Saxon style wedding ring in silver and gold

Saxon style ring at ceremonySaxon style ring aloneA 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.

Blue topaz silver ring

Blue topaz lozenge silver ringThe 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.

Engraved silver bracelet

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.

Silver band bracelet with memento

SIlver band bracelet with memento

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.

Silver crochet hook

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. “

Platinum Jubilee hallmarked silver ingots

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.

Silver chain bracelet

Chains like this are great for refreshing your soldering skills.

SIlver 'wiggly' chain braceletThere are over 70 joints to be soldered and it’s only 18cm long.  The silver disc is there only to provide a location for the hallmarks, which includes the Platinum Jubilee hallmark.

Silver bottle opener

SIlver copy of old style crown cork bottle opener

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.

Star sign pendant – silver

This is just a test piece to try out the idea.Star Sign pendant piece - Scorpio

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.

Silver tapered ferrule with extension

Q. What do you do if the walking stick you have been given is too short?

A. Add an extended length ferrule.SIlver walking stick extensionThis added an additional 5cm to the stick making it much more comfortable.

 

Silver holly leaf earrings

Silver holly earrings

I’ve never been a great one for seasonal jewellery, but on a whim with some time to fill, I made these.  About 20 by 15mm and very light, they catch the light nicely.  Available from my shop.  Other sizes can be made – also Christmas trees……

Crocodile tooth silver cap

Having capped a hippo tooth and a warthog tusk, I’ve downsized to a crocodile tooth here.  This one is only about 75mm long, but not something youwould want embedded in your leg!  I’ve seen more wildlife teeth close up in this last year than ever in my life.

This is just waiting for a thong.

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.

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.

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’.

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.

 

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.

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 has garnets instead of the domes and all the beads and beading are gold. You can see it here.

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.

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.

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.

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.