This necklace is a commissioned piece to substitute for one that went missing. The main links are 20 by 25 mm and the whole piece weighs 100g. It has a toggle bar clasp which allows some adjustment of the length to suit different clothes. The bar can go through any of link of the other end of the chain, though it does then get a little asymmetric if it is shortened too much.
This picture gives a closeup of the links and the assay markings.
This beautiful slice is an example of eclogite, clearly showing the garnet inclusions. Quoting Wikipedia – ‘Eclogite typically results from high-pressure metamorphism of mafic igneous rock (typically basalt or gabbro) as it plunges into the mantle in a subduction zone’. I was asked by the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, just up the road from me, to create a pendant based on the specimen as a gift for a leaving colleague. The Department has a logo of symbolic mountain ranges, so I decided to reflect that in the border.
The problem with making an egg timer is how to secure in place the glass vial that actually holds the sand. I came up with a less conventional solution here, but decided to also make a pretty conventional one and this is the result.
In this case one of the sets of domes are more like push fit rivets that fit into the tubular columns when the glass vial is in place. You need to get the height of the columns just right!
Each leaf is about 36mm by 20mm and has a concealed hinge to allow good flexibility of the necklace around the next. There is a degree of adjustment available by the positioning of the catch on the chain.
Earrings to match of course. The earrings and a brooch are available in my shop.
All pieces are hallmarked – by laser to avoid the marking showing through to the front.
My full sized clothes pegs are a steady selling item, but they are a lot of work, heavy and so expensive. I saw some tiny wooden pegs so I thought I would make some small silver ones.
This is the result. They are about 25mm long and weigh just four grams. They use the metal springs from the small wooden clothes pegs as silver wire of that gauge would have no strength at all. These have a fairiy reasonable grip. They can be purchased in my shop.
For this piece, I worked from a crisp photograph of the two children. The challenge was to capture enough to make the boys recognisable – at least to their families. Fortunately the donor and recipient were both delighted with the result.
if you need to count repetitive events – for me swimming lengths – then a ring or maybe two like these are essential. They fit on the index finger and are rotated with the thumb. Rotate one ring every two lengths by one quarter of a turn. That gives you an eight length counter. If you have another on the other index finger and rotate that a quarter every time the other does one revolution then you can count to 32. Available from my shop.
A rather unusual design for an egg timer, but it conveniently solves the problem of how to get the glass vial into the frame. The oval is pulled apart to allow the vial to slip into the domes and so is under very little pressure. This unique piece is available from my shop.
I have a photograph of pretty much everything that I have made. Although I’ve been silversmithing since 1978, I decided in early 2006 to record my work on a database. From that point, each new design or item, if individuals varied from the design, has been allocated a number ss001, ss002 etc, which is used on the corresponding photograph. Each item also has a number.
With the cow horn rings previous to this post, I’ve reached ss1500 so that’s about 150 variants each year. I’ve made 2800 items in that time. Most pictures are on my website, in my shop or in the blog.
What do you do with a pair of cow horns? Turn them into drinking vessels with smart silver banding of course. I was asked to make these two pieces of silver to make the drinking experience more pleasant. The silver is more than just a ring, but curls over the lip and inside the horn to provide a pleasant experience for ones lips. The rings are fully hallmarked fine silver and the silver has been formed to follow the contours of the horn. inside and out. For security, hygiene and to prevent moisture traps, the rings are bedded in with food safe adhesive/ sealant.
As a change from mounting coins into cufflinks and 50p coins into pendants, I was asked to set two silver sixpences and one silver threepence as you can see above. These will be gifts – the coins having sentimental value. The band is fine silver (99.9%) which is so soft that it can be manually worked over the edge of the coin to give a tight grip.
Always one for a challenge – I was asked to make a sand dollar. What’s a sand dollar you ask – as I did. It’s a form of sea urchin.
This is an example about 5 cm across – about the largest I can cope with. As 10 cm is a more typical size, I can only assume it became deceased prematurely as the markings are not as pronounced as larger specimens. It does , just, show the typical five fold symmetry I find fascinating.
I’ve managed to get quite a good cast of it – pleasingly retaining the detail.
This one is sold, but I’ll be making another – should you be interested!
To complement my bee pendants and brooches, I’ve now created some bee earrings.
These bees are about 30mm wingtip to wingtip and available with various ear fittings. In the examples shown, the thorax and abdomen are gold-plated. However, the bees could bee plain silver, all gold-plated and maybe even bands on the abdomen. Available from my shop.
One exciting commission I received was to endeavour to make a morse. (A morse is a large clasp or brooch on the front of an ecclesiastical cope.) The one I made was worn by Bishop Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, at a service at St Helens Church Abingdon in May. (Photos to follow.) The morse will be recorded in the church terrier (inventory) as part of the church silver. It is 75mm in diameter.
The design incorporates semi- precious stones whose colours would reflect the theology-in- colour of the three angelic visitors in Rubliev’s icon. The Father is betokened by a large stone of lapis lazuli at the centre of the morse; blue is the colour signaling divinity. The Son is betokened by four garnets roughly in the shape of a cross; red signals the blood of sacrifice. Five peridot stones ‘fly’ out toward the edge; light green signals the Spirit, the ‘giver of life’.
The donor expressed the wish that the morse have Celtic Christian features too. So, the morse is round and slightly bowed to recall the Celtic ‘lorica’ or breastplate. The first line of the lorica prayer ascribed to St Patrick himself, I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity, is engraved on the morse following the spiral in which the stones are set.
The life of the Trinity thus spirals out in the act of creation, and draws creation and humankind back to itself in redemption and sanctification.
My thanks to Revd Dr Charles Miller who commissioned the piece and provided the interprettion of the symbolism above.
Years ago my wife and I visited Sam Gimignano in Italy. I bought a box of bright blue tessera – the little tiles used as the basis of a mosaic. I occasionally make some earrings using them that usually sell well.
It was only recently that a lady visited my stand during Artweeks and said “I make mosaics and those are tesserae, but that’s the back which is pressed into the cement.”
I’d never given it a moment’s thought – that side looked best so I put it outermost. Of course, the other side being flat sits well in the setting. Few people normally see this side.
This silver backed comb has sentimental value to the owner and was clearly of no practical use. The problem here is usually to find a suitable replacement. The best fit was slightly too long and had to be filed and repolished and the teeth are shorter than the original., but it is now usable. If anyone else is interested, then please locate a comb that you think is an acceptable replacement and I’ll fit it.
A gift from a geologist to a vulcanologist. The pendant is just under 4cm at the base and takes its shape from Cotopaxi in Ecuador. It has a reticulated surface to provide texture on the slopes. To provide interest, what would normally be a silver ring for the chain has been replaced by two 9ct gold circles to give an impression of an eruption. The hallmarks are punched on the rear.
This thimble was commissioned to mark one of those ‘special’ birthdays. Apart from being a keen sempstress, the recipient also loved gardening. Hence the initial ‘F’ is meant to look like a branch and the rear has representations of leaves.
The thimble is fabricated from sheet with both bright and satin textures. I was given a thimble that fits in order to get the size right – the tricky bit. It is, of course, hallmarked.
From the giver – ‘F++++++++ is delighted with it, so thanks again for your time and work.’
From the recipient – ‘ I’m emailing to say thank you for making my lovely thimble. I’m really pleased with the design and finish. I have been using it for sewing already and it fits very well and does everything a thimble should do! So thanks again’
I’ve previously made a treble clef to fit into a wooden peg to clip the score on a music stand that can also be detached and used as a brooch.
I was asked to do the same as a gift, but with an initial J replacing the clef. My customer expected it to be used as a paper organiser, but the recipient likes it immensely and intends to wear it as a brooch.
If there is a price and a button then the item is available for sale. Unless you collect, deliveries will follow Royal Mail’s last posting dates of Monday 21 for items under £35 or Wednesday 23rd for other items. I need to have received the order by midday on those dates to allow for packing and transport to the Post Office.
A recent commission, this pendant is a new style of work for me called fold forming. The stone is a beautiful Swiss blue topaz with a four claw setting to hold the stone in the fold. The beauty of the faceted, transparent topaz is enhanced by the silver reflecting light to and from the stone. The bulk of the metal is fine silver, but because of the chain, it is hallmarked as sterling.
I shall be doing more work using this technique which will end up in my shop in due course.
A recent commission has been a matching set of napkin rings for a special event. To remind the owners of the time they walked the Thames path, the napkins each have a representation of the Thames Path from Lechlade to Walton.
What you see on the left is the north bank formed from an extra layer of silver, whilst on the right hand side the south bank is thicker using the other part of the silver sheet – economical on silver! Hence the napkins are a sort of ‘half a sixpence’. The section of the path seen here is from Oxford at the top and Reading at the bottom, with Radley in the middle. The rings are deeper than normal to accomodate the route without compression. They are hallmarked and engraved on the insided.
I have all my wisdom teeth – they are in a box in a drawer in my bedroom! When my daughter recently had one of hers out, it inspired me to find mine and then I thought I would cast one to add to my collection of oddities. Not yet in my shop, but available for sale for a pendant, charm or keyfob. Contact me.
If you would like me to send a shop sale or a commission directly to the recipient, then I am happy to do that. I will include a message from you and adjust my packing accordingly. I will still send you an email with the despatch details. Please put the message in the box on the shopping cart and use the recipients address during the payment process.
If whether you are based in the UK or abroad and the gift is going to a UK address, then just use the shopping cart system. If the gift is to be sent abroad, please contact me by email first.
A recent commission has been to make a shell to be used during a christening.
This shell is about three inches wide and is inspired by a scallop shell. In developing the idea I cast a sea shell, but, at 1.5 inches across it was too small to be practical in the ceremony. The detail on the outer shell has come out well in the casting.
That inspired me to cast something larger and I bought an example of Pseudopecten acuticosta. The fossil was found in Gloucestershire and is about 170 million years old. It is about 2.25 inches across. It is only a half section, recessed on the other side, so could be used for a baptism though it doesn’t hold much water.
As developments of the original commission, the image below shows a shell shape that doesn’t have a handle.
And finally, for now…
This shell is a pressing based on the fossil above. It is nearer 2.5 inches across and very suitable for a baptism shell.
All bar the top shell are available for sale in my shop.
Over the years, I’ve cast a number of different sort of nut and seed/pip. The most popular is the hazelnut, usually as a pendant, but sometimes as a brooch or cufflinks. Until now, I’ve never made a silver nutmeg, but here they are
Solid, life sized, hallmarked and weighing about 40g each, they join my collection of silver nectarine seeds, silver brazil nuts, silver walnuts, silver olive seeds, silver hazelnuts, silver almonds, silver acorns and silver pistachios. You can buy a nutmeg via this link.
Different nuts and golden pears by special request only!
These earrings are 8mm wide and 12mm long. they have a dappled effect on what is currently the front side and a plain side to the rear, but they could be reversed. They are also available with stud fittings. Available in my shop. I can make other sizes or finishes on request.
The inner band of this ring is surrounded by three silver wires, two of which form claws for the stone and the inner actually forms the ring. It’s a new design for me to accomodate a deep stone, which I think is peridot, though my client thought was citrine.
The Reverend Canon Michael Beasley will be the next Bishop of Hertford from May 2015. I was delighted to be asked to make his ring and pectoral cross. Michael had seen my style of work on my website and thought it matched his requirements.
Here he is at the first wearing
The cross is a plain, solid sterling silver with a satin finish.
His ring is also a simple rub-over set, 14 x 10 amethyst cabochon.
I wish him every success and happiness in his new role.
This is a delft clay cast of an AK47 bullet or more accurately cartridge. It is solid silver weighing 34 grams and is fully hallmarked. It is not a perfect replica, due to the limitations of my casting method. Available from my shop.