St Brigid is one of the patron saints of Ireland. I have just delivered a commission of a full sized (30 cm) St Brigid’s cross in sterling silver.
The cross is traditionally woven from reeds. This one has been constructed by weaving in the same way, but using oval solid silver wire. The cross has loops for wall hanging on the rear horizontal arms. It weighs about 450 grams – one imperial pound.
On arrival, my client said, ‘it is stunning! Thank you for accepting this commission’.
Since then I have made a couple of smaller versions. They have been sold, but I can make others to commission.
Following the commission from the PTES for 21 silver and gold plated hazelnuts, I’ve had steady sales of these hazelnuts – including one to a Hatton Garden jeweller. I have recently been commissioned to produce another set of three, but from the client’s collection of natural hazelnuts that have a high sentimental value.
I was delighted to get the following feedback.
“The necklaces arrived today! I am so delighted with them- they look even better than the photographs. I was surprised and delighted with the weight of the hazelnuts- you made such a fantastic job of them. Thank you for your excellent communication throughout this process- I really felt you did your absolute best for me. I can’t thank you enough- it’s a lovely reminder of our ……”
I’ve recently been commissioned to make some clasps for minature medals in silver. By agreement with my client, the implementation was not as complex as a provided silver plated brass example as you can see here.
Here’s what it looks like in use. My client is very pleased.
This striking piece of jewellery resulted from a special request to have a pendant containing a haematite (hematite) of a certain minimum wieght and and a minimum quantity of silver and iron.
The result is a geometric design with two iron rings, one either side, to get the necessary weight with a white metal triangle and stone bezel. Formally because of the mixed metals, it cannot be assayed and hence the formal description of the triangle is white metal, though it was constructed with standard sterling and fine silver stock.
Thanks to Nerissa Parker and Sam Buckley, I’ve developed the process of gold plating. I also do Keum Boo which is fusing a thin gold layer onto fine silver, so Keum Boo is thicker and more robust than plating, but less flexible.
Here are a couple of examples. The first is a pair of fused style earrings, before and after.
These are my standard ammonite pendant. One is plated on one side, but with the ribs further polished so expose the silver again to enhance the contrast.
The British brass threepenny piece is a very characteristic coin and one that brings back the era before decimalisation to many. I’ve made several sets of cufflinks with these coins – usually to reflect a date of birth. Here is an example.
These have a bezel/ wrap over setting, but I do other styles. I have pairs of coins for 1937,1938,1940 to 1945, 1952-55, 1957,1960-1964,1966 & 1967, but most dates between 1937 and 1967 are available (at a price). There’s no reason not to use the coins in brooches or pendants too.
Serious stamp collectors like to know whether the stamp is printed on chalky paper or not. I’m told the only accepted way is to make a mark on the perforation with a piece of pure silver. I was asked to make a tester and here it is ( with the help of my wood turner friend).
For scale – across the petals is about 20mm and the pin is about 50 mm. The pin is stainless steel for strength, but the flower and pin protector are sterling. It is not assayed as it only weighs about 3 grams.
The next development will making more and gold plating the trumpet.
I’ve been silversmithing for years and I’ve a photograph of practically everything I’ve made. I’ve just passed a milestone – kilometer stone would be better. Since I started tracking my work on a database, each photo of a design or variant has a unique number. I’ve just passed number 1000! – it has taken me 30+ years though.
Here’s number 1
And here’s number 1000
The next target is the number of discrete items made – rapidly approaching 2000.
I’ve a pair of shark’s tooth cufflinks back in stock. (Dfferent teeth – probably not the same shark so each cufflink is silver copy of a fossilised shark’s tooth – I think the apostrophe is in the right place)
The new pendant is a small single tooth, which I would anticipate being worn high on the neck.
I’ve mastered a feature of my shopping cart to allow items under £29 to be sent by recorded delivery rather than special delivery – reducing the postage costs from £6.50 to £3. The shopping cart sorts this out.
When N & P got married, I was asked to make a gift for them which were a pair of napkin rings which interlocked. So far so good – I’ve done that before. When child C came along, I was commissioned to make a further napkin ring. The easy choice is to add it on to the side, but isn’t it better to put the child between the parents?
I’ve made three – one has been sold and one will go in each of my Artweek shows and then later in May onto the website. These are an improved design and manufacturing process, but they are still all slightly different. The size is just over 6 cm across the wings.
Some of you will have seen my sets of postcards with the red backgrounds, each showing a different selection of my work. You can see the cards if you put ‘John Huddleston Silver’ into Google and then click on ‘Photos’.
However, I’ve just designed and had printed a flyer with some of my newer work. Here are two low-res images and a link to a pdf version. Don’t forget it is letter folded in hardcopy.
These spoons are back from the Assay Office where they have been carefully marked in the bowl. They need finishing – final checks and a full polish, then they will be made available shortly in my website shop.
Keum (or Kum) Boo is a process for affixing fine gold foil onto fine silver for decoration. See on my main website for more detail at this page. Up until now , I have fused the gold onto fine silver, but i’ve just tried successfully to put foil on sterling silver by depletion silvering. To pretreat the sterling sheet, I did the heat / acid/ heat / acid cycle seven times, but the end result is good. I am pleased with the result and will do more.
I’ve just had back from the London Assay Office, two ingots with the Diamond Jubilee mark and hallmarked for next year i.e. ‘n’ not ‘m’. These are trade samples and cannot be sold this year. I’ll load a picture soon.
I would do it now but my Seagate Goflex home network hard drive is not working properly on any of our machines and I’m waiting for the third attempt at a solution from Seagate’s customer support. Not buying another one from them!