Bow tie and link silver bracelet

A recent bracelet – the style is bow tie and link – other styles are available.  The bar at the bottom is only there as somewhere to place the hallmark.

Platinum Jubilee hallmarked silver ingot – 2021

From November 2021 until the end of 2022, an additional mark is available to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne.

Here is an ingot with the 2021 marks and a close up of the additional mark. For some reason the date letter is not available in 2021 with the Platinum Jubilee mark, but the arrangement shown below identifies the assay date to November or December 2021.  That’s the most precise dating in my collection started in 1979.  More detail.

 

 

Silver ring from earring

What to do with the earring you haven’t lost?

Sometimes I can make a near copy, but in this case the mosaic pattern was not reproducible.  In the past I have converted the earring to a pendant, but, for this,  I was asked to make a ring of it instead.

The earring is glued to a square base plate that fits the inside the back of the earring once the stud is removed.

Replacement amethyst ring

In 2015, I made an amethyst ring and pectoral cross for the Bishop of Hartford.

Unfortunately, with all the handwashing and slippy hand sanitser we all are having to use these days, the ring slipped off and couldn’t be found.

Fortunately, I had all the details and rapidly made an ‘identical’ replacement.

Silver amethyst ring

Silver mount for special opal

Opal in silver pendantThis opal has special memories and the owner polished it from rough.  The brief was to show the opal off to its best.  The back side has no special interest, but the sides and top show the opalescence.  Hence the minimalist use of claws.  The reflections from the silver enhance stone.

(The opal wasn’t completely set tight at this point, but was before delivery.)

Walking stick with silver collar

Walking stick with silver collarEarlier this year, Mark Lord approached me to make a heavy duty silver collar for a special stick he was making for a friend.  Here is my collar on the finished stick.  I supplied the collar bright polished and Mark had the collar engraved.  Mark’s website is  lordscountrysticks.com if you are looking for a unique stick.  If you just want a collar or ferrule, then contact me.

Silver split bangle

Silver split bangle

I think this counts as a bangle rather than a bracelet because it is effectively solid all the way around.  At the top, you can just see then pin that located the two sides into one of two holes to give some adjustment.  There is a slight twist on the two sides to give some tension to hold the pin in place.  At the bottom, you can see the hallmarks either side of the hinge – six for symmetry so I had to get the common control mark added at small extra cost.  The bangle is made from solid wire so it weighs about 50g – a nice solid piece of jewellery.

Silver ring result of 1:1 teaching

Silver cabochon ring teachingThis ring is the result of some 1:1 teaching that I have recently provided over a couple of sessions.  There’s a lot to learn from this relatively simple exercise.

  • selection of metal – sterling &/or fine
  • soldering – hard , medium and easy all used
  • twisting of wire
  • rolling of wire
  • use of the piercing saw
  • work hardening
  • firescale
  • sizing
  • polishing
  • stone selection – shapes and types
  • stone setting/ burnishing
  • milligrain wheels
  • assay requirements

Plenty to talk about – maybe too much to remember.  Repetition helps.

Begbroke bear silver pendant

Silver bear pendant

This is a silhouette of the logo of the Begbroke preschool as a pendant.  It was a retirement present for one of the staff.  A rush job, but fortunately below the minimum weight for hallmarking and so just stamped with my mark and ‘925’.

Hippo tooth silverware

Not content with a cap for a warthog tusk, I’ve added a hippo tooth cap to my list of unusual jobs.

This was the tooth as supplied – much bigger and heavier than I expected.

Hippo tooth

To make the cap fit, I had to cut off the area where it broke off.  My workshop smelt like a bad day at the dentist!  However,  the debris looked interesting.  Here’s the tooth with its hallmarked silver cap.

Hippo tooth with cap

I decided to make a pair of cufflinks with some of the debris.

Hippo tooth silver cufflinks

The owner of the tusk and cufflinks is very happy with my work.

Common Control Mark

This is a first for me – I’ve never had work with the Common Control Mark applied.  This means that the quality of the metal would be recognised by twenty countries.

CCM for sterling silver

Though to be honest, I have a couple of pieces where six hallmarks looks better than five.

This is one – the other is here.

More detail on the CCM here.

 

Bespoke symbolic silver pendant

Silver pendant using customer's image

I won’t tell you who AJ is, but this pendant was designed and comissioned  by her relations as a special birthday gift and I realised the design in silver. ‘ AJ’ will understand the story it tells.

The disc is about 50mm in diameter and involved fifteen solder joints and some very careful sawing!

Large silver wedding rings

Large silver engraved wedding ringsThese two sterling silver wedding rings are chunky – both are 3mm thick and the lower is 10mm wide.  The upper ring has a notch to allow it to sit with the engagement ring.  Both have a phrase  engraved on the inside and a (different) symbol on the outside.  The engraving was by Sam James Engraving.

Another silver handcuff

My second handcuff (the first one is here).

With this one, I had a free hand in the design.  I didn’t like the idea of a locking device, so this design is secure, but can be operated by the wearer.

SIlver handcuff

When closing the handcuff, the left hand side as we see it, clicks into one of two positions and then the shield comes down to prevent the  lugs from springing open.  This is the reverse side as the other side has the hallmarks and, particularly,  is stamped with the recipient’s name.

I’m pleased with this design!

Three gold banded plaque for burial message

This is work in progress and is a one-off for me.

Three colour gold band gold plaque for burial messageThis post is in the hope that old websites never actually die and the information in them is available to the computers of the future.  In which case, when this plaque is dug out of a cemetery sometime in the distant future, the archaeologist will read the inscription (not yet done) and search for information and find this post.  The plaque is unusual in several ways.  It is formed from the owner’s wedding ring and a very worn gold pendant. The wedding ring had bands of red, white and yellow gold and these have been retained in the plaque.  The other option was just to melt everything down and roll the sheet, but that would lose the history.

Silver cup repair

This is an example of a fit for purpose repair rather than a perfect restoration.  The owner has happy to have a few dents as part of it’s character, but not to the extent of the base being uneven and so unstable that it couldn’t hold her drink safely.

Before

Silver cup before repairAfter

Silver cup after base repair

Safe and stable  now.

Paua shell and fused silver pendant

Paua shell with silver fused mountThe  varying colours of the shell combined with the random nature of the fused silver surround make for a striking, three dimensional pendant.  This is about 8cm high and weighs over 35g.  Each  fused pendant starts with the stone and the surround is created to complement it.

Silver Mjolnirs – Thor’s hammer

Two examples of representations of Thor’s hammer.  They are both about 50mm high and solid sterling silver – they weigh about 50g each.  The design was driven by the client who wanted an ‘authentic’ look rather than refined, so you can see defects from the casting.  The brief was also this style and not the shaft and head style hammer.  The left hand one has a satin finish, as the client requested, whereas the right hand  is shiny.  The shiny one is available from my shop.  I could remove more of the casting defects and satinise that if required.  UK hallmarks are on the rear.  I made clay models as the patterns for the castings, so I could repeat the left hand one too.  These are about the limit of my modelling skills.

Kew Pagoda 50p silver coin mount

UK 50p coin mount – Kew Pagoda

Suprisingly, this is probably one of the most expensive coins I have mounted.  The original issue of the coin is very much a limited edition.  Anyway, of the mount, the owner said

‘ Coin pendant received thank you . I am very pleased. It is more impressive than I expected . Your work is very much appreciated.’

The coin is held in a fine silver (99.9% pure) band that is burnished over the coin.  Fine silver is so soft that the silver blends back into the bulk forming a tight, secure , but completely non-destructive support for the coin.  Both sides are equally visible.

 

Bark effect bracelet

Bark effect silver braceletThis bracelet has alternate bands of bright polished silver and a hammered pattern that looks vaguely like a bark effect..  It’s a design I’ve used before and can be seen on my shop bracelets page, though it is only made on request.  My client saw that picture and said it was  great, but could it be wider.  The answer is ‘yes – of course.  How wide would you like it?’

Silver tip for a swagger stick

Another little challenge  has been to produce a tapered tube.  This is my replacement for the tip that had got lost from a swagger stick – a stick carried usually by military officers to denote authority.

Silver swagger stick tip

The whole stick is about 30 inches long.

‘You’ve done an amazing job, it looks wonderful’

Silver cuttlefish cast belt buckle

Silver cuttlefish cast belt buckle
Photo © JE Huddleston

This silver belt buckle was cast in a cuttlefish bone.  The rippled texture that you see is inherent in the bone itself and therefore unique.  The texture is made prominent after the basic shape is formed in the bone, but before the metal is cast.  The rectangle was cast in one piece and so required a large bone. Cuttlefish bone is a good insulant allowing the silver to stay molten long enough to penetrate the relative long narrow channels by gravity.

Silver anticlastic ring for pearl

The pearl in this ring was found whilst sea foraging in Normandy many years ago.  Although it is rough and irregular, it has sentimental value.  My brief was that the ring would be worn daily and so needed to protect the pearl.  I suggested an anticlastic ring, which appealed to the owner as she is a mathematician and instantly knew what I meant. (It has both convex and concave curves – most rings only have one or two convex curves.)

The left hand image shows the finished ring and the right hand image before lowering the collar and setting the pearl.  The pearl is well protected from casual imapcts.

‘Just to let you know that I absolutely adore the ring you made. I wear it every single day, and my family was blown away by how beautiful it is, and ‘true’ to the type of pearl it is.’

 

Shrapnel or bomb case silver cufflinks

This is a piece of a bomb casing from a bomb dropped during the Vietnam war that was subsequently safely destroyed.  Some edges were as sharp as a knife.

Bomb casing fragment

These are the cufflinks I made by cutting it in two and removing the sharp edges.

Silver cufflinks from bomb casing fragment

Minimalist to keep the weight down and focus on the content not the cufflink, yet safe and secure.  Something to talk about at a dinner party?

My client said -“one happy customer”

Saxon style chunky silver ring

Saxon style silver ringThis ring was really just a test piece for a commission which mixed silver and gold.  It enabled me to determine the sizes of the various elements and develop the manufacturing process.  The real thing will have garnets instead of the domes and all the beads and beading are gold.

Chalky paper tester

I’ve been asked twice in the last year to make a chalky paper tester.  It’s a piece of fine silver wire that is rubbed on the perforation of a stamp and apparently indicates whether the paper is chalky or not.  It must be something akin to silverpoint drawing.  I decided to make one for my shop.

Chalky paper tester

Should you feel the need then this is the link.

Silver Libra pendant

SIlver Libra pendantOne form of the star sign for Libra.  In this case , bright polished on a satinised and slightly domed background.  This is about 2.5cm in diameter. All hand fabricated.

Silver bowl repair

Some repairs I can do, some I can’t.  Some bends, marks and dints,  I can fix and some I can make look less obvious, but not a perfect restoration.  This is an example of a bowl that I made much better, but not perfect.

Before
Silver bowl improved
After

I like to see at least pictures of the piece before I commit to doing anything and any repair I do is subject to my terms and conditions.

Matched silver cross pendants

As a Christmas present, I was asked to make a pair of crosses for husband and wife each engraved with their names and date of their wedding. So far, so good.

Matched silver cross pendants
The engraving has been photo erased

There was a further requirement that the two crosses could be worn together.  This was achieved by having silightly different chain rings, both offset to the rear.  Gravity then causes the two to hang together.  Simple idea, but requiring more precision than normal for me!

Matched silver crosses hanging together
The engravng has been photo erased

The crosses are both hallmarked on their rear face.

Royal Mail Postal Charges

Some good news.  Although Royal Mail have increased their charges from the start of 2021, I shall keep the same rates for UK customers for now.

Please though, if you are not in the UK, email me for the postage charge – don’t ‘Buy Now’

My silver hazelnuts across the UK and the world

Since I was commissioned in 2009  to make 21 as prizes, I’ve made over 80 of my silver hazelnuts and sold 75 so far. They are incorporated into jewellery from cufflinks to key fobs, but most are pendants.

Silver hazelnut keyring keyfob
Silver hazelnut keyring

Of those 75, as far as I know

  • One went to France
  • One went to Germany
  • One went to Spain
  • Six are in Australia
  • Two went to Canada
  • One is in Japan
  • Three are in the USA

The remainder are in the UK – from the Shetland Islands south.

I like it when people tell me why they were bought.  Often it is for or in memory of someone call ‘Hazel’, occasionally associations with Julian of Norwich or just personal memories.

The lastest crop of full hazelnuts will be ready during January 2021.

Please if you live outside the UK email me for a price – don’t use the shop system.

 

SIlver cover for horse hoof

Of the 80 or so pieces of silver I’ve made this year this has to be my zenith  for the year – the challenge of making covers for two horses hooves.  A common Victorian  activity – very often as inkwells.

From this

Horse hooves
Copyright with the owner

To this

Silver horse hoof covers

Each top is engraved with the name of the horse.  A really interesting challenge  to match the irregular shape, but both the owner and I are very pleased with the result.  Fully  UK hallmarked at the London Assay Office.  The shoes are iron.

Jeweller’s delight style silver chain

This is a gift for my wife.  The book on chains I used as the basis for the design calls it ‘jeweller’s delight’, because it looks good and is relatively easy to make.  True – especially as the way I made it was simpler and more effective than the method in the book.  Here’s the chain and a close up showing the plate whose sole function is somewhere to put the hallmarks.

Each link is about 25mm long.  The links and the plate are fine silver, but the lobster catch is sterling.  That’s why the links are brighter than the catch.  However it is only hallmarked as sterling silver.

John Snow’s pump in silver

Dr John Snow is famous for several reasons, but one is his analysis of the incidence of outbreaks of cholera in London in 1954.  He caused the removal of the handle of one particular pump in Soho, London that was dispensing contaminated water.  There is much more about him on the internet e.g. wikipedia.

John Snow's pump Sterling silverThis is a representation of the pump as a sterling silver brooch.  It’s about 7cm tall.

My client, an ex-medic, wanted a special gift that reflected his experience in epidemiology.

He said “John Snow pump received, looks just lovely, will be giving it to my wife later today.  So very many thanks.  A really wonderful and personal souvenir “

Argentium silver bookmark

This request was for a substantial bookmark – longer and heavier than my norm.  Also less maintenance required, so  I used 1mm silver rather than 0.6 and argentium rather than sterling.  Also the hallmark placing is different.  Here it is as sent and then in use.

My client said “I think it looks very lovely, and it has a real heft in the hand which is nice.”

Always happy to accomodate variations if I can.

 

Silver Buddha yantra

silver Budda yantraI was asked to make a silver yantra to my client’s design.  It remind me of the Buddha.  With this sort of wire bending, I can’t make two exactly the same.  My client preferred the right hand side one.  The main body is about 5cm high.  The available one is in the process of being assayed, though it is below the minimum weight.

Real coins in 9ct gold cufflink settings

These Spanish real coins had been purchased as a set of cufflinks, where the cufflink part had been soldered directly on to the coins.  I was asked to make 9ct gold settings instead with the design to be similar to an existing set with half-real coins.  Good access to the back was required.  I used commercial cufflink components in the design which holds the coins securely, but undamaged.

Sterling silver paten or diskos

This sterling silver paten is destined for St Aldates Church in Oxford. A paten is used for communion bread.

“What an exquisite piece of silverware. It’s absolutely beautiful. “ St Aldates

 

It is 16 cm in diameter and has been hand made by sinking the silver into a wooden former.

The domed disk sits on a thin silver base ring – wide for stability.  You can see the hallmarking on the image above.

I made a copper version first to check the size and design suited the donor.  It’s an object of beauty in its own right and now resides in our house.

I have made other silver for ecclesiastical use.  A morse for St Helens Church in Abingdon, a pectoral cross and ring for the Bishop of Hertfordshire and a pectoral cross for Abbot Thomas of Mucknell Abbey.

Turquoise chip pendant

I made a twisted wire edged surround for a  cameo.  The cameo was far from flat, indeed the base had to be shaped like a certain potato based snack that comes in tins.  Unfortuntately, I didn’t get the clearances quite right.  I’ve mananged to repurpose the base by flattening it and forming a layer of turquoise chips.

Silver turquoise chip pendantIt’s quite a statement piece as the oval is about 55 by 40mm. There are two morals to this story – reuse before recycle and never throw anything away.  I’ve had that jar of turquoise chips for over 40 years!  A unique piece available from my shop.

Cowrie shell topped silver box

This is for me!  II’ve finally finished it.  It’s been a project long in the gestation since I was asked if I had any Cowrie shell snuff boxes several years ago.  So I thought I would have a go at a shell topped box.  I had to slice the top of the shell and then fabricate the base from silver.  It’s about 10cm long.

This one wouldn’t work for snuff or other powders as the flap isn’t a tight enough seal, but fine for other small knick-knacks.  You can see that the London Assay Office has applied part marks on the flap for me.

Silver collar for leather covered officer’s cane

Silver cane collarThis is a collar to fit a leather bound officer’s cane.  The original had disappeared.  The tube was fabricated from sheet as it wasn’t a standard tube size.

I quote

The collar arrived safely and fits like a glove!  Thanks very much indeed for making it for me. It’s just what I wanted.

I make each collar to my client’s requirements and prices vary considerably depending on a number of factors including the diameter, length, whether it matches a standard tube size, size and positioning of hallmarks, any additional embelishments or engraving.  Prices start around £60 for a basic cylinder with discrete hallmarks.

Roman coin pendant

It seems to be my year for mounting coins!

I’m not sure of the denomination of the coin, but it’s bigger than the denarius I recently mounted.  Silver, about 20mm across and 2mm thick.  It has a swivel so that both sides are easily viewed and a heavy trace chain consistent with the coin size.  The mount is a fine silver band moulded non-destructively to the coin.

My working status has changed

As of 1 July 2020, I shall be working as a sole trader.  The company used previously – JJA Radley Ltd – has ceased trading and is being closed down.

All work in progress and associated deposits are transferred to my new trading status.

Heavy duty copper and silver bracelet

Heavy duty copper bracelet with a silver plate for engraving

This is 2mm thick copper and longer than I would normally make especially for a big lad.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get it engraved in time, but that should be possible now.