19 December 2012
Well it's Christmas Eve so I'll keep it short.
We've worked hard all year bringing you the fab mag that is Making Jewellery and now it's time for a break, the MJ office is all tinseled out and we've closed up shop for 2012! So on to a nice refreshing week off, with lots of Chocolates and Christmas pudding then it's back raring to go racing into 2013.
I've a few interesting jewellery items on my Christmas list so here's hoping tomorrow I'll be planning what to do with all my new equipment! I hope you get all that you desire this Christmas, if it's jewellery making goodies, pop over to our Facebook page and let us know all about it.
All that's left is to wish all you wonderful Making Jewellery readers a peaceful and relaxed Christmas and Happy & Healthy New Year from all the staff at Making Jewellery magazine.
Newlife Charity Call on Jewellery Makers
17 December 2012
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children
Leading UK charity for disabled children, Newlife Foundation is calling on jewellery makers across the UK to help support children who are disabled and terminally ill.
To raise funds, they are encouraging crafters to make something and sell it at local sales, giving the proceeds to Newlife. Or you can donate your handmade lovelies to the charity and they will sell them for you.
Whatever gorgeous pieces you make, Newlife guarantees that 100% of the funds they receive will directly support babies, children and young people through its national Nurse Helpline, equipment grants, emergency loan services, and investment in medical research.
Newlife provide information and support for thousands of families across the UK and are a gateway to a range of practical services from the charity. To join in, please contact Vicky Jones or Anna Szymczak on 01543 468888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
7 December 2012
We just wanted to say well done to Karen Taylor, who won first prize in the London Jewellery School Christmas jewellery competition!
She made these fantastic lampwork charms and created this incredibly festive bracelet. Hopefully you will all find this inspiring for your own Christmas makes!
Jewellery making courses by Karen are available - visit www.preciousjewellerybykaren.co.uk for more information!
A Good Book
3 December 2012
As we've got a giveaway at the moment to win a stack of jewellery making books (and you can enter that competition here) I've been thinking about books. Now, I LOVE a good book. In fact, at this time of year, I think there's nothing better than curling up in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate (or mulled wine!) and a good novel.
We saw in our recent Classic Fiction issue of Making Jewellery magazine (Issue 46, October 2012) that works of fiction can be hugely inspiration to our creativity, especially our jewellery designs. I think this often happens subconsciously too. When we read a book, we usually do so over a prolonged period of time, over a week or two. During that time we find ourselves thinking about the book we're reading while we're doing other things (at least, we do if it's a good book).
I've been reading a book for the last week or so that's very involved with snow and ice. As such, I think the things I've been making have been reflecting this! I didn't deliberately choose to do so, but I've been making things in silvers and cool blues, even though there's not a flake of snow to be seen!
Of course, it's not just fiction that affects our designs. I'm always flicking through books about jewellery and jewellery making, and endless things capture my imagination. Sometimes a few things will combine in my head to create a completely unique make. So, if you're looking for some inspiration, it's definitely time to curl up with a good book!
21 November 2012
Well I said I would update everyone when I had been and done my Keum Bo day and as it happens we have just completed the Ideal Home Christmas show.
So the Keum Bo workshop at West Dean College was fantastic! I really enjoyed the day, Sarah Macrae the tutor was brilliant, very warm and friendly. Her teaching style is relaxed and positive, which made it very easy to ask questions and helped everyone feel confident. I came away feeling confident enough to try again in my studio and with a good first sample of Keum Bo (the process of adding gold foil to silver with heat and a burnisher) Here are the earrings, I'm not sure if I'm going to solder posts to the back or hang them on earwires, I've still to make that decision!
If you are thinking of doing any courses in 2013 in any area of craft, do take a look at the West Dean website (link through from their name above) they do a huge range of courses and have accomodation available if you live far away. Food is provided, lunch was a cooked meal and was very tasty plus you should see the dessert tray!
Ok so on from food, we (GMC) had a stand at the Ideal Home at Christmas show. I love this show, it's the first real Christmassy thing I do! and I just love Christmas. The show was great, very busy with lots of crafting enthusiam.
This was our stand at the show with a gorgeous shape 'real' tree!
This is the lovely ice rink that graced the centre of the show, I love all the coloured lights.
And finally I just had to show you the hanging Christmas trees that were at the entrance to the show, as they are, well, just so Christmassy!
Unfortunately the copper clay workshop I was due to attend this week has had to be ponposed until the New Year, so I have a free weekend to do some jewellery making and maybe a bit of DIY and then a workshop to look forward to in 2013!
Hope your November is proving as much fun as mine, remember if you want to show us what you are up to check out our page on Facebook and upload your makes!
19 November 2012
I have just found out about a rather brilliant idea called The Amazings. It is an initiative that allows over 50s to teach their skills to people in their area. Younger generations can gain vital skills and older generations have the benefit to work into their retirement and by doing something that they love.
The Amazings have over 120 classes including art, craft, photography, writing, jewellery making, philosophy, history, hair styling... the list is as broad as the people offering the skills. The classes and courses are only happening in London at the moment, but they are hoping to expand this soon.
With single classes costing around £20 and courses costing from around £120, why not give somebody the gift of a new skill this Christmas?
The website is www.theamazings.com and it works on a voting system. Browse through the list of skills being offered as courses or workshops, vote for which ones you'd like in your area, and the ones with enough votes will be offered, giving you the chance to book.
I know plenty of over 50s who have fantastic skills that I can only admire... but they are often willing enough to teach them and pass them on. The Amazings is about putting these people in touch with those who want to learn.
Happy 10th Birthday Bunyip Beads!
13 November 2012
Tomorrow (Wednesday 14 November) marks the tenth birthday of Bunyip Beads and Buttons, the lovely shop in Exeter. Mattie Richardson opened the shop when she was just 24! But her youth certainly didn't stop her, and the shop is now a hive of activity among the crafting community.
The shop is celebrating big style! On Weds 14th it will be 10% off all Vintage beads, on Thurs 15th it will be 10% off Vintage beads and Jewellery leading up to 10% off everything on Sat 24th.
On the 24th there will be a party day in the shop, with drinks and nibbles and a special Make 'n' Take session, with teachers being around all day to help. There will be some very special bargains, including the Bunyip Guide to Jewellery Making free with all purchases over £10.
So, if you are anywhere near Exeter over the next few days (I wish I was!) then pop in to bag yourself a bargain and have some fun!
Editor at large in November!
6 November 2012
Well I don't know about you but as we plough into November (hum where did October go!) I have a really busy month ahead. So as it's packed with shows, classes and demonstrations I thought I'd share my schedule and maybe we'll meet up somewhere!
So my month starts with a one-day class at the West Dean College. I'm off to learn Keum Bo being taught by Sarah Macrae. This class is part of their 'Learn a skill, Make a gift' days. Hear what West Dean has to say about it, "For a special pre-Christmas day out, treat yourself to a 'Learn a skill, Make a gift' one-day courses. You will be guided through the process of making an exquisite hand-made gift by an experienced tutor, in the company of like-minded people. Running from November 8 to December 14, gift days start at 9.15am and finish at 3.45pm with all materials, lunch, tea and coffee included in the price". I've never done Keum Bo before, which is the process of applying a layer of gold leaf to Sterling silver, so I'm looking forward to learning that new skill. We will come away with a pair of earrings so I'll post a pic next week when they are finished! I'll be writing up a review for the magazine and blogging pics of the day later this month.
Next on my schedule is the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, GMC Publications has a stand at the show for all their craft titles. The show is over 5 days at Earls Court, so come along and say hi if you get the chance. It's an amazing show, well worth a visit for Christmas inspiration!
Over the same weekend is the Desire fair, in Winchester at The Guildhall. This year the event features 80 designer makers including a display by a talented group of British silversmiths under the banner of 'Festival of Silver'. There is always so much beautiful work at the Desire fairs; if you are looking for a special something for a loved one you'd be bound to find it here. I'm really hoping to get a chance to pop along to this show!
Designers (Left to right) Amanda-Li, Paul Spurgeon, Sabine Konig
Finally at the end of the month, I'll be attending a course at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery. This one I'm so excited about as it's being taught by Wanaree Tanner, a super talented metal clay artist. Her work is beautiful and I can't wait to meet her and interview her for the magazine! On the course I'll be learning how to make copper clay bezels (to set stones) with a Silhouette Cameo machine that cuts the bezels for you. This machine looks amazing and I'm looking forward to having a go with one that has been kindly supplied to me by the UK distributor Graphtec. I'll also being writing this workshop review up for the magazine and reviewing the Silhouette machine too.
Above is a beautiful pendant by Wanaree Tanner made using the Silhouette Cameo machine.
So along with getting a magazine done for all you lovely readers and keeping the website content fresh, I've a very busy month ahead! I hope yours is as exciting as mine; I'll be posting images from all my excursions over the month so don't forget to keep popping back to see what's been going on!
1 November 2012
I really am at my happiest when I have some kind of craft project on the go. So, I thought I'd share my current ongoing venture with you all. As you've probably picked up by now (!) I'm getting married in March, and I'm making all my own jewellery; for me, for my bridesmaids, and probably for any number of family members too!
You can see my blog about my bridesmaids' bracelets below. But, I decided to have a play around some more and see if I could create something even more unique. The lovely folk at Cookson Gold sent me these gorgeous beads:
They really pick up some of the colours in my bridesmaids' dresses (no, you can't see them yet!) and captured my imagination, so I wanted do something magical with them. So, I added some Preciosa Twin beads, as they are just so versatile, and made some lovely flower shapes. This is a work in progress, but do let me know your thoughts! Which bracelets do you like best? Let me know on Facebook!
Here's the happy project progressing:
Lovely New Things
29 October 2012
I just received a letter from one of our readers, telling us about a new technique she had tried, and the results, which were really lovely. This got me thinking about jewellery making; what a versatile craft it is! I love crafting, and I spend a huge chunk of my spare time knitting, sewing, baking, beading, and just generally making things!
The beauty of making jewellery is that you can combine all of your other crafting skills to create unique pieces. I'm not sure there's any other discipline that allows you to knit with wire, melt glass, sew delicate beads and squish polymer clay all in one project! And what a project THAT would be!
Most pieces of jewellery don't take that long to make, require a minimum of equipment and space, and can be made using lovely things from your stash. Which, of course, means that you can easily get out a few things that would look nice together and play around until you come up with something beautiful. There is always something new to try.
I don't think anybody could possibly get bored with jewellery making, because as soon as you've mastered one technique, material or tool, there will be something else clamouring for your attention. We can keep revisiting all of our favourite techniques, materials and tools, too, but we can vary them in countless ways and never make the same thing twice! There are always lovely new things just waiting around the corner to be made!