Category Archives: Earrings

La Vidalerie Comes to Bristol!

After 11 years of running jewellery making holidays here in France we are at last coming to the UK.

We’re running 4 half day project based workshop, each one very different and great fun.

The workshops are taking place at Creative Space, Bristol, a wonderful workshop space run by Emma – We hope to be running many more workshop here later.

All materials are included and there will be more for sale if you want to make more, use more gold etc.

Keum Boo Earrings

This was the first workshop to sell out and I’m not surprised, who can resist the glimmer of gold ?

This is a wonderful ancient technique of fusing 23ct gold onto silver using heat and pressure.

The earrings in the photo are beautifully simple, long and easy to wear, a gently textured swath of gold under random shiny lines created in the silver. The long handmade ear wires complete the look.

I’ve been working on some more Keum Boo examples and I’ll post them tomorrow.

Waitlist
If we get enough names on the Keum Boo waitlist I will try and arrange another Keum Boo workshop – put your name down and come and make 2-3 pairs of beautiful, unique, earrings designed by you.SOLD OUT

Stacker Ring Workshop

Come and make 3-4 wonderful silver rings. Each one will be different, textured, maybe stamped and you’ll have the option to add a semiprecious stone (either an 8mm cabochon or 4mm faceted stone.

You’ll learn how to measure your finger, cut the silver, form, solder and make the ring fit. You’ll even have the option to stamp one of the rings with maybe a name or special word.

Your stack of rings might be ornate or simple, they will be unique and you will walk out wearing them and feeling awfully proud of yourself.

Silver stacker ring workshop
Make a silver ring workshop
Set a stone ring class
make a personalised stamped ring workshop
20200129_173541-01.jpeg

Fold Formed Earrings

Fold Formed Earring Workshop

I love this workshop ! Lots of hammering, shaping, tweaking – and the end result – you won’t believe you made the stunning earrings you’re holding ! Wonderful, sensuous curves !

You’ll have the choice of 2 fold formed designs and the length you’d like your earrings to be – the finish can be oxidized (dark) or shiny. If there’s time you can also make a matching pendant.

Chaos Earrings

Chaos Earrings - OOAK Earring Workshop in Bristol
Fused Argentium Workshop
Fused Argentium Earrings
Argentium Fusing Workshop
Silver Fusing Workshop UK Bristol

Argentium is a wonderful new type of sterling silver and one of it’s most amazing properties is that it can fuse to itself ! (it’s also tarnish resistant which is pretty fabulous too).

You’ll design your own earrings and earn to fuse silver wire to make a gorgeous pair of earrings. Everyone works at different speeds but you should also have time to make a beautiful matching necklace.

What’s Next

I have 2 more workshops planned, Briar Pendant and Simple Stone Set Pendant.

The Briar Pendant is a lovely project, fusing Argentium sterling silver wire into your design then adding a tube setting for a faceted semi-precious stone.

The Simple Stone Set Pendant is a great technique to learn to set larger, odd shaped stones or found objects. It’s great for sea glass, pebbles or semi-precious stones. You can bring something with you or use one of the beautiful stones I’ll bring with me.

Fused Argentium Briar Pendant Workshop
Simple Prong Set Stone Pendant Class

I have lots more workshop ideas in my head – re-cycled tin earrings, Captured & Riveted (riveted, 3d semi-precious stone pendant, bangles with meanings, ear wire masterclass – Make sure you are on our newsletter mailing list so you don’t miss out !

Wishing you all a short winter, inspiring spring and the time to make something beautiful !

Karen

How to Make Earrings out of Bangles – OR – Serendipity Rules !

I’ve been meaning to make a beaded wire bangle for ages – you know that lovely silver wire that looks like lots of silver beads – I finally had chance and I though it looked great.

Making-earrings-out-of-bangles

BUT…It felt a little flimsy.

In my rush to get creative I had ordered 2mm beaded wire – 2mm round is fine for bangles – but of course 2mm beaded wire is thinner between the beads.

I tumbled the bangle for 2 days, hammered like mad with a nylon mallet and still it wasn’t hard enough, i even tried hammering with a metal hammer, the bangle looked even better but still too soft.

I am just a little obsessive and can’t let go but finally I had an idea that I thought would work…..

Serendipity – Lucky Mistake !
So here they are, 2 pairs of Serendipity Earrings, one pair all shiny and even, the other matt and more hammered/bigger balls in the middle – They are for sale (just cick on the images) but be quick, I might get the next bangle right 🙂

How – I cut the bangle into 4, evened up the lengths so I had 2 pairs, sanded the ends smooth and hammered one pair in the middle so the bubbles are larger then get smaller. All I had to do then was solder the stud pin on the back and check that the silver was still hard and hadn’t annealed. Voila (as they say constantly here) fabulous, long studs – they do look great on.

Coming to my website soon – Serendipity Bangle – A thicker version that will work !

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 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.

Pearl-ring2

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 4 – Fabulous Tube Setting !

I really like tube setting, it’s a great way of adding a little twinkly to your jewellery using faceted gems and isn’t too difficult to master or too expensive to do.  Tube setting is now part of our 3 day Stone Setting workshop.

Poppy Ring

Silver & garnet handmade silver ring poppy

This is my Poppy Ring, the design is rolled into the silver and the method I use means each ring will be different – I then added the tube setting and set a small 3mm faceted garnet to add a little sparkle.

Poppy Ring - Tube Set silver and garnet

This ring is £32 but may not have reached my website by the time you read this 😉

Wisp Earrings
A glimmer of amethyst showing through branches – each pair will be different.

wisp earrings - handmade silver & amethyst

These earrings and the necklace below will be part of my new Wisp range and I wanted to show you them although the range is not on my website yet.

They are based on the stories of the Will of the Wisp – the glimmer seen through the trees leading travellers away from the safe paths, a flickering light always just out of reach.

Wisp Pendant – A Glimmer though the Woods

Wisp in the woods silver and citrine fold formed

A fold formed pendant, darkened with liver of sulphur giving the idea of woodlands – tree trunks, with a dangle of silver tube set with a citrine for the wisp – ever moving.

Join me tomorrow for day 5 of this week of settings.

If you would like to learn silver smithing, bezel setting or tube setting please visit our website to learn more about our jewellery making breaks – suitable for all levels.

We are just a short flight away, just get on the plane and we’ll do the rest.

A Setting A Day – Day 3 – Sweet & Simple – Pearls on Wires – Step by Step

Todays setting isn’t really a setting  but an easy way of making a pair of pearl earrings.

handmade artisan sterling silver pearl earrings long wiggly

These earrings are made with a single piece of wire and just slip through your ears so the wire used is 0.8mm thick – too thick for most pearls.  This limitation has driven me mad for ages as I love this simple way of making earrings.   I have a pearl reamer but don’t really enjoy using it then I came across this simple tip on Barbara Fernalds blog – Use a jewellery saw and slip onto the saw blade the pearls you want to use then simply run the pearl up and down the blade turning them (or the blade) as you go – FAB !  You can read more about this by clicking here and visiting Barbara’s blog handmade pearl and silver earrings contemporary

Step By Step – How to make these earrings
1 – Enlarge the holes in your pearls until they fit on 0.8mm wire
2 – Cut about 8cm x 2 of 0.8mm sterling silver wire
3 – Hold the wires together and use chain nose or flat pliers to make zig zags in the last 3cm of the wires (doing this with the wires together means that the zig zags will be similar
4 – Hammer the zigzags and rub down the ends
5 – If you have a tumbler tumble the wires now
6 – Slip a pearl on each wire down to the zigzags
7 – Leave about 2cm above the zigzag straight then curve the rest around a mug, use your chain nose or flat pliers to bend the wires at the start of the curve
8 – Cut the ends of the wires so they are the same length and rub down.  Tweak the earrings until you are happy with them
9 – Slip them in and rush out and show your friends !

This is just one of the available projects you can choose to learn how to make on our jewellery making holidays – Come and make something beautiful ! 

Step by Step Setting Cabs using Riveting and How to Make these Mixed Metal Earrings !

I made these earrings recently and it was only when I finished that I thought what a good step by step tutorial they’d make.

handmade silver riveted labradorite earrings

Riveting sterling silver & labradorite earrings – £28

Unfortunately I hadn’t taken any photos so I made different pair in a similar way and photoed each stage.

Handmade riveted mixed metal earrings step by step how to make tutorial

Copper & Silver Riveted Earrings Hanging on my Handmade Wild Garden Straights Ear Wires

tutorial earrings

Step 1 – Cut 2 pairs of triangles our of 0.3mm copper sheet (when the earrings are riveted 2 x 0.3mm = 0.6mm a nice weight/strength for earrings

how to make riveted earrings

Step 2 – 2 discs cut from textured sterling silver sheet = also 0.3mm thick

domed silver discs

Step 3 – Silver discs domed using a metal doming black

Step 4 - holes (a little smaller than diameter of domed discs)  punched in copper triangles.

Step 4 – holes (a little smaller than diameter of domed discs) punched in copper triangles.

mighty punch

Mighty Punch – This was what I used to make the holes.

Step 5 - Pick a hole in the doming block that is slightly larger than the hole in the triangle.  Use a punch to gently flare the hole outwards

Step 5 – Pick a hole in the doming block that is slightly larger than the hole in the triangle. Use a punch to gently flare the hole outwards

step by step mixed metal earrings handmade

Step 6 – Check the silver domes fit the triangles.

Step 7 - Drill 1mm holes for the 1mm rivets

Step 7 – Drill 1mm holes for the 1mm rivets

Step 8 - Handmade fine silver balled end rivets (these could have been made out of sterling silver)

Step 8 – Handmade fine silver balled end rivets (these could have been made out of sterling silver)

riveted earrings tutorial

Step 9 – Put the earrings together remembering to include the domed silver discs – put the silver rivets through the earrings front to back

Earrings ready to be riveted - I added an additional wire rivet near the top. - They are then ready to sand down the edges and add the ear wires.

Earrings ready to be riveted – I added an additional wire rivet near the top. – They are then ready to sand down the edges and add the ear wires.

handmade sterling silver ear wires unique

Wild Garden Straights – handmade silver ear wires – £4 per pair

Handmade riveted mixed metal earrings step by step how to make tutorial

Copper & Silver Riveted Earrings Hanging on my Handmade Wild Garden Straights Ear Wires

handmade silver riveted labradorite earrings

These earrings were made in a  very similar way, I punched the hole for the labradorite cab through both pieces of silver to allow the light to shine through and I riveted a bail on the top.

You can use this technique for semi-precious cabs, round fused glass cabs and domed discs.

Learning how to rivet gives you lots of options in your jewellery making – have a look here for more examples – Riveting Workshop or see more riveted jewellery made by our students on our FB page

Just a Little Bit of Snow This Year – So Far…..

For those of you who missed my snowy pictures on FB – Here are a few of the photos I have taken in our lane whilst walking Choo Choo

LaVidalerieSign

Our lane

Our lane

lunet

This is our closest village – Lunet

And these two photos I’m planning to etch into rings – I’ll post photos when I find the time to do this 😉

snow

Ivy

And Finally… Choo Choo

lhassa apso - snowball legs

Choo Choo after his walk – His legs have turned into snowballs !

Do visit our website and see all the lovely new items by clicking here

And learn more about our fabulous jewellery making holidays by clicking here

Quick GiveAway – UPDATE 1.3.15 – Congratulations to Caroline J – Winner !

Add a comment with the name of our closest village to be included in the draw for a pair of my new handmade silver crescent moons – winner can choose hammered or sanded finish – Draw ends Sunday midnight 15th Feb 2015 (don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear – they won’t until after midnight on Sunday)

artisan silver findings crescent moons handmade

Handmade silver crescent moons – Sanded finish – £5.50 a pair

handmade silver findings

Hammered Moons – £5.50 a pair

Full Post This Time – Circles and Domes Earrings – Step by Step How they were made And Strange Foot Prints

Sorry everyone – my chubby fingers hit publish too soon – This is what you should have seen.

Winter is usually our quiet time as we cut back running workshops and after Christmas website business is slow so I have no excuse for not posting more here.

In an effort to make up for this here are the photos I took whilst making these earrings.

Handmade Silver Earrings - £25

Handmade Silver Earrings – £25

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Step 2 - Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 2 – Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 3 - I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

Step 3 – I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

doming punch

Step 4 – I domed the discs using a steel doming block and punch

domed silver discs for earrings

All the discs have been domed now

Step 5 - I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

Step 5 – I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

step by step earrings

Step 6 – I used the balled wires to connect the two discs then balled the other end of the wire

Unexpected Step 7 !  After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead - Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Unexpected Step 7 ! After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead – Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Strange Foot Prints

Yesterday we had snow and my new routine of walking Choo Choo each morning means that I see more of our beautiful countryside than ever before.  Yesterday I came across these foot prints

Footprints3

Possibly bear 🙂

Footprints2

These look like cute little flowers

Footprints1

Not great detail but perfectly spaced

We have so may wild and domestic animals around us (but no bears honest 😉 so if anyone has their tracking badge from scouts and knows what left these tracks we’d love to know.  If I find some better prints to photo I’ll try etching them onto a ring.

Latest Jewellery Making Workshop Photos – January 2015 Silversmithing, Riveting, Etching & More – Isabella

Isabella joined us for a 3 day, one to one workshop. She is a sculptor creating beautiful small sculptures. She wanted to explore jewellery making techniques and especially soldering to use in her work. Although she was more interested in learning techniques than making items of jewellery you can see that she made a lot of beautiful pieces whilst she was with us.

Group

And Finally….

We have 2 more rescue kittens, one Tim found just before Christmas (an early Christmas present for me), she’s called Dora (after Dora the Explorer – not so clever as she is now living up to her name).  She was painfully thin when she arrived but is now a perfect, fat little kitten.

Ginger cats and Dora

Here she is being cleaned by Nibblet, one of our older rescue cats.

Then just before my Birthday Tim came home with Annie (from Anniversaire 😉 who is having a harder time getting well so fingers crossed I will have good news and photos of her soon.

Circles & Domes Earrings – Step by Step How they were made & Strange Foot Prints

Winter is usually our quiet time as we cut back running workshops and after Christmas website business is slow so I have no excuse for not posting more here.

In an effort to make up for this here are the photos I took whilst making these earrings.

Handmade Silver Earrings - £25

Handmade Silver Earrings – £25

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Step 2 - Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 2 – Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 3 - I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

Step 3 – I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

doming punch

Step 4 – I domed the discs using a steel doming block and punch

domed silver discs for earrings

All the discs have been domed now

Step 5 - I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

Step 5 – I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

step by step earrings

Step 6 – I used the balled wires to connect the two discs then balled the other end of the wire

Unexpected Step 7 !  After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead - Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Unexpected Step 7 ! After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead – Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Strange Foot Prints

Yesterday we had snow and my new routine of walking Choo Choo each morning means that I see more of our beautiful countryside than ever before.  Yesterday I came across these foot prints

Footprints3

Possibly bear 🙂

Footprints2

These look like cute little flowers

Footprints1

Not great detail but perfectly spaced

We have so may wild and domestic animals around us (but no bears honest 😉 so if anyone has their tracking badge from scouts and knows what left these tracks we’d love to know.  If I find some better prints to photo I’ll try etching them onto a ring.

Latest Jewellery Making Workshop Photos – January 2015 Silversmithing, Riveting, Etching & More – Isabella

Isabella joined us for a 3 day, one to one workshop. She is a sculptor creating beautiful small sculptures. She wanted to explore jewellery making techniques and especially soldering to use in her work. Although she was more interested in learning techniques than making items of jewellery you can see that she made a lot of beautiful pieces whilst she was with us.

Group

And Finally….

We have 2 more rescue kittens, one Tim found just before Christmas (an early Christmas present for me), she’s called Dora (after Dora the Explorer – not so clever as she is now living up to her name).  She was painfully thin when she arrived but is now a perfect, fat little kitten.

Ginger cats and Dora

Here she is being cleaned by Nibblet, one of our older rescue cats.

Then just before my Birthday Tim came home with Annie (from Anniversaire 😉 who is having a harder time getting well so fingers crossed I will have good news and photos of her soon.

Days 21 to 25, Step by Step Etched Earrings & Twisted Vines

Well it turns out that sometimes I just can’t fit in running a workshop, packing orders, making orders and taking Choo Choo for his walks and updating my blog, especially when our lovely students take us out to dinner 😉

So here are a couple of things that I made in  the lost days.

Etched Cosmos Earrings – Copper & Silver

I polished the copper by hand to keep the lovely soft colour and tumbled the chains and ear wires - The chains hang behind the copper and add lots of movement - One of a Kind Earrings - £24

The chains hang behind the copper and add lots of movement – One of a Kind Earrings – £24 – Click on the photo to buy

Step by Step

etched copper earrings - step by step

Applying the Resist (the parts that don’t get etched) This is a sheet of stickers for card making.

etched copper earrings tutorial

Using tweezers I applied some of the circles to my piece of copper and packing tape on the back so it doesn’t get etched.

salt water etching - earrings

Copper after etching using the salt water etching method

etched earrings step by step

I cut the copper into two pieces and curved them

Handmade components - Tiny handmade silver spiral charms added to pieces of silver chain * balled ear wires ready for pickling

Handmade components – Tiny handmade silver spiral charms added to pieces of silver chain * balled ear wires ready for pickling

I polished the copper by hand to keep the lovely soft colour and tumbled the chains and ear wires - The chains hang behind the copper and add lots of movement - One of a Kind Earrings - £24

I polished the copper by hand to keep the lovely soft colour and tumbled the chains and ear wires 

If you fancy a go at etching email me about our jewellery making workshops !

Here are another pair of earrings I made last week – Twisted Pearl Vines

Twisted vine silver and pearl handmade earrings
twisted vine earrings handmade in silver and pearl
Tiny leaves cut from silver sheet and textured with real leaf skeletons with stud backs and long twisted wire makes a vine holding a small black/peacock freshwater pearl – long, extremely elegant and the pearl add a flicker of movement.  Very Cute ! – £25 – You can click on the photo to buy these.

Students Work
On Friday we were very sad to say goodbye to Fran & Sue, we’d had a great week of jewellery making and I’ll be posting the photos of their creations this afternoon on FaceBook and on an extra blog posting here so follow my blog for automatic updates.