Category Archives: Pendants

Peridot Ring, Aubrac Grass Pendant & Walnuts – Day 10

Yesterday started off so well and then got better !  It started with Choo Choo’s walk when I found 12 walnuts fallen from our neighbours walnut tree – perfect for the dormice (more later).  Then I had an idea for a pendant which came out so much better than I could have hoped and setting the peridot in the day before’s ring went  well – if only all days were like this 😉

Aubrac Grass

artisan silver autumn grass pendant one of a kind handmade autumn grasses pendant silver ooak artisan

The Aubrac is a plateau high above us, it’s very wild and unspoilt and the home of many rare orchids.  The land is used for grazing in the summer when the cattle are taken up during the Transhumance in May (a very popular festival) and this is my idea of the grass there in the Autumn.  Made with the help of my rolling mill, each pendant will be different, there a little loops soldered to the back for the chain and I’ve oxidized it to bring out the detail of the design and texture.  I’ll be making a ring soon following a similar design (due the the making process each pendant and ring will be different).  This pendant is for sale on my website just click one of the photos.  I will be running workshops next year making this pendant and ring please contact me if you would like to be on the mailing list for them.

Peridot Ring

handmade silver peridot ring

Size Q and a half – £25

handmade silver peridot ring oxidized artisanThis is the ring I was making on Thursday – a hammered band with silver balls and tube soldered on and today I tube set a rose cut 3mm peridot (rather than having a flat table this cut is domed and faceted).  It’s oxidized and can be worn on it’s own or with stacker rings – I may be adding to this range soon.

Dormice & Walnuts

If you have seen my FB page you’ll know that we have 3 dormice, orphaned and saved from the cats.  I’ve been feeding them up with acorns, hazelnuts from our own trees and blackberries and today walnuts but they are not quite heavy enough to survive hibernation so it looks like they will be staying with us until the spring – they look like mini squirrels, grey with white bellies and fluffy tails – so cute !

All 3 fast asleep together

All 3 fast asleep together


Yesterday I did get some glass drilling done but didn’t have time to make the pieces into earrings – I will get some made today and show you tomorrow – Please drop by and see me again then.


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  – 


And Breathe…. Day 4

It started when I ordered 2mm square silver wire instead of round.  I didn’t want to send it back so instead I sat down and came up with these designs using it –

Breathe Collection
I love stamped jewellery and this bracelet is stamped with tiny 1mm letters – Breathe but can be made to order with any other words or names.
breathe handmade silver ID bracelet

handmade silver breathe ID bracelet

£25 – handmade in silver

I hammered the square wire to make a very slightly wider but still thick and chunky bar with lots of texture, stamped the tiny letters, drilled the bar and gave it a gentle curve to sit on your wrist then used a nice and chunky silver chain and added a handmade clasp – it looks very pretty and discrete on your wrist.

I wanted to make a pendant with the same wire but keep it as sleek and simple as possible.  I hammered the wire in the same way then hammered the top to make it wide enough to take a jump ring then stamped breathe from the bottom up.

artisan silver breathe pendant

Handmade silver breath sliver pendant

16″ or 18″ chain – £19

The earrings I’m working on have been fighting back so I finished them today and they will appear tomorrow.

PS – The first BREATHE charm I stamped many years ago I ran out of room so have hidden in a draw somewhere a charm that says BREATH 🙂

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  – 

Students Work & A Lampshade Dog

Students Work
We’ve been super busy with workshops recently and as always I am so impressed with the beautiful jewellery our students produce.   Here are some of the group photos with links to the FaceBook album where you can see the photos individually.

Shona – Introduction to Silversmithing – July 2014
silversmithing workshop in france la vidalerie
It was Shona’s first visit to La Vidalerie, she chose a one to one workshop incorporating a silversmithing taster, wire work and stringing.  She made some gorgeous silver studs & stacker rings as well as learning how to make wire wrapped loops and stringing.

Handmade earring - jewellery making class La Vidalerie
And these lovely earrings Shona made with lampwork beads by Trudi at Glitteringprize (click on the image for Trudi’s Etsy shop).

Laura – Riveting, Chainmail and Wirework – July 2014
We were so pleased to have Laura back for her 3rd visit,  she felt that she needed a creative break and chose a one to one workshop having the cottage to herself –

one to one jewellery making tuition holiday in france

We had great fun with riveting, byzantine weave earrings, fold forming and sawing and a whole set of dangle rings.Handmade crocodile silver pendant la vidalerie jewellery making workshops students work
And this is Laura’s fabulous crocodile pendant – drawn then sawn from silver sheet, textured and riveted.

Carolyn & Vicki – Mother & Daughter Break – July 2014
This was Carolyn & Vicky’s 2nd mother & daughter visit to La Vidalerie. Vicky has been silversmithing for about 3 years and Carolyn is a relative beginner. This time they wanted to explore more silversmithing, glass fusing, etching and rivetingmother & daughter craft holiday jewellery making in france la vidalerieNight Market St Geniez d'Olt

It’s amazing how many techniques we used and the number of pieces they made – and we even had time to visit the night market at our local village St Geniez d’Olt and enjoy the fireworks (the night markets are run every other week in the season and the fireworks once or twice a year – both great fun and very French !

Jean & Joan – Wonderful Week of Jewellery – July 2014
It was Jean’s 2nd visit to La Vidalerie and she had booked a 3 day workshop but by Friday decided that 3 days just wasn’t enough and extended her stay – we were really pleased to see her again and glad to have the extra time.  Joan wanted to expand her jewellery making to include stone setting and we all spent the week  silversmithing, stone setting, fold forming, riveting, glass fusing and etching.wonderful week of jewellery
AB -  (11)
The music school was performing at the night market making the evening perfect.

Toral – Wonderful Week of Jewellery – August 2014
Toral came all the way from Jamaica via Canada for a week of jewellery making. She wanted to explore ways of using sea glass and to learn new jewellery making techniques. We had a great time with silversmithing, riveting, stringing and drilling glass and here are some of her wonderful creations. jewellery making holiday in France la Vidalerie

Toral came for the jewellery making but took some wonderful photos whilst she was here – La Vidalerie and the beautiful countryside around us  – please click on the photo to see the rest of this album.
Beautiful aveyron
she reminded us why we came to the Aveyron – Thank you Toral !

A Lampshade Dog !
Poor Choo Choo, he’s walking around bumping into things at the moment due to the lampshade he’s having to wear following his little operation to stop him making more little Choo Choos – The good news is the lampshade comes off soon and in the meantime he isn’t letting it stop him running around the garden and enjoying his walks.
Lhasa Apso

We’re trying to convince him that all the best dogs are wearing them but I think the cats are making fun of him – darn ginges !





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 😉

Day 29 – More Etching !

The time between running workshops is great for catching up.

Handmade etched copper carpe diem faith hakuna matata

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)
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.

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

Day 19 – Fused Silver Dragonfly / Libellule Pendant

Yesterday I managed a quick but cute make – this fused silver dragonfly.

handmade silver dragonfly pendant

Pretty Little Dragonfly

Very simple design with a loop for the head and double wire for the body then I shaped the wings and hammered them to make them flare a little and fused them onto the body.  It’s a one  off because if I make any more they would all end up a little different – I’m not sure if this little chap will be on my website but he is looking for a new home and the adoption fee would be £17 on a 16 or 18 inch silver chain (dragonfly approx 3 x 2cm) – all sterling silver.

PS – Dragonfly is libellule in french – cute in both languages !

Day 9 – The Start of a New Range of Hearts

Yesterday I carried on playing with an idea I had had for ages – fused hearts

Fused Silver Heart

Fused Silver Heart

I love this – each one will be different and unique due to the way they are made, I’ll make some more soon and post photos.  Perfect for summer, pretty and light – I can’t decide whether to add a jump ring for a silver chain or just thread the chain though the heart.

Workshop Update
I’ve spent most of the day getting ready for our latest workshop – Evelyn and Rebecca arrive today for our Fabulous Week of Jewellery Making.  Evelyn has come all the way from Nigeria and on Wednesday we are being joined by Aileen from Australia !    You can find out more about our jewellery making holidays by clicking here

May Make Jewellery Challenge – I have challenged myself to make a piece of jewellery and blog about it every day during May – Join me and tell me what you’re making !