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.

Silver Australian Dollar mounted as a pendant

TI have mounted this beautifully manufactured silver dollar using a fine silver bezel burnished round to grip the coin securely.  Only the milling round the outside is concealed.  The setting holds the coin non-destructively and could be removed leaving the coin unscathed.

Coin mount for a silver shilling

This coin mount for 1605 James the 6th Shilling – great to get the chance to hold something that old.  The owner says that If you look at the coin you’ll see a fleur de lis around the edge, that’s the mint mark and means the coin was minted in the Tower of London in 1605, the very year Guy Fawkes tried to kill James the 6th.

The sterling silver mount holds the coin non-destructively and is hallmarked 2020.

The review posted on my Google page says ‘I received my item from John today and to say I’m happy with it would be an understatement.

Replacing a wheel on a silver chariot

Something missing?

The left hand side is my delft clay copy of the original.  As it only weighed 2.3g, no additional hallmarking was required.  The owner was very pleased with the result.

Repair of a silver dagger brooch

On the left you can see it as received and on the right with a new pin catch and the chain reattached.  Fortuately the beautiful filigree work on the front face remained intact.

Silver dragonfly bracelet repair

This style of bracelet has a design flaw.  When the bracelet is flexed to get it on and off it work hardens and fails at the thinnest point which is the wing joint.

Silver Dragonfly bangle broken

I managed to rejoin the wing and added a brace section underneath for added strength.  It doesn’t affect the looks or wearability, but should make the bracelet last a good few years now.

Silver dragonfly bracelet fixed

It’s not the first I’ve had to fix!

A groovy silver ring

A wide silver ring with a circumferential groove
A wide silver ring with a circumferential groove

A special request for a ring with a groove around it.  With time the groove should tarnish whereas the main surface will stay silvery.  This will be the desired effect.

Book style silver earrings

Book style silver earrings
Book style silver earrings

These were requested by a previous client for a friend who likes reading.  My client provided a sketch, which I followed closely except that I replaced a chain by a twisted square wire to keep the book facing outward.  There is still plenty of movement as there are two hinges.  Another piece for my ‘unusual requests’ folder.

Royal Mail delivery charges

Royal Mail increased their prices on 23 March 2020.  I haven’t increased my charges for some years as I have absorbed the costs.  Alas, I can no longer do that and so from today have increased my p&p charges by just 25p for the two price bands.

Remember that is the price per posting to one UK address, so if you order more than one item you only pay one p&p charge.

Twiddle ring repair

When I was asked to repair this ring, there were no floating rings – they had slipped off/ broken or otherwise vanished.  Two copper and one silver ‘distressed rings were requested and delivered.

Twiddle/ floating ring repair
Twiddle/ floating ring repair

Mixed metal curb chain bracelet

This one’s mine, though I can and have made copies.

Mixed metal curb chain bracelet
Mixed metal curb chain bracelet

It consists of a sequence of silver, copper and brass links  with a silver t-bar and loop clasp.  Of course, yellow, red and white gold is another option, but may not have the claimed beneficial effect of copper.

Silver/ wood paperweight

Silver and wood paperweight
Silver and wood paperweight

This post is a little sad.  My friend Richard Shock has passed away.  he was a woodturner and one of his lines was paperweights with different centrepieces.  He asked me to obtain some silver discs and have them hallmarked as centrepieces.  This is about 11cm across and weighed with lead.  We think the wood is ebony.  He wished me to have an item of his work to remember him and this is the piece that was selected for me.   Very appropriate.

Silver flower pendants

These pendants are a special commission for three daughters

They are all the same size,  about 35mm across, and build on earlier work in this style.  The thistle is fabricated , but the rose and sweet pea are both cut in one piece from sheet – a challenge to my sawing skills.  The textured background enhances the shiny surface of the flower.  Each is hallmarked on the rear.

SIlver horseshoe pendant

I was asked to make a silver near copy of a base metal pendant that had a special meaning for my client.  I actually made two and the one on the left is the client’s and it has been slightly ‘aged’ on request.  You can see it and the original here on Instagram. I quote

‘it’s arrived and frankly I am bowled over by how brilliant it looks. What an amazing job, it’s pretty much exactly how I imagined it. Thank you so much for the great work’

The right hand side one has a different fixing and is on sale in my shop.  They are the same size – about 3cm by 3cm.

Fused 9 carat red and yellow gold pendant

9ct red and yellow gold pendant
9ct red and yellow gold pendant

I’ve made many fused silver pendants before of a whole range of sizes, but this is my first attempt at fusing gold.  I was unsure it would work with low carat silver but it’s come out fine and has been hgallmarked as 9ct gold.  If you look carefully, you will see the two tones where the red and yellow  gold pieces have blended together.  This weighs 4g and is about 3cm tall.  It’s available from my shop.

Sterling silver seahorse pendant

I helped to clear out the workshop of a silversmith who had passed away.  In a tobacco tin, I found a dried out seahorse.  I’ve no idea how old it was. I thought it would be fragile, but it has survived me making two delft clay casts from the body.

Sterling silver sea horses
Sterling silver sea horses

They have come out really well and are available for purchase from my shop.

 

My silver ingots for 2020 have a ‘V’

The date letter for 2020 is a ‘V’.

You can see all the date letters for the last 40+ years here.  I made one for me every year and the one on the left is this year’s one.  All 42, so far, are slightly different.  The one on the right below is for sale in my shop, but I can make them pretty much any size or weight.

 

Jewellery display stands for sale

These are the stands I no longer require.  I’m looking for 50p for the smallest stands to £2 for the largest. £2 for the ring stands and £2 for the dog bone tags.  £50 gets everything.  Buyer collects.

(Silver ring not included with the ring stands!) Some of the black stands need  a clean to remove blu-tak and the odd scratch.  Many of the black stands have extra clips on the rear to fix the chains to help positioning.

Silver padlock

This piece is really a test piece as it’s the first I’ve made.  I’ve been thinking about making a padlock for some time, but, at this scale,  making even a basic key mechanism is outside my skills.  Then I saw a knitting stitch marker and that method of closure seemed to be the answer.  This one is about 4cm tall, 2cm wide and 5mm thick.  It weighs 12g.

To open the loop is pulled up, then squeezed in slightly so that it can be rotated through the slot.  Simple and secure.  Available from my shop and other sizes available to order.

Leather bracelet

This is a development of some work I did making leather dog collars for very valued dogs.  This is a wrist sized version in 6mm black leather cord.

Leather and mixed metal bracelet
Leather and mixed metal bracelet

This is available from my shop, or, if this doesn’t fit, please consider it as a template for something else you might like.  There is a message in this bracelet, but if you know binary and HHGTTG then the answer is ……….

It started life slightly differently with a more adjustable clasp

Leather mixed metal bracelet v1
Leather mixed metal bracelet v1

but in practice this proved difficult to get on and off.

Silver teardrop locket

This was a challenge of a commission – a long time in the gestation, but a satisfying result.   The brief was for a locket with space for two photographs. My client and I went through a number of iterations in the design to finally decide on this teardrop shape with gold embellishments.

The upper surface is hammered and domed with 9ct gold balls to increase the visual and tactile effect.  The inside has two chambers where a photograph can be stored.  The photos are held in by a silver circlip.

The hallmarks are on the inside and show not only the traditional London hallmarks, but the crown and 375 marks to acknowledge the gold component.

Locket hallmarks
Locket hallmarks

From the left:  my sponsor’s mark (JH), traditional sterling silver mark, silver fineness mark (925), the London Assay Office Mark (Leopard), the date letter (U for 2019), the traditional gold mark and the gold fineness mark (375 or 9 carat).

Silver glider silhouette keyfob

 

My client wanted a glider as a keyfob, but, as gliders are designed to be streamlined and aerodynamic, a  glider shape would be easily bent and also uncomfortable in the pocket.  We decided that a silhouette would be more practical.  Also, it has a satin finish as a bright polished finish would soon be scratched.

Silver glider silhouette keyring keyfob
Silver glider silhouette keyring

Imitation opal earrings

Silver imiitation opal earrings
Silver imitation opal earrings

I’m pleased with these.  I was asked to make a pair of earrings in a similar style to the remaining one of a pair.   That one had an opal doublet, but I couldn’t source anything the right size.  I decided to experiment with powered plastic ‘enamel’ and made these which are a blue background with a sprinkling of green and orange powder to fake the iridescence of an opal.

Bespoke punched and engraved silver ring

(Almost) always up for a new challenge, I was asked to make a ring with a phrase stamped on the outside and engraving on the inside.  The ring is 2mm thick, which is tricky to bend into shape . The sequencing to get the engraving, sizing, stamping, assay, fabrication and polishing inside and out required thought and scheduling, but it worked and my customer is delighted.  Definitely not something to be done in a rush.  Sam James Ltd did the engraving for me.  I had to practice punching to get the lettering (nearly) in a straight line.

Silver acorn cufflinks

Silver acorn cufflinks
Silver acorn cufflinks

Another addition to my ‘seeds’ range of cufflinks.  Each acorn is about 18mm long,  Available from my shop.  I also have pendants of a similar size available in the shop.

Celebrating a special event

SIlver ingot 2019
SIlver ingot 2019

I’ve made this style of ingot before, but this was a gift for an 18th birthday this year and hence it has this year’s date letter ‘U’.  This does require a little planning to get the timing right.  Unless I have a suitable item in stock, date letters cannot be applied retrospectively – it would make them a bit meaningless really.

Cufflinks with customer supplied subject

Here are a couple of sets of cufflinks I have made recently for customers who had a specific item they wanted mounted.

These are both variants of the mount I usually use for UK 3d pieces, though the carnelian ones are much bigger stones and hence have six claws each for extra security.  The coins have standard backs and the carnelians the whale tail variant.

Ferrule for a swagger stick

Silver swagger stick tip
Silver swagger stick tip

This doesn’t look that exciting.  It’s a silver tip or ferrule to replace one lost from an officer’s swagger stick.  This is 25mm long and 10mm internal diameter.  I’ve done the same sort of thing in different forms and styles for walking and riding sticks.

Silver ammonite bracelets

These are the latest additions to my ammonite range – still the same ammonites – just different forms of jewellery.