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.
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.
“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 ……”
Not only did I take my daughter up the aisle for her wedding last week, but I made their wedding rings.
I wonder how many brides and grooms have their Dad’s mark in their wedding rings?
The profile had to match with her engagement ring both in material and shape. No – I didn’t do the engagement ring – stone setting isn’t one of my best skills.
Here’s a picture of the rings after the ceremony.
This bracelet is a special order. The customer liked the concept of an existing piece (in the shop), but wanted the texture to match a pendant also purchased. This is the result.
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.
A bespoke cat brooch – required to be like a treasured but lost brooch without a picture. After several discussions and an intermediate visit, this is the result.
The owner is very happy.
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.
Within thanks to Amanda, who I met at Art in the Barn, here is a delft clay cast of a eucalyptus seed which has a fascinating five fold symmetry. It’s about 20mm diameter and weighs 12g.
Two new designs of cat brooch will be on show at my Artweeks events.
These are available from my website shop.
A special request for a silver matchstick to complement another artwork. As you can see these are real size, but purely decorative.
Not shown, but these are hallmarked. What next? Silver toothpicks? They would be more useful!
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).
This particular handle is bubinga wood.
Now Christmas has passed and the gifts have been given, here are some of the commissions I’ve made recently.
Here is a working model steam engine made by my brother. It’s about 8 inches long. His skills are impressive and totally different to mine.
It has yet to be painted, but somehow that will hide the workmanship.
A recent commission was this daffodil brooch
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.
A shallow silver dish about 100 mm (four inches) in diameter and weighing about 65 grams. There is plenty of space for engraving.
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)
I’ve made wishbones as an ornament/ good luck gift for some time. These have been either cast from a real wishbone or fabricated from wire
I’ve now made a tiny version as a necklet – just 25 mm long.
A pair of simple candlesticks. The sapele bases were made by my friend Richard Shock. The base is 90 mm in diameter so these are quite petite.
I now have a belt buckle back in the shop
Also Roman coin cufflinks
And a new line – cufflinks with silver 3d – threepenny – bits
An idea stemming from a chance comment. This is a silver version of what may be known as a blanket or kilt or nappy safety pin.
This one has a silver heart attached which may be engraved with the recipient’s name. It is about 6 cm long and is available from my shop.
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.
I’ve just added my new range of jewellery based on press formed hearts to my website. The range includes earrings, pendants, necklaces and earrings.
The various ites can be found by looking at earrings etc or the whole range is at www.jhsilvershop.co.uk/Themes/Hearts/Hearts.html
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.
The recipient of a pair of earrings made by me lost one. Fortunately, she kept the presentation wallet with my website address on it and got in touch.
She sent me the existing one and using that as a model was able to make her a replacement – so she’s happy again. One advantage of buying from me!
I have converted a single earrings to necklets before now. This is often a good solution if the earrings had sentimental value.
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.
If you want a paper copy just let me know!
Currently just ‘News’ or ‘New work’, but hopefully this will help using ‘search’.
I have had photographs of my work taken by Agness Lugovska. These are much more artistic than the ones I produce myself. You can see them at www.jhsilver.co.uk/Library-photos.html
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.
I’ve developed a 45-60 minute talk about silver suitable for local groups. I cover sources, uses, price, hallmarking, how to make silverware and how to care for it.
I’ve given the talk in Radley a couple of times and it seems to go down well.
I shall be giving the talk to the Stonesfield WI tonight and to the Wantage Probus club in October.