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.
The bees themselves are on show here.
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.
Another addition to my nuts and seeds collection
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 – 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
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).
The disc here is about 40mm in diameter with black, low temperature, enamel to highlight the galloping horse.
The dog is 45mm tip to tail and 2mm thick with a gold tail and ears. The gold is a development of the animal brooches I have been making.
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.
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.
The plating is pen plating and very thin so suited to being in the well.
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’
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.
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.
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.
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.
As ever, I don’t promise anything until I’ve seen the ring, but this new tool should expand my repertoire further.
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.
Have a good Christmas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An example of a customer who wanted earrings with studs converted to hook type fittings (findings).
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.
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.
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.
The pendant is laser engraved with initials on the front and a date on the rear. All are laser hallmarked.
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.
I’ve just cast some small ammonites – a centimetre or less. These are fine for a really discrete, light pendant or earrings. They are available in my shop.
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.
“It’s a lovely fit and has reallly finished the cane off – it looks great”
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!
Available from the shop where there are other options available too.
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.
The buckles were cast into a cuttlefish bone which was treated to bring out the bone structure and the delicate pattern seen here.
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.
This year is ‘q’ . This is my 37th year that I’ve had my sponsor’s mark!
Just under 6cm long. A variation on my standard spoons by plating the bowl with gold. Available from my shop.
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!
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.
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.
The pendant below is a salt casting with a platform created for a small slice of peacock ore.
This pendant is the size and thickness of a popular round mint. The five small circles and small cyclindrical bumps. The piece was cuttlefish cast to give the rich texture. The centre has a thin gold plate to add contrast. It is on sale in my shop.
The one on the left weighs 17 grams and is about 40 mm across. The other weighs 7 grams and is about 35 mm across. There’s a half loop on the back for the chain. Both are hallmarked as sterling silver. This was a new departure for me. I created the two starfish shapes using a mouldable plastic called ‘Polymorph’ and these plastic models were used for delft clay casting. They are on sale in my shop.
A silver matchbox – that must have accessory to keep decorative but otherwise useless silver matches in
Whilst I was in a box making mood, I also made a sames sized conventional box. It would also hold matches, but more usefully pills or some little treasures.
Both are available from my shop
A wood turner asked me to form a silver rim for a bowl he had created. The picture shows the result. The rim is made from fine (99.9%) silver and you can just make out the hallmark at the back. It’s black and was laser imprinted by the London Assay Office.
If you are a wood turner and are interested in me making a similar rim, please get in touch at an early stage in your project.
I made this for me as I wanted to move on from the style of copper/ silver bracelet that I’ve been wearing for some years now.
This has silver, copper and brass links to give an interesting variation of colour. Because I’m hamfisted, I’ve made a matching toggle and loop clasp which even I can operated quickly. Unfortunately it doesn’t stay this shiny for long. Maybe I should make a red/white/yellow gold version!
I make several designs suitable as gifts to mark the birth of a new child or as a christening or similar ceremony for the young child. Please give me notice so that I can get the item hallmarked in the right year – retrospective date hallmarking is not possible!
Here are a couple of examples of napkin rings made for my children.
You can see more napkin rings on my website .
or maybe a nappy/ kilt pin?
A new addition to my treble clef range is a delicate treble clef pendant.
The clef is about 23 mm high with a fine trace chain, but I could make any size with a range of chains.
My wood turner friend, Richard Shock, has a line of paperweights with inlaid centre.
This is one from his range with a silver disc centre. I provided the discs and also the silver matchstick that is use to displace the disc by pushing from the rear. The disc can then be cleaned without the cleaner damagiing the wood.
You can buy this paperweight from Richard’s website
If you lose the matchstick – come to me!
My website has a page on cleaning silver. Recently I’ve started to use anti-tarnish cleaning cloths such as these.
They are handy for a quick clean and very good for flatter surfaces. In fact I’ve decided to give one free with every commission sale or you can buy them from my shop, though to avoid postage costs they are better bought as part of an order.