Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wax Carving Workshop at the London Jewellery School

As you may remember, if you are a regular reader of this little blog, my Flora Metallica necklace recently won 2nd place in the annual London Jewellery School student competition. My prize came in the form of a gift voucher for their jewellery making classes, and after scouring their website, I managed to decide on taking their beginner's wax carving course.

So last Saturday I presented myself at their Hatton Garden studio at 10am sharp, ready to learn a completely new jewellery making skill. Our tutor for the day, the lovely and talented Sima Vaziry, introduced us to the medium of wax, demonstrating how to start on carving out a basic ring shape - making it look very easy! Although I would have loved to try something more complicated, I instead settled on creating a simple 'domed' shape ring; sawing, filing and smoothing away for several hours. It is quite therapeutic once you have gotten the basic shape to sit and file and smooth the wax - I can imagine doing this whilst half watching TV of an evening! We also learned how to hollow out the inside of our rings with a pendant motor (I now really want one of these - not sure if my boyfriend would appreciate the noise though!), very important if you don't want to end up with a really heavy (and expensive) ring when cast. Here's a photo of my ring...it's not a great pic, my camera seemed to be refusing to take photographs on macro because it was too sunny!

After a much needed lunch (concentrating hard really works up an appetite!), we learned various different techniques for adding decoration and embellishment. We were using heat from a simple tea light candle - I say simple, but when you have never smoked in your life, a cigarette lighter is like an alien creature, and so I had to embarrassingly ask for help to light my candle! Candle lit, I was able to play around with adding textures to the wax, and used this to create a teardrop pendant. 

Six hours of workshop time flew by, but it was very worthwhile and I'd now feel confident to continue working on my wax carving skills at home. All I need now is to buy some wax and a few tools - good job I have a birthday coming up soon! I'll be sure to post photos of my creations from this workshop once I have had them cast into silver too.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Latest Work - 'Serafina' bracelet

It's the start of a new month, and we are drawing ever closer to it being Autumn (and even having to start thinking about the C-word that involves the 25th of December - eek!)

Expect to see more Autumnal offerings starting to appear in my online shops - I spent Saturday morning going through my boxes of beads pulling out colour combinations I want to work with in the upcoming few months. I've a craft fair on the 26th of November to start building up stock for, and after some early September sales, I want to add to what I already have listed in my Folksy and Etsy shops.
Which brings me to my most recent piece, a silvery beadwoven bracelet which is related to my 'Halo' necklace pendants, which I have named 'Serafina.'

This bracelet features some fantastic galvanised silver grey seed beads and is embellished with Miyuki magatama drop beads, dark grey glass pearls and Swarovski crystal bicones. All the findings on this piece are Sterling Silver. 

I have plans for a gold version of this bracelet in the making, but I am waiting on some beady post to deliver me some more of Toho's gorgeous galvanised rose gold seed beads (I am usually all about silver, but this rose gold beads are such a beautiful colour, even I can't resist them!).

You can find 'Serafina' listed in my Folksy shop here. As always, if you like this piece, but would like it in an alternative colour scheme, I am always happy to make up custom orders, so do get in touch.