Fused pendants and bracelets

Large fused bracelet
Large fused bracelet

I have two of these in stock at present a smaller one and a larger one.  By the process that they are made, each one is unique and they are a statement piece – probably not to be worn every day. Shop

By contrast

Large fused silver pendant with fossil

These three pendants are good for daily wear.    Shop

Fused silver pendant with haematite
Fused silver pendant with haematite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fused silver pendant with paua shell
Fused silver pendant with paua shell

 

 

Silver plough trophy

The second of two major commissions this financial year is a silver plough.  (The first was the Abingdon Trinity morse).

Silver plough trophy
Silver plough trophy

The plough is fully hallmarked and formed from sterling silver sheet and wire section.  It weighs about 80 grams on its own and is about 125mm long.

It is modeled on a Ferguson three furrow plough that a friend owns and kindly allowed me to photograph and measure.

Ferguson three furrow plough
Ferguson three furrow plough

My plough isn’t an exact copy that would be much more time consuming, but you’ll see the resemblance.   The trophy will be used as a prize in a ploughing competition.

It proved to be quite a challenge, but I and the purchaser are very pleased with the end result.

 

Silver leaf necklace and earrings

Silver leaf necklace and earrings
Silver leaf necklace and earrings

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.

 

Small silver clothes peg

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.

Small silver clothes peg
Small silver clothes peg

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.

Silver child silhouette pendant

Silhouette pendant
Silhouette of two children as a pendant

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.

 

Silver swimming length counting rings

Silver counting ring
Silver counting ring

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.

Silver egg timer

Sterling silver oval egg timer
Sterling silver oval egg timer

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 also made a more conventional version.

1500 different designs

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.

Cow horn rims

Silver rings or rims for cow horns - drinking vessels
Silver rings or rims for cow horns

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.

Coin mounts

Silver coin mounts
Silver coin mounts

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.

Silver sand dollar

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.

Sand dollar
Sand dollar

I’ve managed to get quite a good cast of it – pleasingly retaining the detail.

Silver sand dollar - upper surface
Silver sand dollar – upper surface
Silver sand dollar - base
Silver sand dollar – base

This one is sold, but I’ll be making another – should you be interested!

 

 

Silver bee earrings

To complement my bee pendants and brooches, I’ve now created some bee earrings.

Silver bee earrings
Silver 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.

The bees themselves are on show here.

The Abingdon Trinity Morse

Silver Morse for the Abingdon Parish
The Abingdon Trinity Morse

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.

 

 

 

Mosaic tessera earrings

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.

Blue mosaic tessera earrings
Blue mosaic tessera earrings

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.

Replacing a comb in a silver cover

Replacing the comb in a silver cover
Before and after

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.

 

Silver volcano pendant

Silver volcano shaped pendant
Silver volcano shaped pendant

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.

2016 Sterling Silver Ingots

I’ve put into my shop silver ingots with the 2016 date letter (r) as part of the set of display quality hallmarks.  Here’s an example

Sterling silver ingot hallmarked 2016
Sterling silver ingot hallmarked 2016

I also have bangles with the 2016 hallmarks here

Silver date stone pendant

Another addition to my nuts and seeds collection

Silver date seed/ stone/ pip pendant
Silver date seed/ stone pendant

I’m ever surprised at the detail in these seeds.

I wasn’t planning to put this in my on-line shop, but should you want one, then please contact me.

 

Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams – the author of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ was born on 11 March 1952.  He would be coming up to his 64th birthday had he not died in 2001.

I’ve always liked the Hitchhiker ‘trilogy’ and made a pair of these cufflinks for myself

Silver 42 cufflinks
Cufflinks to remember the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

I’ve sold other pairs and there are two types of ’42’ available for sale in my shop.  I have also made variants including ’52’ and H2 (for hydrogen – the 2 was subscripted).

Silver horse pendant

Sterling silver galloping horse pendant
Sterling silver galloping horse pendant

The disc here is about 40mm in diameter with black, low temperature, enamel to highlight the galloping horse.

Sweetie pendant

I don’t do much work with coloured stones – just when a stone or mineral excites my interest, but if my customer wants stones, then stones they shall have.

Sterlng silver pendant with aventurine, amethyst, garnet and turquoise stones
Sterlng silver pendant with aventurine, amethyst, garnet and turquoise stones

The design is meant to look like a wrapped sweet.  Teasing the design a little further, I was assked to gold plate the area around the stones, as you see below.

Silver sweet pendant with gold plating
Silver sweet pendant with gold plating

The plating is pen plating and very thin so suited to being in the well.

Matching earrings are available in my shop and also a slightly different variant of the sweetie pendant.

Sterling silver thimble commission

 

Bespoke sterling silver thimble
Bespoke sterling silver thimble

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’

Bespoke sterling silver thimble
Further round showing the leaves and hallmark

Sausage dog brooch

Sausage dog, dachshund sterling silver brooch
Sausage dog, dachshund sterling silver brooch

Not much else to say other than I made a plain one as a commission and decided to do something a little more in the style of my cat, duck and frog brooches.

The J-peg – customised jewellery

Silver paperclip/ brooch - initisl
A peg to hold papers with a second use as a brooch

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.

Fitting a bar to a medal

As delivered, the upper bar was fixed to the lower bar with thread through the lugs.  I’ve replaced this with a tube and pin fitting rather than a solid wire or small rivets on each lug.

Ring sizing

I now have a new ring sizing machine that will be quicker and more accurate for stretching a wide range of rings and shrinking plain bands such as wedding rings.

Ring stretcher and shrinker
Ring stretcher and shrinker

As ever, I don’t promise anything until I’ve seen the ring, but this new tool should expand my repertoire further.

Shop sales before Christmas

If there is a price and a Buy Now 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.

Have a good Christmas.

John

Blue topaz form folded silver pendant

Blue topaz silver pendant
Blue topaz form fold silver pendant

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.

Thames path on silver napkin rings

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.

Silver napkin rings showing the Thames Path
Silver napkin rings showing the Thames Path

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.

Silver tooth

Sterling silver tooth for pendant, keyring or charm bracelet
Sterling silver tooth for pendant, keyring or charm bracelet

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.

Buying gifts

Silver gilt earrings
Silver gilt earrings

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.

Sterling silver baptism shells

A recent commission has been to make a shell to be used during a christening.

Sterling silver baptism shell

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.

Sterling silver sea shell
Sterling silver sea shell

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.

ss1353 Img_3594s
Cast sterling silver fossil shell Pseudopecten acuticosta

As developments of the original commission, the image below shows a shell shape  that doesn’t have a handle.ss1355 Img_3620s

And finally, for now…

ss1354 Img_3613s
Sterling silver shell

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.

 

Silver walking stick collar

Solid sterling silver collar for a walking stick
Solid sterling silver collar for a walking stick

To be fitted on the shaft of a walking stick.  I’ve previously made ferrules and covers for rubber ferrules.  I didn’t do the engraving, but I know a man who can.

Silver nutmeg

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

ss1338 Img_3538s
Solid sterling silver nutmeg

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!

 

Small silver cross earrings

Sterling silver cross earrings
Sterling silver cross earrings

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.

Earring conversions – studs/post to loop

An example of a customer who wanted earrings with studs converted to hook type fittings (findings).

Earring as stud
Earring as stud
Earring converted to loop fitting
Earring converted to loop fitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    I can usually do the conversion the other way, depending whether the earring will take the heat of soldering the pin on.  Some can be glued.

 

New faceted stone ring design

Silver claw ring for deep faceted stone
Silver claw ring for deep faceted stone

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.

Here be dragons

This recent commission was completed a few weeks ago, but embargoed until the gifts were given.  The basic design of the dragon was provided by the client and I translated it in silver.

silver dragon pendant
Silver dragon pendant
Silver dragon earrings
Matching silver dragon earrings

 

The pendant is laser engraved with initials on the front and a date on the rear. All are laser hallmarked.

Bishop’s ring and pectoral cross

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

Michael Beasley wearing his new cross and ring
Michael Beasley wearing his new cross and ring

The cross is a plain, solid sterling silver with a satin finish.

Pectoral Cross
Michael’s pectoral cross showing the hallmarks

His ring is also a simple rub-over set, 14 x 10 amethyst cabochon.

Michael's ring
Michael’s ring

I wish him every success and happiness in his new role.

Silver walking stick ferrule

I’ve just delivered a sterling silver ferrule for a customer’s walking stick.  Here is a photo my customer took having fitted the ferrule.

SIlver ferrule for a 16mm diameter  walking stick
SIlver ferrule for a 16mm diameter walking stick

“It’s a lovely fit and has reallly finished the cane off – it looks great”

 

Silver clothes peg

Everyone needs silver clothes pegs!  Mine are solid silver with a silver spring, which doesn’t have much tension.  They are great as ornaments or maybe paperweights, but not fit for the washing line!

Full sized solid silver clothes peg
Full sized solid silver clothes peg

Available from the shop where there are other options available too.

Silver belt buckles

I’ve just made three silver buckles for leather belts – two were comissions, but one is available in the shop.  this image is of one of the commissions with a heavy duty black English leather belt.

Silver buckle with black leather
Silver buckle with black leather

The buckles were cast into a cuttlefish bone which was treated to bring out the bone structure and the delicate pattern seen here.

Silver AK47 bullets

Sterling silver AK47 bullets
Sterling silver AK47 bullet

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.

Solid silver dog collars

These two collars were commissioned for two large dogs – the circumference of one is 60 cm and the other 65cm.  My neck is only 37 cm!

Sterling silver dog collars
Sterling silver dog collars

They are solid sterling silver. After the stage shown here when they had been hallmarked, they were engraved and then the owner arranged for the insides to be lined with leather for the dogs’ comfort.  Each contains close on 400g of silver – not too heavy for this size of dog, but needed to cope with their strength.

I could make similar versions – maybe smaller and lighter – for decorative rather than functional use.

 

Orange quartz and peacock ore jewellery

Two new pieces just added to my website shop.  I bought a rough lump of orange quartz and made some slices.  This piece is the ‘crust’  – one of the outer edges mounted on a simple silver mount.

Orange quartz and silver pendant
Orange quartz and silver pendant

The pendant below is a salt casting with a platform created for a small slice of peacock ore.

Peacock ore  saltcast silver pendant
Peacock ore saltcast silver pendant