The swallows have arrived!

A sure sign of Summer is the arrival of swallows in Ashgrove.  I was speaking to my mother earlier in the week and she told me they had made the long flight from Africa and have returned to Cobh for the Summer!

I had just finished making some bird rings and I thought that it was a good omen.

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No pictures of the swallows I’m afraid as they are SO fast.  But last time I was home my sister and I met a beautiful Swan down in Cuskinny.  So here is a few pictures of Cobh with the lovely Swan that me met.

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It is the first Brighton Artists Open Houses for me this year.  Eeeek! That starts tomorrow for the month of May. Check it out! http://aoh.org.uk/artist/pauline-morley/

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.  It is a Bank Holiday here in the UK. So one extra day. Yay!

Thanks for reading.

 

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Stacking Rings

I have been a little lax on my blog posts recently. I had a very busy Christmas season and I am only just now recovering! I have been posting pics on my Instagram (@fancypantsjewellery) with stacking combinations of my jewellery, mostly rings.  But with a few necklaces and earrings thrown in for good measure.  I will have to start doing more earrings and necklaces and I think adding bangles to the mix.  But that will take time.  For now I will begin by properly introducing some rings here.

I started used eco sterling silver for my rings back in June 2015. EcoSilver is an eco-friendly alternative which is produced from 100% recycled scrap silverEcoSilver is an eco-friendly alternative which is produced from 100% recycled scrap silverEcosilver is an eco-friendly alternative to newly mined sterling silver. It is produced from 100% recycled scrap silver. It is both an ethical and ecological choice.

This stack has a total of four rings. Two made entirely in eco silver, the other in a combination of eco silver and recycled 18 ct gold.  So again a completely ethical and ecological choice.

There are two medium pebbles – one gold and silver and the other silver which I then oxidised and brushed back to show the shiny silver underneath.  The other two are small pebble rings, again one a combination of gold and silver and the other made entirely in sterling (eco) silver.

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I wear them on their own, all together, or in numerous different combinations (which you will see in later blog posts). I sometimes add “spacer” rings between them to make them sit better on my finger.  Depending on how I want it to look.

I love jewellery, ALL jewellery, but rings are my favourite. I guess that’s why I make so many of them!

Find them here!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/217705035/alternative-engagement-ring-recycled

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/238561904/gold-and-silver-ring-handmade-engagement

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/217694215/sterling-silver-ring-unique-handmade

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/217692185/sterling-silver-ring-silver-pebble-ring

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Connected – Personalised jewellery without the stamping



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We all have connections. With our families, our friends, our pets. 🙂

I love the idea of personalised jewellery.  Jewellery that MEANS something to the owner or gift giver.  I do a little bit of stamping letters etc, on jewellery but my hearts not in it.  I prefer more of a simple symbol.  A representation of someone or a group of people that you love. Be it your siblings, parents, children, partner or pet. That’s where this line of jewellery came from. I thought how can I represent my loved ones in a piece of jewellery that I would wear every day.

For me the 5 piece necklace represents my siblings and I.  All five of us! (how did my parents do it).  We are all living separate lives in different countries but we all love each other dearly.  Each one sits on the chain unique and different but similar in many ways.  I cut the pieces from the same piece of silver, which means each piece was once joined together.  I think that makes it mean that little bit more.

I also have a pair of earrings representing my parents and a bangle representing myself, my husband and our daughter.

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It’s a very lovely way of remembering your connections.

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I have a ritual of choosing jewellery in the morning.  The finishing touch to getting dressed.  I would feel naked without it.  I always choose my jewellery depending on my mood. I have been particularly missing my siblings recently so I wear that one a lot.  It’s a way to keep them close. Really I should call or Skype more often. But this is my way of keeping them close to my heart.

If you would like your own little something to represent your friends or family you can find the listing on my etsy shop here:  https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/248579717/sterling-silver-silver-necklace-silver

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

Triquetra Necklace

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I first made this necklace as a commission for a member of my lovely family.

I used to draw these a lot in primary school. When we were studying the Book of Kells or Celtic drawings.  Trying to get it to cross over the right way at each point was REALLY tricky.  I seem to remember it was mostly with Mrs. Spicer who was a sub teacher we had every now and again.  I went to a small country school in Cobh, Co. Cork.  A total of 72 pupils at one stage!  Mrs Spicer used to tell us stories of when she met the fairies in the fields around the Cunninghams.  (One of my neighbours across the fields) She even produced a little pair of shoes to prove to us she met them.  What a GREAT story that was.  She was a real Seanchaí. (Irish for storyteller).  I digress…

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I have since done a little more digging to find out a bit more about the triquetra.  And here is what I have found out.

The word itself Triquetra comes from the latin for “three” and quetrus “cornered”.  (handy having a mum who speaks Latin!) It has evolved with the addition of the circle. Which made it even trickier (but more enjoyable) to make.

It is also known as a “trinity knot”, or the Celtic triangle. The design is used by Christianity as a symbol of the “Holy Trinity” (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  And in Pagan religions as the “Triple Goddess” (Mother, Maiden and Crone).  It is similar to Odin’s symbol, the valknut, which is three interlocked triangles.

In some modern traditions, it represents the connection of mind, body and soul, and in Celtic-based Pagan groups it is symbolic of the three realms of earth, sea and sky

There is also a tradition for a loved one to give a gift such as a necklace or ring signifying their affection. The triquetra, is believed to represent the three promises of a relationship such as to love, honour, and protect, similar to the Claddagh design of the crown (loyalty), heart (love) and hands (friendship).

So no matter what your beliefs this necklace is a powerful symbol of love and unity.

If you would like one for you or someone special it is available in my Etsy shop here:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/248794766/sterling-silver-necklace-triquetra

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Thanks for reading.

River Rings

If you have been reading my blog for the last couple of weeks you will already know that I went home to Ireland for the month of August.  I am VERY lucky to have a job that allows me to work remotely.  If you haven’t been reading my blog.  I GOT TO GO HOME FOR A MONTH AND IT WAS AWESOME!  Now that I am back in my second home Brighton, it is time to share a few lovely experiences and the inspiration for my next collection.

My sister lives in a remote area of West Cork.  We went to visit and she made us TASTY soup and took us on a little trip for a wee walk afterwards.  We went to Roberts Cove.  It is a beautiful little cove in Cork.  Probably perfect for smuggling whiskey or laying the anchor of your pirate ship in the old days.

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This is where I got my inspiration for these River Rings.  The channels of water going through the sand.  The mini rivers making their way to the sea.  And the larger river at the back with all the lovely rocks making the water fight it’s way to the sea.

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These three rings have the river channels running through them.  I made one wide chunky ring (green) one with a slight arch and one with a little seat for a stone.  I have also made a skinny version of the wide chunky one.  But I don’t have a picture of that yet.

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I really like the different channels of “water” going through the wax.  They will be cast in silver and I am hoping to get very good at setting stones so that the River Ring with a Stone will be EXTRA sparkly.

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I am looking forward to making some earrings and necklaces in the same style.  A little work in progress to get me through the winter.

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Thanks for reading.

The how to of cufflinks

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Personalised cufflinks was one of the first items of jewellery that a friend asked me to make for her husband.

Here are the steps involved in making these cufflinks.

First you cut out your desired shape.

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Then you file down the edges and corners to make sure you don’t get any sharp edges.

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Next comes the personalisation, when stamping always place on an anvil.  If you stamp on wood or anything else you won’t get a great impression. You need one STRONG hit of the hammer. Practice elsewhere in case the letter / number is the wrong way round.  (I learned this the hard way)

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Next step is soldering!  Some tips to solder.

  1. Set up is key, once you are in the middle of soldering you don’t want to be searching around for tweezers or solder etc.
  2. A clean join will mean a solid join
  3. Keep breathing ☺

20150715_211029IMG_20150716_000741Once the soldering is done you need to pickle each piece to clean it up.

And next is riveting. I rivet my own cufflinks as I don’t risk melting the little spring inside the cufflink.

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Once the cufflinks are one piece it is time to oxidise the top to show up the lovely stamping done earlier.  This is done with liver of sulphur which stinks like Rotorua! This needs to be done outside, unless you don’t mind the smell of rotten eggs of course….

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Then brush back and polish! And there you have it.  Some awesome personalised cufflinks.

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Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it.

New jewellery

Hello Again 🙂

I have been very busy over the last couple of months.  Mainly with my first craft fair!  It was a really great experience and I am looking forward to my next one in July.  First Saturday of the month at Lewes Craft market.

In the meantime I have been working on various new designs.  Working in wax, working with new tools and experimenting with new metals and finishes.

These are a few of the little bubble pieces that I have just received back from casting.  I am going to make some earrings, tops of rings, tie pins and maybe a necklace or two.  I am also planning on experimenting with gold plating them.  Yay!

New silver casting pieces

And this is the entire lot.  So I have new rings in there.  And more little blobby, bubbles (I have no idea how to name them) and a triquetra which started out as a commission.  I spent just over three months working on that and really grew to love it.  So I think some earrings and a necklace will be an awesome addition to my collection.

New silver casting pieces necklaces earrings tie pins

Watch this space for the finished pieces!

Thank you for reading 🙂