Lots of Jewellery Making Workshops & A New Puppy !

June was wonderfully busy with lots of workshops and a new puppy (more of him later ;-)

Glass Fusing & Jewellery Making – 30th May to 2nd June 2014

Glass Fusing Workshop

Chris & Annie

It was Chris & Annie’s 3rd visit to La Vidalerie and we had 2 wonderful days of fusing dichroic glass in the mornings and making it into jewellery in the afternoons – the photo shows some of the lovely things they made using riveting and traditional silversmithing stone setting techniques.  We made bails from silver sheet and glued some of the pendants and earrings.

Fold Forming & Riveting – 3rd to 7th June
We keep our class sizes very small to make sure everyone gets lots of 1 to 1 attention.  Iseult and Paula had visited La Vidalerie before but Anne was a new student fitting in some jewellery making whilst on holiday from Australia.

Fold Forming is a fascinating technique for adding texture and creating 3D forms from delicate to chunky (everyone made lovely delicate fold formed silver earrings and a chunky copper cuff).  And as I’m sure you know – I love riveting – it’s great for joining metals (and things) together without worrying about solder bleeding and can be used purely decoratively.  We of course managed to fit in some general jewellery making and some silversmithing.

Fold Forming Riveting and silversmithing workshop jewellery making

Iseult – Riveted Bangles & glass, sea glass & silver pendant, handmade silver toggle & lovely silver & copper flower pendants

Riveted glass pendants workshop class

Paula – Wonderful Fold Formed cuff with silver rivets, riveted dichroic pendant bangles and silver stacker rings

Riveting jewellery workshop

Anne – Lovely silver fold formed earrings & copper cuff, drawn then etched copper key rings & lovely riveted double wrapped bangle.

Oh – and everyone drew then etched a copper keyring – really great fun project.

Special Workshop – 15th to 19th June
Carol & Pat booked a workshop holiday together with the aim of making a ring, bangle & earrings – as you can see they made much much more.

beginners silversmithing workshop holiday

Carol & Pat

We started with a simple soldering project making soldered rings for dangly earrings and moved onto silver studs, a pair of leaf shaped studs (to go with an existing bracelet), bangles, a ring with a domed and textured disk and more (the lovely stripey light blue lampwork beads are by Trudi at Glitteringprize).

Stone Setting Workshop – 23rd to 27th June
It was Jane & Wendy’s 2nd visit, they met by chance at a La Vidalerie Introduction to Silversmithing workshop last year and got on so well that they decided to book again this year and extend their skills into stone setting.

stone setting, bezel setting, class, workshop, holiday

Jane & Wendy

We had a relaxing 3 days and Jane & Wendy managed to make and set a ring and pendant each, make lots of earrings and even a silver spinner ring each !  Making a spinner ring is a great project but lots of work and you have to be very disciplined in annealing the silver – Spinner rings are basically an anticlastic ring with 1 or more rings that are trapped but spin freely (I think the photos make more sense ;-)

You can see individual photos of each piece on our FaceBook page under albums – June Students Work –  or click here -
The most recent workshop photos are at the bottom of the page

PUPPY !
We’ve been planning to get a puppy for ages and finally Tim saw (and fell in love with) a little Lhassa Apso.  He took me to see it and we couldn’t walk away. He’s called Choo Choo (long story) and is just so full of fun, inexhaustible, loves water and makes us laugh just looking at him.

Lhassa Apso Puppy going for a swim

ChooChoo discovering the River Lot

Cooling his feet after a long walk

Cooling his feet after a long walk

And for those of you who have met our cats – They are getting on remarkably well and are on their way to accepting this new, funny looking (and smelling) cat ;-)

Day 29 – More Etching !

The time between running workshops is great for catching up.

Handmade etched copper carpe diem faith hakuna matata
etchiing2

Etched Copper bracelet bars

Etched Copper

I had promised to make these for Trudi, a great lampwork artist (you can see her work in her Etsy store Glitteringprize).

I draw the designs free hand then photograph them and transfer the images to the computer so I can print them on to special paper (PNP paper) in reverse (this has to be done on a laser printer or photo copier using toner).  The image is transfered onto the copper using a hot iron.  I use the salt water etching method to etch the design into the copper – I like the rustic effect this etching has.  The bars are then filed, sanded, polished and liver of sulphured (to give them this lovely soft aged look).

These are bracelet bars and can be used with beads, silk (simply thread the silk through the holes and wrap around your wrist), chain etc to make a bracelet.

They are also available with a larger hole and toggle bar as a toggle clasp (this shows one made up)handmade etched copper bracelet

Etched copper toggle clasp

Or with just one hole and a jump ring (have a look at the Carpe Diem one in the front of the first photo)

At the moment the designs are:-
Carpe Diem (2 designs)
Faith (2 designs)
Dream
Breathe
Hakuna Matata
No Matter

They will eventually make their way onto my website but please contact me if you would like one sooner.  Due to the making process each one will be unique.

Prices
Bracelet Bars – £7
Toggle Clasps – £8
Pendants – £7

Day 28 – Ginger Cat Glass & Living in the Clouds

Yesterday I did some glass fusing, just simple stuff in preparation to Chris and Annie’s arrival tomorrow for our next workshop.   Here are a pair of the earrings I  made.Fused Glass Earrings

White & Teal Fused Glass on Silver Ear Wires

Here they are pre-fusing along with a whole lot of friends (along with my notes on the kiln paper ;-)
Glass pre firing

 

I cut 3mm white glass into square and added teal coloured confetti (very thin glass that you can break with your fingers).  Once fused I drilled the glass and hung them on handmade balled sterling silver ear wires.

I’m not sure if I’m going to list my fused glass on our website so I’m starting a separate Dawanda shop – Ginger Cat Glass –  which should be up and running in a week or so – In the meantime you can buy these earrings for £15 by contacting me – they come in a cute Ginger Cat Glass tin.

Glass Fusing Workshop – Chris and Annie are coming for our Glass Fusing – Making Fused Glass Jewellery workshop.  This workshop has two parts, the mornings are spent cutting and setting up glass for fusing and the afternoons making findings in silver for the glass (techniques used range from making simple silver bails and ring blanks for gluing onto the glass to riveting and setting depending on the students ideas and their experience).    I’ll post photos of their finished jewellery after the weekend.

Living in the clouds – This morning I woke up in the clouds (more further down)!  We’re at 750m and occasionally the clouds come down and see us, there are other mornings when you can look down into the valley and see the clouds below and when we drive down to the local village we drive down through the clouds and out the other side !  I will try and get phots next time.

Day 27 – Lots of Love – Hearts !

Yesterday I managed to catch up with a back order for my fine silver hearts, I make them in PMC – here they are in their “biscuit” stage before firing
PMC hearts before firing

PMC is an amazing product – clay made out of silver – you can mold it just like regular clay and once it has dried you fire it either in a kiln or with a torch and the binding compound burns away and you are left with 99.9% pure silver (this is purer than sterling silver).

Here are the hearts fired and polished
fine silver hearts pmc

Each one is different and has a textured front and spirals on the back, they come with sterling silver jump rings and are £5 each .  Each one is different and I make they a little thicker than most people so although they are small (about 1cm) they feel nice and chunky.

The rounds at the top are destined to become my Rock Rose Handmade Silver Studs – So cute.

Day 26 – Weird and a Little Bit Creepy ?

I had the face left over from yesterday’s make and wanted to see if it could become part of a pair of earrings…

Handmade tin earrings Peeking

I’m going to call these “Peeking” :-)

I cut the tin face in half with shears and cut 2 rectangles of copper…
How to make copper & tin box earrings
The copper  textured by hammering wire onto the copper, it give quite an organic texture, I then coloured the copper with the torch flame (but you could use liver of sulphur) and slightly sanded the high spots.

I then drilled holes in the tin and copper and riveted the tin faces onto the copper sheets with silver wire rivets.

Back of riveted earrings

Backs of earrings – you can see the silver rivets.

I added handmade silver ear wires (similar to yesterdays) et voila !

Handmade tin, copper & silver riveted earrings

Handmade tin, copper & silver riveted earrings

Certainly one of a kind, unusual earrings!  I’m selling these for £12.

May Make Challenge – I’ve challenged myself to make a piece of jewellery every day in May and post about it  – follow my blog to see the next installment !

 

Day 25 – Almost Free Earrings and How to Make Them !

I’ve been meaning to make these for ages…..

Earring Tutorial

Long Rectangles – Tin Earrings

Tin Earrings

 

These earrings such fun to make and so easy.  Recently I got this tin free with something.

Tin Earrings 3

Cute tin but I really didn’t have a use for it, so I got my sheers and started cutting
How to make earrings

I cut the lid into two pairs of shapes for 2 pairs of earrings…Tin box earrings

 

Then sanded the edges smooth and domed the leaf shapes.  I then made 2 pairs of balled end sterling silver ear wires (you can learn how to make these ear wires on one of our workshops or buy them from me for £2.30 a pair) – slip the shapes onto the ear wires and voila !Tin Earrings6

I’ll be keeping an eye out at the vide greniers for vintage french tins from now on :-)

These earrings are one offs and if you don’t fancy making them yourself they are for sale for £10 each pair and come in a cute aluminium tin to protect them in the post – Just contact me via contact tab.

 

Days 22-24 Lots of Ear Wires & Cows !

My missing blog days were mainly taken up with orders so I thought I’d share a couple with you so you know what I do with my days ;-)

Day 22 – Contemporary Copper Earrings
Thursday – I had a few orders to catch up on and one of them included these super easy to wear earrings

Long copper handmade earrings

Contemporary Copper & Silver Earrings

Hammered strips of copper curved and soldered onto silver ear wires, these earrings come in a cute aluminium La Vidalerie tin to protect them and are only £10 a pair !

Day 23 – Mostly Ear Wires !
I am passionate about handmade jewellery and really feel that when you design a pair of earrings you should also choose the ear wire style (long, short, fancy, plain, curved, curly etc) to fit the design – this is why we have over 50 different ear wire designs on our website all designed and made by, well, me ;-)  This photo  is just some of the ear wires I made for order on Friday.

Handmade silver ear wires waiting to be posted

Handmade silver ear wires waiting to be posted

If you are still using mass produced ear wires why not give our ear wires a go and see the difference they make to your designs – or you could of course come on one of our jewellery making holidays  and learn how to make your own !

Day 24 – The Festival of Estive and the Transhumance
This is a very important week-end for our area, traditionally a time when the cows were walked back up to the high plateau of the Aubrac to pasture.  Now days most of the cows are taken up by lorry but some are still walked up as part of the festival and a lot of walkers join them.

Transhumance st geniez d'olt

One of the squares in St Geniez d’Olt

These are just a few of the cows from one farm, each farm taking part proudly decorates their cows…

cows3

With branches covered in paper flowers

cows

Before walking them through the village and on up to the Aubrac.

It marks the end of the winter, the coming of summer and is a good excuse to celebrate with the traditional music and dancing in the background, a market and tables for lunch being set up in the streets.

Once we got back home it was time for more orders and a new ear wire design

round handmade silver ear wires

Round Balled Handmade Silver Ear Wires

Super simple ear wires with a sweet little loop with a balled end – £2.50 a pair