Quickie Competition – What Am I ? – Win a Handmade Silver Charm !

Each morning when I take ChooChoo for his walk I am amazed by the changes in the countryside around me.

Now it’s the time if year when nature leaves these little gifts along our walk. What are they – visit www.lavidalerie.com/Give-Aways.html (or click on the photos) for how to enter draw to win a handmade Waiting for Spring sterling silver charm.

Ends Midnight tonight (16th)

jewellery competition

Waiting for Spring – Handmade Silver Charm

handmade silver waiting for spring charm

Good Luck Everybody !

PS – Find us on Instagram – I’ll be posting new jewellery, workshop photos, photos from around La Vidalerie and competitions

Another Count the Ginges Competition

We’ve been so busy running workshops recently that I haven’t had chance to post so here is a quick competition and a promise that I will post again soon !

Every morning I take ChooChoo for a walk along our lane, it gives me chance to see how the seasons are changing day by day.  Each day we are joined by some of our cats – have a look at the photo and count the GINGES.

ginger cats

And click on this link www.lavidalerie.com/Give-Aways.html to see how to enter the draw to win one of my handmade silver Blown Away Wish Charms.

wish charm handmade silver

Ends midnight 1.9.15.

Students Work, Ted Posing It Up & The La Vidalerie Race Car !

May and June have been very busy months for us with lots of workshops and wonderful students making lots of beautiful Jewellery using a variety of techniques from silversmithing to fold forming, riveting to glass fusing.

You can click each of the photos to go into the individual FaceBook albums to see more details photos and read a little more about them  – you’ll see some of the new project we have added to the workshops too.

Margaret – Wonderful Week of Jewellery May 2015
It was lovely to see Margaret again, this time she wanted to explore fold forming, silversmithing and riveting.  She made some really beautiful jewellery including earrings with half drilled pearls and a riveted copper and silver pendant.

Students work silversmithing riveting and fold forming

Lourika – Introduction to Silversmithing May 2015

silversmithing students work class

Lourika came for 2 days of silversmithing, she had been making a lot of beautiful stamped jewellery in aluminum (and fabulous personalised books) and wanted to expand her skills into silver. Look at all the wonderful things she made in just 2 days !

Paula – Silversmithing & More June 2015

Paula June 2015 Silversmithing (1)

Paula tried our new project incorporating seaglass into a pendant as well as pearl drilling to make this riveting pearl ring.

Sally – Silver & The Sea – June 2015

sea glass jewellery

Sally came back to explore more ways of bringing sea glass and the sea into her jewellery, her 3 days included silversmithing, wire work and stamping and our new project – a sea glass ring.

Larrissa – Silversmithing & Tube Setting – June 2015

silversmithing tube setting workshop

Larrissa wanted to learn how to solder and this 3 day workshop gave her chance to learn the basics along with an introduction to tube setting and stamping. Here are some of the beautiful pieces she made.

Sarah – Introduction to Silversmithing – June 2015

silversmithing workshop students work

Sarah came for Fold Forming but stayed for Riveting & Silversmithing ;-) 3 wonderful days of interesting techniques and lovely jewellery – Here is what she made.

Gail & Ruth – Silversmithing, Stamping & Wire – June 2015

jewellery making holiday

Gail and Ruth had a couple of days of jewellery making as part of a holiday, in two short days we visited silversmithing, riveting and wire wrapping.

Barbara – Silversmithing & Riveting – June 2015

riveted jewellery students work amethyst

Barbara came to us for our Introduction to Silversmithing but found time for riveting and stamping too.

Iseult – Silversmithing & Tube Setting – June 2015

stone setting, tube setting workshop

Iseult wanted to come back to La Vidalerie to expand her silversmithing skills to include tube setting, here are the beautiful things she made in just 3 days !

Mary – Silver & Glass – June 2015

Glass fusing & silversmithing anticlastic ring

Mary joined us for a 3 day silversmithing workshop but wanted to include a taster session of glass fusing.  She made a beautiful (and difficult) textured anticlastic ring and it was her first experience of silversmithing.

Stephanie – 2 Day Introduction to Silversmithing – June 2015

Stephanie June 2015 Silversmithing (1)

Stephanie came to La Vidalerie for a 2 day Introduction to Silversmithing – Here are the lovely pieces she made.

Laura – Wonderful Week of Jewellery – June 2015

handmade cufflinks workshop

It was lovely to see Laura again for a fabulous week of jewellery making – She wanted to include silversmithing, etching & riveting. Here are the beautiful pieces of jewellery she made (including a gorgeous pair of etched copper and silver cufflinks).

Little Ted
Tim has had so many pictures to take of jewellery in the last couple of months it’s just as well he had Little Ted to help him ;-)

Ginger Cats

La Vidalerie Race Car

Tim's New Car ;-)

Those of you who have met Tim might be aware of his interest in Scalextric racing – this is his work in progress, it will be branded with our logo and will eventually race against Steve’s Hotel Solomiac’s car ;-)  Boys !

Count the Ginges and Enter The Draw !

May Competition – Count the Ginges !

This morning my walk with Choo Choo was joined by some of our ginger cats – how many can you see in this photo ? You can enter the draw to win one of my new Blown Away Wish Charms, handmade in sterling silver and perfect for a necklace or bracelet via my website – http://www.lavidalerie.com/Give-Aways.html

Ginger Cats - on a walk with Choo Choo

handmade silver wish charm competition

Good luck to everyone !  And if you can’t wait you can also order this charm and even have it personalised for you by clicking on the photo above.

Competition ends midnight Monday 4th May 2015.

A Setting A Day – Day 7 – Riveted or Wrapped ! Two ways to make this turquoise ring.

Well I actually managed to meet my own challenge this time and post every day for a week about different types of settings or how to bring stones into your jewellery.

Todays I’m going to show you 2 different ways of making a ring with similar results.

Turquoise Rings Riveted Wrapped SilverThe one on the left is Riveted and the one on the right is Wrapped.

Riveted Ring

Silver ring riveting kit

Ingredients (I couldn’t think of a better word)
Silver ring with hole
Silver rivet
Silver beadcap
Suitable bead
IMPORTANT – For riveting to be successful the holes in the ring, beadcap and bead must be just a tiny bit bigger than the rivet (just enough for the rivet to pass through)  REMEMBER to wear goggles when riveting !


You can see what your ring is going to look like and even carefully try it on before committing to a particular bead

Riveted silver ring kit

Riving is a very versatile technique – we run Fold Forming & Riveting workshops and can include Riveting in many of the other workshops we run – please click here for more information.  So if you are not confident about riveting you can either come to one of our workshops or make the wrapped version below ;-)

Wrapped Ring

silver ring kit handmade

Silver ring with hole
Silver balled end wire
Silver beadcap

This technique is a lot more forgiving – as long as the wire (I used 0.6mm wire) can go through the bead and the holes in the ring bead cap and it should work and it doesn’t matter (within reason ;-) that the holes are bigger than the wire (my ring has a 1.2mm hole).

Thread the wire though the beadcap, bead then ring and tightly bring the wire up around the ring next to the bead, then around the other side of the bead.  Wrap the wire around and under the bead and make sure when you have wrapped enough times the last wrap is tight and the end is tucked away safely  – you can see the underneath of my ring in this photo.

wrapped turquoise ring

Wrapped turquoise and silver ring

I’m thinking about making the rings available as kits:-

Riveted Ring Kit
Stamped Silver ring with hole
Silver rivet
Silver beadcap

Wrapped Ring Kit
Silver ring with hole
Silver balled end wire

Let me know what you think.

This is the last day of my Setting A Day – please do visit the other days – I hope you find them interesting enough to leave a comment.  If you follow my blog you’ll receive an email each time I add a new post.

A Setting A Day – Day 1 – Cute Prong Set Turquoise Ring
A Setting A Day – Day 2 – Bezel Set Ring
A Setting A Day – Day 3 – Sweet & Simple – Pearls on Wires – Step by Step
A Setting A Day – Day 4 – Fabulous Tube Setting !
A Setting A Day – Day 5 – Fab Sea Glass Rings !
A Setting A Day – Day 6 – Setting Half Drilled Pearls

A Setting A Day – Day 6 – Setting Half Drilled Pearls

Half drilled pearls are great fun to use and look wonderful.  Anyone who has been on any of our workshops will know that I am very anti glue but this is one time I use it.

Handmade silver & pearl ring artisan white large

Pearl Ring – I cut a silver disc and textured it with a riveting hammer  then used a doming block to bowl it then pickled the bowl.


I then checked which wire was the best fit for the pearl and soldered a wire in the middle of the bowl and cut it down until it was the right length.

I formed the ring and soldered it onto the back of the bowl and pickled and polished the ring.

The pearl would be glued onto the wire when the ring was completely finished – I am still considering oxidizing the inside of the bowl so am holding off gluing until I have made up my mind ;-)

Here are a couple more examples – Earrings I have made using half drilled pearls.

oxidized silver and pearl earrings handmade artisan hooks bowls white handmade silver and pearl earrings artisan sticks studs

Jewellery Making Workshops – This technique can be included in our Introduction to Silversmithing and Stone Setting workshops.

A Setting A Day – This week I posted a different setting technique each day –

Day 1 A Setting A Day – Day 1 – Cute Prong Set Turquoise Ring
Day 2 A Setting A Day – Day 2 – Bezel Set Ring
Day 3 A Setting A Day – Day 3 – Sweet & Simple – Pearls on Wires – Step by Step
Day 4 – A Setting A Day – Day 4 – Fabulous Tube Setting
Day 5 – A Setting A Day – Day 5 Sea GlassRings

A Setting A Day – Day 5 – Fab Sea Glass Rings !

I wanted to find an easy way for students to make rings with sea glass or other found objects and I came up with these.

Sea Glass Ring - TutorialTutorial how to make sea glass ring

They are great fun to make and are similar to the Turquoise Ring on Day 1 but easier to get a nice tight setting.

Step by Step – Green Ring

Seaglass ring tutorial

1 – Start off with a soldered silver ring, smallish piece of sea glass  and two pieces of 0.8mm silver wire.
2 – Ball the ends of the wires.
3 – Put the ring on a ring stick and hammer a small section to flatten it a little
4 – File a notch in the flattened section that will take both wires side by side


5 – Bend the wires so they made a cross shape and solder them to the ring (don’t worry if it looks a bit like a weird insect at this stage ;-).


6 – Pickle and polish the ring

step by Step ring sea glass

7 – Wrap the wires around the glass then twist !

made a sea glass ring

I used pliers to “twink” the wires and tighten the setting.

sea glass silver ring

Jewellery Making Workshops – If you like this ring come and make one – It’s just one of the projects you can choose on our Introduction to Silversmithing and Stone Setting workshops.

A Setting A Day – This week I posted a different setting technique each day –

Day 1 A Setting A Day – Day 1 – Cute Prong Set Turquoise Ring
Day 2 A Setting A Day – Day 2 – Bezel Set Ring
Day 3 A Setting A Day – Day 3 – Sweet & Simple – Pearls on Wires – Step by Step
Day 4 – A Setting A Day – Day 4 – Fabulous Tube Setting