Hinge knuckle replacement on bracelet

Bracelet with replaced hinges/ knuckles
Bracelet with replaced hinges

One of the knuckles on the hinge of the clasp had torn through completely and the others were  showing serious wear.  It’s a really heavy bracelt and buts a lot of strain on the hinges.  They were originally thin-walled tube, but I’ve replaced them with proper thick-walled hinge tube.  The hinges should last for years and years now.

Cast silver ammonite jewellery

I’ve been casting solid silver ammonites for years  – brooches, pendants, earrings, charms, rings, paperweights  – and have a collection of fossils to cast from.  However, I  got myself into a complete muddle with descriptions of the various sizes, so I’ve developed a cunning plan.

All my fossil ammonites now have a number and I’ve added the number to the description.  Below you can see images of the fossils and their silver equivalents.  I’ve added approximate sizes and approximate weights of the silver pieces.

My real fossil ammonites
My real fossil ammonites
My fossil amminoites as cast in sterling silver
My fossil ammonites as cast in sterling silver

Hopefully this will make it easier when you order from my shop as I will be relisting all the brooches, cufflinks, pendants and rings with their ‘size number’.

Uffington White Horse realistic brooch

My pendants of the White Horse near Uffington, Oxfordshire are described earlier in this blog.  I haven’t previously made a brooch – perhaps an obvious omission.  Anyway I’ve done one now.

 

Silver Uffington White Horse brooch broach
Uffington White Horse brooch

The owner is very pleased with it.

Uffington White Horse brooch broach with owner
Uffington White Horse brooch with owner

Silver hand trowel earrings

Just what the happy gardener needs

Silver gardening trowel earrings
Silver gardening trowel earrings

These are just over an inch (2.8cm) long excluding the clip.  Available from my web shop shortly.  Hand forks or one of  each are also options.

Silver handcuff

Solid silver decorative handcuff
Solid silver decorative handcuff

The cuff closes over the wrist and the pin on the right secures it closed.  The carabiner clasp then secures the pin.  The chains are open link to allow charms to be added. My client said

‘Just to let you know the item arrived today as planned and also to say a big Thank You for taking the job on and creating a truely fantastic piece.  Really pleased with how you converted my ideas into this.’

Silver ear cuff

A new departure for me – I’m made plenty of earrings, including replacing lost ones, but a cuff is a first for me.  This cuff fits between the outer ear and the inner lobe.

Silver 6 band ear cuff
Silver 6 band ear cuff

Wide heavy man’s silver bracelet

Wide, thick, man's silver bracelet
Wide, thick, man’s silver bracelet

The client wanted something plain, but a little heavier and thicker than my normal bracelets.  Bright shiny on the outside and satin inside – fully hallmarked. Not one of my more demanding jobs, but something not readily obtainable.

Silver medicine tube/ holder

Silver container to hold a medicine aerosol pendnat
Silver container to hold a medicine aerosol

Unfortunately, my client has to carry an aerosol spray in case of medical emergency.  Between us we came up with a design for a holder on a chain.  The tube is about 30mm in diameter and weighs over 100g.

It was in use within minutes of it arriving!

The main hallmarks are on the base with part marks on the friction fit lid.

Fused silver mount for blue druzy

A client had a beautiful window blue druzy that was not at its best in its previous setting.  I created one of my unique fused silver surrounds for the druzy. It now looks spectacular.

Fused silver pendant iwth blue window druzy
Fused silver pendant iwth blue window druzy

My client was delighted and couldn’t wait to try it on.

One happy client
One happy client!

Apostle spoon repair

 

Apostle spoon before repair
Apostle spoon before repair

This apostle spoon was found in a local garden with the aid of a metal detector.  I was asked to repair it.

Apostle spoon after repair
Apostle spoon after repair

The process of cleaning up after hard soldering up the bowl and stem removed all the tarnish.  After a good clean, this is the result.

( I only do repair work on a ‘best endeavours’ basis – see my terms and conditions)

Fine silver bowl – silver wedding present

FIne silver bowl for silver wedding present
FIne silver bowl

This bowl is 120cm across and is made from fine silver.  It was commissioned as a silver wedding present and it has an inscription engraved on the opposite side to the hallmarks.

The hallmarks themselves are interesting in that in addition to the 999 mark, the piece has also been given the Britannia mark.  Britannia fineness is 958 parts silver per 1000, so it clearly exceeds that.

Hallmarks from fine silver bowl
Hallmarks from fine silver bowl

Triangular engineers silver ruler

A triangular  six inch engineers ruler.  An interesting exercise and more of a challenge than I anticipated.  The front face has the recipient’s name, but I’ve removed that for this post.  I designed all the engraving, but it was machine engraved locally.

As with other pictures, it’s difficult to get the lighting right!  If I do something like this again, I will make the sides slightly concave.

Radley College Clock Tower Cufflinks and pendant

Evry few years, I’ve been asked to make a pair of cufflinks inspired by the Radley College Clock Tower.  These have been leaving presents for members of staff whose room overlooked the Clock Tower.

The 2009  and 2015 versions were etched, but this time I wanted to try something different and more three dimensional.  I’ve also made a pendant in the 2018 style.  It’s about 5cm high.

Radley Clock Tower silver pendant
Radley Clock Tower silver pendant

Radley College Croomes Tower silver pendant

As a leaving present for a member of staff, I was asked to make a pendant based on Croomes Tower.

Croomes Tower silver pendant
Croomes Tower silver pendant

My interpretation is about 5cm tall, the real thing – below – must be about 10 metres.  Scaling down that much required some compromises on the level of detail.  I had the assay marks placed over the door in lieu of an inscription.

Croomes Tower - Radley College, Oxfordshire
Croomes Tower – Radley College, Oxfordshire

 

Silver scout woggles

These woggles were commissioned for the groom and supporters at a recent wedding.  Each woggle is hallmarked at the rear,

Silver scout woggles
Silver scout woggles

New work on my shop

I’ve just added a range of new items onto my shop website.  Many of them are featured earlier in this blog.  I have made links from the blog posts to the shop.

The new entries include

  • the Uffington White Horse range
  • lantern earrings and pendnat
  • Yantras
  • button pendants and cufflinks

These are all described in posts below.

2018 sterling silver ingot and bracelet

These were a special order as a gift.   Though the ingot looks much the same as my other ingots, it is  slightly larger and thicker so that it is twice the weight of my normal ingots.

More Yantra designs

Following the development of the yantra pendant posted earlier, I have now made some more full sized pendants in both silver and copper.

No one yantra is quite the same! The silver pendant is hallmarked, but the earrings are not.  Please contact me if you would like to buy from this range.  they are available now and will be on my website later in the year.

Copper silver rings

Copper silver rings
Copper silver rings

I make these rings to order.  These are two copper strand and one silver, but other permutations are possible from all silver to all copper.  One customer said

‘Rings fit perfectly, probably all psychological ,arthritic discomfort has melted away.’

Please note copper rings are not mentioned in  the official NHS Nice guidelines for osteoarthritis management.  I make no claims whatsoever.

 

 

A new silver dog collar

This latest collar improves on the previous solid version by having a hinge to make it easier to fit.  Also, of the three ‘ sizing ‘ slots, only the outer was to be used, which simplified the design.  The collar has a perimeter of 38 cm and weighs over 200g.

The padlock  is a Tiffany one – I haven’t attempted one yet.  The engraving was done by Sam James Ltd.

‘I LOVE it. Beautiful!! Thank you John!’

Orion nebula silver ring

Not one of my best photos and the ring wasn’t finished at this point, but this is ring is a present for someone for whom the Orion Nebula is special.

Orion nebula silver ring
Orion nebula silver ring

Teaching casting methods – cuttlefish and delft clay

I’ve just completed  two 1:1 sessions showing how I cast using delft clay and cuttlefish.  This was spread over two sessions doing delft clay first, though with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to do cuttlefish first.  Prepaing a cuttlefish mould is easier which gives more time to introduce the actual melting and pouring part.

We followed the same format as the basic class  – I do a stage, the student does their stage and so on.

My delft clay castings are on the left and the student’s on the right.  The bee is a little bigger than the ammonites.

This is a cuttlefish cast once finished and the amber stone mounted.

Abstract silver cuttlefish cast surround for amber stone
Abstract silver cuttlefish cast surround for amber stone

‘I had the pleasure of 2 casting lessons with John, delft clay and cuttlefish. I had the best learning experience. Prior to lesson John advised me on equipment etc so I could set up at home.

Hands on, informative and very inspiring. In 4 hours Johns vast knowledge and experience had taught me enough to go home and recreate, which I have been,non stop!
Thank you’

Silver panther keyring

SIlver panther keyring keyfob
SIlver panther keyring

Not much else to say – a commission.  Thick silver sheet for durability. The panther is about 5cm toe to tail.

Chinese ideogram ingots

A set of three ingots with ideograms engraved – health, happiness and success.

Health, happiness and success silver ingots
Happiness, health and success silver ingots

They were required for a special birthday early in 2018.  To avoid stress, the engraving was done in 2017 (not by me!) and the assay done in 2018 so that the date letter was correct.  However a normal stamped hallmark could damage the ideograms so they were laser hallmarked.

2018 date letters on each ingo
2018 date letters on each ingot

They have extra depth to ensure longevity.

Thank you so much for the beautifully finished necklaces I commissioned from you.  You took time to understand what I was asking for and suggested how this could be created.  The necklaces are wonderful.  I am really finding it hard to find a description that does them justice.  Thank you.

 

Gold twisted wire ring and gold hoop earrings

I’m ocasionally asked whether I work in gold.  The answer is yes – but only on request.  Here are two recent examples.  The earrings are about 20mm in diameter.  The ring was made to complement a similar silver ring.

Teaching sessions in my workshop

Today, I ran a day course for two friends who wanted to learn the basics of working with silver.

In the morning I went through the stages of making a silver ring – we made one each.  In the afternoon, the two friends made motifs to go on a bracelet.  We made up the design over lunchtime and implemented it in the afternoon.

They experienced soldering, using the piercing saw, doming, and polishing and learnt about the metal, assay and various other tools and techniques.

Silver RIng and star motifs by students
RIng and star motifs

Silver hazelnut keyring

Such an obvious omission from my range.  This was a request, but it will be in my shop shortly after I have cast some more hazelnuts.

Silver hazelnut keyring  keyfob
Silver hazelnut keyring

Simple silver Yantra design

I understand this design is a very much simplified form of a thai tiger tattoo.  It has a certain pleasing symmetry and simplicity.

Silver yantra
Silver yantra pendant

The client and I discussed various permutations after I made a few copper test pieces – adding gemstones in the loops or having the shape on a backing sheet forming a further geometric shape, but we decided embellishments would  not complement the basic shape.

Silver and copper versions are available in my shop here.  Silver earrings are in my shop here.

Uffington White Horse pendants – different style

Silver Uffington White Horses on a green background
Silver Uffington White Horses

The White Horses in this variant are the same size as the earlier pendant, but in this commission they were requested to be on a green background.  Each horse is in a silver oval with the edge about the same height as the horse.  The green, low temperature enamel provides the required colour, but only as a relatively thin layer so that the horse stands proud of the enamel –  a reversal of the real thing where the white chalk layer is slightly below ground level (if I remember correctly).  These pendants are Christmas gifts from a mother to three daughters.  As ever when I make multiples, as each was hand cut separately, they have minor differences.

Jewellery and other siilverware based on the Uffington White Horse is available in my shop here.

Silver snails

Recalling a private joke between a mother and two daughters,  I was asked to make a pair of snails as ornaments.  I’ve made frogs, ducks, cats and dogs so why not!

Sterling silver snail ornaments
Sterling silver snails

They remind me of Brian on ‘The Magic Roundabout’.  They are about 45mm wide.

Sterling silver pectoral cross

This is my second pectoral cross – this time for Abbot Thomas of Mucknell Abbey.  Mucknell Abbey is home to a Benedictine community of men and women within the Church of England.

Sterling silver pectoral cross
Sterling silver pectoral cross

Abbot Thomas had a clear idea of what he wanted and we worked together to finalise the design.  The hand engraved groove was contracted out as this isn’t a skill I am comfortable with.  The cross is about 70 cm wide and weighs about 50g.  It is hallmarked on the rear.

 

Roman coin mount

This beautiful Roman coin stamped from gold sheet is in excellent condition.  The sheet was probably hammered out from a small ball, hence its irregular shape.  Though the die and punch are round, the sheet was not then trimmed after stamping. The mount I made for it is simple, so not as detract from the coin and is completely non destructive.  The coin is gently pinched in place.  A window in the back of the mount gives a good view of the reverse of the coin.

Trophy repair

I’m quite pleased with this repair.  There was a similar dint on the opposite side that came out well too.  It had been neglected and took a lot to bring the inside back to a shine.

Silver napkin rings

Customised heavy silver napkin rings
Customised silver napkin rings

This pair of rings are probably twice the weight of the commercial equivalents.   I know a man who does the engraving – letter, size and font as chosen by the client.

Uffington White Horse silver pendant

Uffington White Horse pendant
Uffington White Horse pendant

The horse is about 5cm long and at the limit of my skills to cut from silver sheet.  For this commission, it was important that the horse was as realistic as possible and so it had to be on a backing as two legs are not connected to the body in reality.  Also the mechanical strength of the silver would mean that a freestanding version would be too vulnerable to damage.

Jewellery and other siilverware based on the Uffington White Horse is available in my shop here.

Coin mount two and six pence

Half a crown pendant two and six coin pendant
Half a crown pendant

2/6 – half a crown or 12.5d in new(! post 1971) money.  This is will make a pendant of interest for someone.  It is 50% silver so worth more than face value. The silver band is formed around the coin, so it is very secure, but does not damage the coin in any way so my method is safe for all sizes and value of coin.  I have some Roman bronze coins mounted this way in my shop.

 

Silver lantern pendant

It’s the same lantern as the earrings in the post below, but here is one with a clear stone as a pendant.  Also from this angle, you can just see the hallmark lasered on the base.    The lantern is 12mm across and weighs about 5g.

Silver lantern pendant
Silver lantern pendant

It is available to buy from my shop, or contact me if you want a different stone.

Silver lantern earrings

Silver navigation lantern earrings
SIlver lantern earrings

These are a development from a recent commission – I like this design better.  It reminds me of a lantern that someone might carry from the large ring.  These are fitted with green and garnet cubic zirconia to represent navigation lights, but clear or other colour coould be used instead.  The lanterns are hallmarked on the base.  These are available from my shop.

Silver apricot seed pendant

Over the years, I’ve cast a range of nuts, fruit stones and seeds – walnuts, acorns, nectarines, dates, pecan….. Olives seeds and hazelnuts  in the form of pendants or cufflinks have proved the most popular.  I recently did a silver nutmeg and now I have just cast some apricot stones – because I haven’t done it before and ate some fresh apricots!

I’ve cast both whole stones and a half stone that has a chain loop added so that it can be used as a pendant.

The pendant is available from my shop. Should you want a full stone, please contact me.

 

Silver spanner keyring

SIlver spanner key ring key fob
SIlver spanner key ring

I’ve made a  few silver spanners over the years.  The first one was in the early 1990s I think.  They are cast in one or two cuttlefish bones depending on whether there is a flat side for engraving or not.

Casting always has some failures.  In the case one half of the spanner wasn’t good enough, but there’s nothing wrong with the half you can see and I thought a key ring might be a good gift for a mechanic or engineer.  You can buy this in my shop.

Silver salt cast handle for paring knife blade

Silver knife handle with iron blade
Silver knife handle with iron blade

The blade is from an old wooden handled knife of my father.  I think it’s a small paring knife – the blade is 5cm long.  Whether it is a family heirloom or something he picked up for 5p in a car boot sale I will never know!

I decided to make a silver handle for it.  This is a salt casting, with a tube beneath to take the knife tang.

The hallmark on the silver was new to me.  I had included the blade when it was sent to the London Assay Office.  They chose not to punch the marks as I expected, but lazered them on adding  ‘+Metal’ to  allow for the iron blade.

UK hallmarks from a silver knife handle
UK hallmarks from a silver knife handle

I’ve had stainless steel brooch pins stamped ‘METAL’ before, but never  the base metal unscathed and the hallmark done like this.  Not that I mind at all – it just wasn’t what I expected.

My new website

jhsilver.co.uk updated

Today I’ve just launched my new website.

Hopefully everyone will find it easier to use and more up to date.  Please let me know if there are  any problems or errors.

The shop remains the same – that seems to work fine and ‘it ain’t broke, so why fix it?’,  but the new website should surround the shop seamlessly.

It is also a more secure site now, you should see the little padlock on the browser bar most of the time.  There are probably a few links I need to fix still.  I still have some content I want to move over or update.

I’ve trimmed down the examples of my work  to about 100, but there’s more in the shop and on the blog.  Also you can sneak into the old website areas for further examples.

Navigation light silver earrings

Silver navigation light earrings
Silver navigation light earrings

These were a commission for the birthday of the wife of a local boat owner and aimed to replicate the old style oil lantern type lamp. (Port is the on the left when facing the prow of a boat and is the red light.)

A more recent dtyle is available in my shop.