It’s not easy to see – it wasn’t easy to photograph, but the main rings – four pairs and the centre one – have different patterns. The chain weighs about 60g. It’s hallmarked on the rear of the largest ring.
It was a pleasure to do this task. Many years ago, one of my students, when I taught a silversmithing evening class, made a beautiful silver butterfly assembled from parts cut from sheet. Another student made one too. After complaints from one of his children, he started to make another, but alas never finished it. I was asked to complete the project.
It is actually built from sixteen pieces, but I have welded some of the parts together to make it easier to assemble and disaaemble for cleaning.
This is one of my annual ingots for 2024. This has six marks, i.e. all the traditional marks plus the King Charles III Coronation mark. It’s a bigger and therefore heavier ingot to allow space for the extra mark. Each of my annual ingots is slightly different in some way, so the edges of this one taper so the back is larger than the front, rather like the segment one.
I shall do another at some point without the Coronation mark.
This one’s mine! If you are interested in an ingot/ cufflinks/ etc. for 2024 with or without the Coronation mark, please contact me. I have a small selection of ingots from previous years available in my shop.
This medallion is a treasured possession, but after years of wearing the plating on the base metal disc has corroded and the suspending loop pulled off with some of the plating. To rescue it, I created a bezel for the coin which securely holds it, covers the damage and provides a new suspension point. It should be fit for a good few years more now. The bezel is similar in principle to the surround I use for 50p coins.
If you want to use your favourite pencil down to the minimum, you need a silver pencil extender and why not a holder for your eraser too.
This extender is for 7mm pencils and , of course, you need a pusher rod for the eraser holder to push the stub out. All fully UK hallmarked including the Coronation Mark. My thanks to my client for permission to use the right hand image.
These cufflinks are lightly etched images derived from a photgraph of the Memorial Arch at Radley College, near Oxford in the UK. It’s not obvious, but one is a negative of the other i.e. the arch is raised on one pair and sunken on the other. They are available as ‘one-offs’ in my shop.
This dish is just under 10cm square and is made by a technique called fold or crease forming. I asked the London Assay Office to stamp the hallmarks in a circle as a feature of the dish. Here they are in close up.
Clockwise from the top we have
- My sponsor’s mark
- Traditional sterling silver mark
- Fineness mark for sterling silver
- Mark of the London Assay Office
- Date letter mark for 2023
- Optional mark for the Coronation of King Charles III
This is a styilised representation of a silver anchor. It is solid silver, about 35mm high and weighs 9g. It has the full UK hallmarks including the King Charles III coronation mark. (For London not Birmingham.)
It is available for sale in my shop,
Ammolite is a beautiful gemstone. My client supplied these pieces and they seemed to me to need a secure, but minimal setting to focus attention on the stones themselves.
The pendant piece is double sided and this setting allows both sides to be on display. It is fairly symmetrical and relies on the shape of the stone to keep it secure. The brooch piece is one sided, so there is a silver plate with the brooch pin and revolver safety catch. The stones could be removed from the mounts without damage if required.
I bought a new book* that has expanded my understanding of fold forming as a technique. These are some test pieces in copper that I have made. The star and shallow dish are about 10cm across. The smaller dish is about 7cm.
I have also made the shallower version in silver. See this post.
* new jewellery techniques – Anastasia Young and Paul Wells. Hoaki 2022
In 2021, the members of the Abingdon Silver Group decided they wanted a mark that could be applied to work done whilst at the Group. One was duly designed and commissioned. We decided to lodge impressions of the mark with the Abingdon County Hall Museum and I created, with a little help from my friends, this mounted plaque.
It was somewhat stressful applying the stamps after all the other work was done, but the impressions are clean, if not completely straight. My hallmark and the full set of assay marks for 2022 including the Platinum Jubilee mark are at the bottom. It’s about 40mm square. It was presented to the Museum in April 2023. There’s more detail about the plaque here.
This design is not unlike one I’ve been making for many years. That one is in my shop. This one is two millimeters thick and has more pointed style that approaches what the mathematicians call an ‘astroid’.
Not the best of pictures, but it shows a pair of chain cufflinks with the traditional marks on the front plate and the Coronation mark on the rear plate. In order to keep the King’s head upright, the cufflinks are handed. These join a pair of similar cufflinks with the Platinum Jubilee mark instead of the Coronation mark.
A variation on my popular copper/ silver twist bracelet – I was asked to make it wider. In discussion on the design, we decided to have two parallel bracelets with a silver plaque for the initials of the recipient. The bracelets are also connected by a bar at each end to keep the strands together. A more challenging task, but justified by the result.
A singleton repeat of a pair that I made some time ago. Minimal soldering in this – just on the hook to make sure the two strands don’t get pulled apart. Otherwise, it’s held together by the tube. Below the plastic clips are the 2023 traditional marks and just below that, the coronation mark though it’s bearly visible in this image.
One of the pair got lost, but I couldn’t think how I had made them – I don’t keep construction details.
I started from scratch and made these. The rings swing independently.
These are the same in concept as the previous pair, but the back ring has a different texture and they are slightly larger. More ‘statement’ than previously. I make larger, thicker versions for a pendant. These are thin to keep them light.
Fascinated by the idea of walking stick cabbages or Jersey kale, I bought some seed and successfully grew a couple of stems. (They attracted cabbage white butterflies and their caterpillers like a magnet!). After carefully drying the stems, with my workshop smelling of cabbage for weeks, the stems are remarkable light and strong.
I’ve now varnished the stems and made a silver cap and foot cover, so a project of over two years is now complete. The foot is not a silver ferrule as there would be no grip. This way the rubber foot can be replaced easily and the stick is more practical. The silverware has full UK hallmarks including the Coronation mark. This one is mine, but I have a second stem if anyone is interested in commissioning me!
The cufflink on the right lost its treasured partner. I managed to copy it using delft clay casting.
Whilst I would have preferred to smarten up the old cufflink and make them both bright and shiny, the owner enjoyed the somewhat battered character of the existing one. So I distressed the new one a little to make it similar.
I didn’t actually make this pendant, but I do make something very, very similar. The gift was given when there were three grandchildren, but now there’s four!
To make it wearable again, I made a new silver ring to match and then arranged for it to be engraved in a similar font to the others.
Every year from 1979 onwards, I’ve made an ingot and each one is different. This is 2023 – ‘Y’. Just one letter to go in the current cycle then in 2025, we start again. There’s more detail here.
I’m just wondering, as Charles III is being crowned this year, will there be an extra mark? History suggests there might be, but I’ve not heard yet.
The earrings were no longer required, but the malchite cabochons were attractive and had sentimental value. One earring was easily converted to a pendant using the original bezel.
The other has been made into a cabochon ring with a textured shank
My client for this cross wanted a distressed surface on the outer face of the cross. Also that there was no visible loop for the chain from the front. The front face is bright polished, but the sides have a satin finish. The hallmarks are discretely placed on the side. The cross is 60 x 40mm.
I couldn’t find a model for this.
The inner loop sits above the outer loop on the ankle. There is a chain extender to suit different legs. The hallmarks are on the solid heart at the end of the extender chain. I ordered slightly more chain than I needed and so made a pair of dangly earrings to match the anklet.
This well loved spoon was used for stirring and removal of a teabag, but unfortunately was showing signs of wear after many years of use.
I successfully soldered the crack closed and repolished it. It should be good for years to come.
(My thanks to the owner for permission to use his ‘before’ photo.)
My first real repair job using the welder.
As you see it, the left knuckle of the base had come off and the right knuckle had broken. This was probably due to the lid being forced after the pin got gummed up.
I fixed the knuckles by laser welding them and made a new silver pin that was fitted in the normal manner.
I wouldn’t have attemped this repair without the laser welder.
I’ve just bought a laser welder and am learning how to it to best effect. I’ve already used it for some jobs, but I’ve a way to go before I feel really comfortable with it. Like most things there’s a knack and you need to practice. I’m hoping this will make a major change to the repair tasks I can attempt and the work I can fabricate. Watch this space!
A complex design for me for a bride who wanted something different with an air of history. The gold and garnets suggests the Saxon era. In the lower picture you may just see the full marks for sterling silver and the part marks for 9ct gold. The groom reused his father’s wedding ring and I sized that for him too. This was the ring I mocked up in silver and is in this post.
The stone is a beautiful London blue, 8 by 6mm topaz lozenge. I had hoped to buy a setting for the stone, but ended up making my own. Not my best skill, but eventually I made this setting from gallery strip. A good result that lets plenty of light to the stone. You can just see the Jubilee mark to the left of the main hallmark block.
This is an example of an engraved bracelet, but with the engraving on the inside leaving a bright shiny band on the outside. The hallmarks are on the outside though. I chose to have the London Assay Office’s staggered arrangement with three marks at each end – the sixth mark being the Platinum Jubilee mark. Allsport Trophies did the engraving for me on the flat strip.
This bracelet incorporates an earring dropper as a memento of someone no longer with us. It also has an unusual arrangement of the hallmarks. They are position to ‘counterbalance’ the token and are six because they include the Platinum Jubilee mark. The arrangement is possible because the band is quite wide.
You can just see the hallmarks in the right hand image. It’s had a test drive and works well , though noticeably heavier than a normal crochet hook. This one is just about 4.5mm. I could make other sizes.
Unsolicited, the recipient of the gift emailed me to say
“I just wanted to let you know that I love it. It is heavier than a regular crochet hook but it’s a reassuring weight and has a lovely glide when you use it. “
Access to the Platinum Jubillee mark started in November 2021 and I have one 2021 ingot so marked. Here are three examples I have made for 2022.
The sloping triangle is a new design, whereas the other two correspond to those listed in my shop. I could also make the diamond version listed on the same page, though it would be much larger to gain the space for the extra mark. Please note that all 2022 ingots, with or without the optional additional mark, are only available to order. Please contact me for prices and delivery times.
This casting was done using the delft clay technique. My first attempt using a casting frame I have just made. Some very minor imperfections but nothing to detract from the piece.
I wouldn’t use it to remove a bottle cap, the cap would mark and may possibly bend the silver. Silver is just not as strong as iron. The silver version is about 25% heavier too due to the difference in specific gravity. Available from my shop here. I can’t change the lettering, but I could remove it to create a space for engraving.
What you see is a domed disc of copper with the Scorpio constellation picked out with holes. The diameters very roughly correspond to the brightness of the stars. It was made using some copper scrap from an old water tank, which had some corrosion hence the tiny black dots. They wouldn’t be there in a silver version. It’s just under 45mm in diameter.
Another option would be to have silver or gold beads instead of the holes. Having the stars in yellow gold, except Antares in red gold, would give a nod to astronomy, though the colours may not be discernible at that size.