Category Archives: Sea Glass

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

SGR2

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 ;-).

SGR3

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

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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

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 😉

Days 14 – 17 and Another GiveAway or Two !

Well things just got away from me this week so I’m a little behind with my challenge.  The last week’s workshop was a little hectic with lots of wonderful jewellery being made.

Jewellery making workshop photo

Just some of Evelyn, Rebecca and Aileen’s work

I’ll be posting more photos of their jewellery on our FaceBook page during the week – http://www.facebook.com/la.vidalerie.jewellery.making.holidays

Day 14 Jewellery Making Challenge
One of the days workshops projects was wire rings, as well as making aluminium swirl rings and wrapped bead rings we planned and made a copper and bead ring ring based on an ancient design – this is the one I made.
Ancient bead ring design
This is a fun ring to make, we used 1.6mm copper wire and a bead that was about the same width as your finger which was wired to the ring with 0.8mm wire.  Don’t you just love olive coloured glass ?

Day 15 Jewellery Making Challenge
Aileen joined Evelyn and Rebecca for a noisy day of fold forming, riveting & wrapped sea glass pendants.  Lots of hammering resulted in some fabulous silver & copper fold formed earrings and we made copper bangles with handmade silver rivets (the students made and added lots of stamped copper charms to theirs).

Handmade Riveted copper bangle

Riveted Copper Bangle

I have these in copper and bronze for sale on my website – just click on the photo above.  We finished the day with wire wrapped sea glass pendants – you can see one of these in the composite picture at the top of today’s post.

Day 16 Jewellery Making Challenge & a GiveAway
Today was the day we said goodbye to Evelyn and Rebecca and took them into Rodez for their connections.  Rebecca’s flight was in the afternoon giving us chance to visit the bead shop, I bought some ceramic beads and made this when I got home.

Silk & ceramic wrap bracelet

Silk & Ceramic Wrap Bracelet

I took a large ceramic flower bead, tied a large knot in a lovely deep pink silk thong and threaded the thong through the flower then knotted these lovely pink and white beads to the ends of the silk.  I made some silver balled end head pins and made some Swarovski bicone dangles which I put onto silver jump rings and knotted in place onto the silk to add a bit of sparkle.  You just wrap the silk around your wrist and either tie or tuck the ends in – lovely colours just in time for summer !  
GIVEAWAY DRAW – 
Just add a comment to this post to be included in the draw – make sure you put “wrap” at the beginning of your comment so I know which draw you are entering.

Day 17 Jewellery Making Challenge & Another GiveAway
Today’s make was a quickie, a message from one of our students reminded me that I had some 0.8mm sterling silver beaded wire (this is silver wire that looks like it has lots of round beads threaded on to it but is actually solid wire).  As you may know ear wires should be made out of 0.8 wire and I wondered if this beaded wire might make some interesting hoops – and here they are.

tiny silver handmade hoops

Tiny Daisy Hoops

These are tiny hoops, about 1.5cm across, I just made a small loop at one end of the wire, rubbed down the other end (so it doesn’t scratch your ear) and made a small bend then roughly made the wire into a circle and slipped then bend into the loop and pulled the hoop over my ring stick and gently hammered (whilst avoiding the loop and bend) to make the hoops harder.  The daisies are made from little silver spacers (sometimes called snowflake spacers) which I hammered a little flatter and suddenly they looked like daisies.

The hoops are a little soft (after all the beaded wire is less than 0.8 between the “beads”) but very cute.
GIVEAWAY DRAW –  If you would like to win a pair just add your comment to the bottom of this post  – make sure you put “hoop” at the beginning of your comment so I know which draw you are entering (please feel free to enter both).

Draws end midnight Monday (19th May), hopefully I will be on time with tomorrows post 😉

 

Day 13 – 90 Year Old Sea Glass Earrings & Punctures

Yesterday I made a pair of earrings in preparation of today’s workshop which was to include wrapped sea glass pendants.

Wire Wrapped Sea Glass Earrings Silver Handmade

Wire Wrapped Sea Glass Earrings

Small ovals of dark sea glass from the famous Seaham beach in North East England.  I love sea glass, all the scars from it’s time in the sea, and when we came to France I hoped to be able to beachcomb  sea glass for myself but we’ve been unlucky so far so I decided to only buy my glass from beachcombers combing the Seaham beach.   The glass factory at Seaham closed about 90 years ago so almost all of the glass found here is at least 90 year old (the factory dumped waste glass into the sea at the end of each day).  Silverpebble’s  blog can tell you more about this wonderful beach.

Workshop Update – Day 5 – We were expecting to be joined by Aileen, on holiday in the Aveyron all the way from Australia but unfortunately a puncture on her way here made her postpone until tomorrow so today was spent making a variety of fun wire rings, using the BigKick machine to texture copper for future earrings and learning Byzantine chainmail weave – After practicing in copper Evelyn and Rebecca made lovely pieces of silver Byzantine to be made into earrings tomorrow.

Latest Silversmithing Workshop & Goodbye to Dark Seas

Most of our students are women on their own but occasionally we take bookings from couples and these are always interesting and fun workshops.  Rob booked a 2 day Introduction to Silversmithing as a birthday present for his wife Liz and managed to keep it a complete secret until she arrived and saw all the jewellery making books and magazines that fill the students cottage accommodation.  They were both new to jewellery making and here are just some of the wonderful things they made…

March 2014 Silversmithing Workshop

 

We started with a set of stacker rings and fabulous interchangeable earrings, then had a play with embossing copper and silver.  The decided to commit their second day to a major project each, Liz an apple pendant complete with copper pips, texture and doming and Rob managed to sum up the spring weather – sun, clouds and rain in a mixed metal necklace – it was a mad rush to get them finished as they had to rush off that night but well worth the effort .  Well Done to both of them !

Good Bye to Dark Seas
I enjoy making most of my pieces and I’m happy to see them go off to new homes but I must admit that I was quite sad to say good bye to this Dark Seas ring – It was a challenge to make and we had a few tussles on the way.

Silver sea glass artisan ring

Dark Sea Ring

It started with a piece of sea glass found by a beachcomber at Seaham in England complete with scars from it’s travels (glass found at Seaham is almost all over 90 years old).  I made the bezel and added a few silver “pebbles” and a tube set faceted peridot.  I wasn’t happy with it in it’s polished state so I oxidized it to bring out the detail and give it a more moody feel.

It’s now happily on it’s way to a lady in Pittsburg USA to begin it’s new life on her hand.

Karen

PS – Here’s the back  – I like to add a little interest to the back of most things I make – this one has an offset band and stamped dandylion clock seeds.

artisan silver and sea glass ring

Dark Sea Ring Back