enamel and Copper)

Now that they’ve been fired, the colour combination that I chose reminds me of those Rhubarb and Custard sweets that I used to like as a kid!   

I’ve also been experimenting with using resin as cold enamel on silver. 
(Sterling Silver and Resin)

All in all, I think cold enamelling suits me better.  I did enjoy the workshop at the weekend but a lot of the time was spent in preparation – there is a lot of time needed to clean the enamel powder and the metal – I guess I’m more of an instant gratification kind of girl!  Plus, I don’t have to wear a dust mask with cold enamel – I always feel a bit claustrophobic in those things!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wonky pots

After years of trying to throw the perfect pot, I’ve had a change of heart and have recently been throwing wonky pots – knocking them off centre and adding folds and creases into the clay.  The challenge being even though they are wonky, they still need to look beautiful.  They have a more organic nature than the ‘perfect’ pots and the glaze does interesting things – pooling in the undulations of the pot.  I’ve added my fluted rims and I’m absurdly pleased with the result.   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Potfest in the Pens

I blogged last week about Potfest in the Park and this weekend I went to Potfest in the Pens.  Again this was a great day out.  It has a different feel (and smell!) to the previous weekend.  It is held in an Animal Auction Mart – each of the exhibitors has one of the animal pens to display their work.  It is the only unselected show in the UK so you can see people just starting out alongside more established potters.   As with last weekend, they were all incredibly generous with their time. 

I invested in some velvet underglazes.  I use underglazes to colour the porcelain disks and I’m excited to try the velvet version – they should give some sheen to the disks.  I also bought a tile cutter with interchangeable shapes for cutting clay.  Expect some larger pendants soon! 

Well done to the organisers, Geoff and Christine Cox, for organising two such inspiring events – particularly over adjacent weekends!   

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Geometry Pendant

I must have been in a geometrical state of mind when I made this pendant.  I started with reticulating the silver triangle and then added the silver wire to echo the shape of the triangle.  I made the dichroic glass cabochon last summer in a workshop and it seemed to work on this pendant.   Finally, I finished the pendant off with a domed circle at the top to hide the bail. 

I’ve been using reticulation – melting the surface of the silver enough so that it starts to ripple like water but not so much that it melts completely - a lot at the moment.  I like to include texture in my work and this is a great way to do that in silver.