Category Archives: Glass Fusing

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 !

A Setting A Day – Day 2 – Bezel Set Ring

Rose Cut Labradorite Ring

labradorite ring handmade in sterling silver

Bezel setting is a great technique to learn and is suitable for flat bottomed stones and perfect for fused glass but but this doesn’t exclude working with sparkly faceted stones.  Rose cut stones have a faceted domed top and flat bottom This is a 6mm rose cut labradorite, it was a little bit fiddly due to it’s small size and it is easier to start with round stones 8mm – 14mm.  (The bezel is the narrow collar of silver you can see around the stone).

Silver artisan labradorite ringI love labradorite, it’s not the most sparkly stone but it has a subtle glow with lots of interest and colours.

I, cut a disc, drilled a hole in the center to let in the light and hammered it for texture and domed it.  I measured the bezel wire (this had to be cut down as the rose cut slopes in so the bezel can be very narrow) and soldered it to the disc.  I formed some square wire into a ring shape leaving out a section underneath the hole in the disc (it’s unlikely to let in much light but every little helps) – the disc was then soldered to the ring.

handmade bezel set ring silver artisanThe ring was pickled and polished and the disc given a slightly mat finish then the labradorite was set using a pusher.  This is just over a R and a Half and is for sale – £24.

This is another example of bezel setting – Dichroic fused glass set into a silver pendant with copper dots. – You can see this pendant on my website – just click on the photo.

Dichroic glass pendant handmade bezel set silver & copper

You can learn how to make bezel setting on our  Stone Setting Workshop and glass fusing on our Glass Fusing – Making Fused Glass Jewellery Workshop.

Pop back tomorow for a different stone setting technique or better still follow my blog for automatic updates (see Follow Blog via Email in the right margin).

Fab Fused Glass & Press Formed Earrings – Day 18

Wonderful Week of Jewellery – Day 1
Yesterday was Fran & Sue’s first workshop day and we started with a morning of glass fusing – They took to it really well and produced some really nice pieces that we’ll be working on through the week.

dichroic glass fusing class workshop

Fab colours and a great use of standard & dichroic glass plus stringers, frit & copper foil.Glass fusing workshopRemember to re-visit and see what they make these pieces into.

Just before lunch we had time to experiment with my Big Kick machine and textured some copper sheet to be used later – here are just a couple of them.

texturing copper sheet with a Big Kick machineThis machine is a great way of texturing thin copper which can then be made into earrings, riveted onto thicker pieces or used for press forming – this led naturally onto a demonstration of press forming without a hydrolic press !  Here are the earrings I made using my textured sheets and a heart shaped die.  Press forming can be part of any of our jewellery making workshops.

Copper, Silver & Blue Amazonite Earrings - £18

Copper, Silver & Blue Amazonite Earrings – £18

Copper Heart Earrings2

Fran used the same technique today to make one of these hearts but turned it into a completely different pendant – visit tomorrow to see the photos.  Sue’s heart is a work in process so more news soon.

Almost completed – Fran’s bracelet bar and pendant and Sue’s pendant with silver bail – wonderful examples of wire & tube riveting.  These will be oxidized and made into jewellery during the week.

Riveting workshop

Do visit tomorrow to see what Fran & Sue made today (sneak preview – ETCHING !).  Tomorrow is their free day to enjoy the countryside and the fabulous weather we are having at the moment and to think about their designs for Tuesday.

A Sad (and Happy) Goodbye
Tonight we took the dormice back to the wild.  They had put on enough weight and the current weather made up my mind that now was a good time to let them go whilst they still had time to find a good place to hibernate.  I had become very fond of them all (who couldn’t be with their white bellies and fluffy tails)
Dormice3 dormice2

October Make & Show Challenge – This month I have set myself the challenge to make something and post about it everyday – follow my blog for automatic updates.  Some of the jewellery featured is available for sale here  –

Instant Earrings – Day 17

Yesterday I was so busy sorting out the workshop for Fran & Sue’s arrival that I just ran out of time to make something for my Make & Show Day 17 – So instant earrings  – they use my “Just Add A Bead” handmade silver earwires and a pair of Trudi of Glittering Prize’s beautiful lampwork beads and voila (as they say here – They also so say Oh La La – a lot ! Even the men !).

Changeable lampwork ear wires handmade silver for instant earrings

Just Add A Bead Ear Wires- £5 a pair with 4 bead caps – all handmade in silver

So Just Add A Bead ear wires, lampwork beads and 30 seconds later gorgeous earrings you can change whenever you like.

Here are some photos of the other ear wires in this range (many thanks to Trudi for the photos).

interchangeable ear wires instant earrings

Celadon Polkas with Smaller Curves

Handmade silver interchangeable ear wires

Question Marks Bubbles

artisan silver ear wires for lampwork beads

Long Straight with Glamour Rocks lampwork beads by Trudi at Glitteringprize

handmade ear wires for lampwork beads by la vidalerie

Larger Curves with Raisa Beads (Beads by Trudi)

Today was Fran & Sue’s first workshop day, we started off with cutting and layering dichroic & standard glass for fusing – they filled a kiln shelf and a sneak preview at the end of the day showed they will have lots of lovely glass to work on tomorrow, we spent the rest of the day experimenting with texturing copper in my BigKick machine and then making riveted pendants and a bracelet bar – join me tomorrow for photos of their work along with the fab heart earrings I made (well I like them 😉

October Make & Show Challenge – This month I have set myself the challenge to make something and post about it everyday – follow my blog for automatic updates.  Some of the jewellery featured is available for sale here  –

Glass Glass Glass… And Tiny Toadstools

Yesterday I finally got around to finishing drilling my fused dichroic glass and making it into jewellery.  I don’t think anyone enjoys drilling glass, it’s a little stressful and a bit boring but I love making the glass I fuse into jewellery so it has to be done.

Lime green dichroic glass earrings handmade on silver

Lime Green Vines – £20 inc postage – Arrive in a cute tin

I really like the way these turned out, lime green glass with a dotty dichroic top layer on handmade sterling silver vine ear wires that just hook into your ear.

turquoise dichroic glass earrings on handmade ear wires with silver beadcaps

Turquoise Dichric Glass Earrings with handmade sterling silver beadcaps and ear wires – £20 inc postage – arrive in a cute tin

artisan dichroic glass earrings

I love fusing glass whether it’s dichroic or plain, the combinations of colours your can play with are amazing and everytime I fuse a shelf something comes out that takes my breath away (usually in a good way 😉

purple dichroic glass earrings on s shaped handmade silver ear wires

Transparent pinky/purple dichroic glass with handmade silver beadcaps and S shaped ear wires – £21 inc postage – Arrive in a cute aluminium tin – SOLD

unusual dichroic glass earrings

Approx 4cm long – glass almost 2cm wide – SOLD

I like the way these ear wire turned out and will make them again – they are a larger version on my S Shaped Earwires on our website.

pale grey dichroic glass earrings

Soft light grey glass earrings with a dichroic stripe and handmade removeable silver tabs and handmade silver Ear wires – £20 inc postage and cute tin

IMG_0032These earrings are a really light soft grey (almost white) with a translucent dichroic stripe sunk into the glass and hanging on simple balled end silver ear wires .  The textured silver tags can be removed.

dichroic glass earrings black and sparkle on handmade silver ear wires

Black & dichroic glass earrings on handmade balled end sterling silver ear wires – £19 plus postage (£1.50 unless part of a larger order) arrives in a cute tin


These are very sweet with lots of dichroic flash.

dragonfly dichroic glass pendant

Hidden Dragonfly Pendant – Riveted onto a handmade silver bail and hung from a silver chain – £21


In most lights this pendant appears to be a simple rectangle of sparkly dichroic glass (colour is a little softer and slightly more purple) but if you hold it up to the light you can see a faint hidden dragonfly and turn it over and you can see the dragonfly raised.  The glass has been drilled and riveted to a handmade sterling silver bail stamped with dragonflies and comes on a silver chain with handmade clasp.

If this has whet your interest why not come on one of our glass fusing workshops – 2 -3 days with 3-4 nights accommodation where you’ll learn about fusing glass and making your own silver findings to transform the glass into fabulous jewellery (without resorting to using silver plated, mass produced findings – grrrr  – sorry but I hate seeing nice fused glass on sad findings.

None of the above are on my website yet and each piece is unique so when they are sold they are gone for good – you can email me if you would ike to buy a piece before it hits the website.

tiny toadstools

I popped into the garden today and couldn’t resist sharing with you these very tiny and cute toadstools – Isn’t nature wonderful !

October Make & Show Challenge – This month I have set myself the challenge to make something and post about it everyday – follow my blog for automatic updates.  Some of the jewellery featured is available for sale here  –

Dichroic Sparkles – Day 8

I spent yesterday  in Rodez, the capital city of the Aveyron, so didn’t have much time in the workshop.  So I though I would show you something a little different today.

handmade sterling silver ring blank for dichroic glass cab

Fused dichroic glass on handmade sterling silver ring blank

Handmade silver ring blank for glassI love glass fusing and have pencilled in tomorrow for catching up with drilling some glass I fused ages ago, so fingers crossed I’ll have lots more to show you in a couple of days.

Dichroic glass is very difficult to photograph as it changes colour according to the light as you can see from the two photos above.  As you may know I really don’t like mass produced silver plated findings and this let me to making my own sterling silver ring blanks – I feel that if you have made a beautiful piece of glass it deserves a good setting.

handmade ring blank silver artisan ring blank for fused glass silver handmade sterling silver ring for fused dichroic glass

Today I have been working on a new ring, a pair of super easy earrings and of course orders – Oh and a couple more pairs of Christmas earrings – holly this time so please join me tomorrow to see how they turned out .

If you like dichroic glass I run a 2 day/3 night and 3 day/4 night glass fusing workshop where you’ll also learn how to make your own silver & copper findings for your glass.

October Make & Show Challenge – This month I have set myself the challenge to make something and post about it everyday – follow my blog for automatic updates.  Some of the jewellery featured is available for sale here  –

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

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 😉