Kate’s Stories

It’s that time again!!

This week I will be travelling to Harrogate once again for BCTF 2015! BCTF has been promoting British hand-made giftware for 40 years, longer than any other trade fair in the UK!

BCTF

I will be exhibiting alongside my fellow Manchester Jewellers Network members Charlotte Verity and Simon Denvers on stand 114. The show opens on Sunday 12th April and finishes on Tuesday 14th at 5pm. Hopefully this lovely weather will hold out for the weekend and we can also squeeze in a trip to Betty’s!

This year I have revisited a few of my popular designs and given them a bit of a golden make over! You will be able to see them on our stand next week.

Heart in Heart Heart in Square Robin Shell

 

Unfortunately I will have to leave this little treasure behind! It will be my first time away from her since she arrived but I’m sure I will be just fine and happily distracted by all the beautiful crafts on show sourcing new stock for Sevenoak Studio!! I look forward to seeing you there!!

Evie

Belated Happy new Year!!

After a little time off during December and January after the (rather late) arrival of our beautiful little girl Genevieve, I have been slowly trying to catch up with all things jewellery!

Genevieve

In November last year I was fortunate to open a new gallery Sevenoak Studio with two fellow jewellers, Charlotte Verity and Gemma Scully, in the creative Northern Quarter in Manchester. We have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year there and are looking forward to 2015 where we will begin to teach our Manchester School of Jewellery classes in our newly renovated basement space.

Sevenoak Studio

The rest of the year is also shaping up well, I am planning ahead for BCTF in April where I will have some exciting new pieces to show, I will also be at the June Art Market in Holmfirth and currently planning with Manchester Jewellers Network a wonderful exhibition celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland!

In the meantime, please bear with me as business slowly returns to normal. Timing jewellery making and all the other admin which comes with it in between feeds, naps and pulling silly faces in becoming an art form!!

If you’d like to keep up to date with what I’m up to on a more regular basis then please also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Taking some time off….

As of Monday 24th November I will no longer be taking on commissions and will be limiting the availability of items on my Not on the Highstreet page in preparation for our mini me due to arrive at the beginning of December!

 

My jewellery is available at a number of shops and galleries nationwide, please check my stockists page for one near you!

 

If you do have any queries I will be answering emails and Facebook messages until she arrives so please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

Thank you for all your kind support this year and I will be back in the New Year with new ideas and a new helper (?!)

 

Kate  x x

Baby

Miniatura

Houses

Today I visited Miniatura at the NEC in Birmingham to have a look at some of the amazing scale modelling on show. Miniatura is a highly specialised event entirely dedicated to the amazing hobby of domestic modelling in 1/12th, 1/24th (half-scale) and 1/48th (quarter scale) and even 1/144th!!

144th Scale This is an example of a dresser with dishes at 144th scale!

One of the stands which particularly caught my eye was Glasscraft based in the North East. They specialise in 1/12th scale glass ware which is absolutely stunning in detail. Here are some images of Glasscraft’s work…..

My favourite stand was that of Mike Sparrow who is a trained jeweller/silversmith and makes silverware to 1/12th scale which all works much as the original full size pieces. Vessels are hollow, lids lift off or are hinged, and wooden handles are carved out of ebony. Here are some examples of some of his beautifully detailed work……

This skill it takes to produce some of the work on show at Miniatura is amazing! It has given me lots of exciting ideas and after the success of my flute commissions I would like to challenge myself in the future to try and make some more miniature pieces to a specific scale, possible start off with 1/12th to begin with!! If you have any suggestions please let me know or pop them on my Facebook page!

Anniversary Pendant

At the start of the year I made a unique flower pendant to celebrate Joy’s 21st birthday. Over the summer she got in touch to ask if I could make something to celebrate her and her partners anniversary this September.

She requested that the piece have both of their fingerprints on and a special poem. Here you can see the process for making the pendant.

And here is the final piece! Once engraved, I oxidised the detail and gave it a brushed satin finished.

 

If you’d like a bespoke piece of jewellery designing for a special occasion, please contact me to discuss your ideas. You can see other examples of commissions I have done here.

 

International Jewellery London 2014

This year I exhibited at IJL 2014 with four other wonderful jewellers, Gemma Scully, Charlotte Verity and Karin Sheldon,  alongside a ‘showcase’ of 12 other makers under Manchester Jewellers Network. This year IJL moved from Earls Court to Olympia which is a beautiful building giving an ideal setting for the show! We were in the Design Gallery which gave us excellent views of the architecture and the show itself. Below are some pictures of our stand taking shape and the beautiful building.

This year we were well prepared and traveled down to London on the Thursday in order to set up over Friday and Saturday before the show opened on Sunday 31st August. We got to see some fabulous jewellery and meet some lovely new stockists which we look forward to working with in the future!

During the show there were a number of seminars running covering a range of subjects across the jewellery industry. I attended on looking at the benefits of social media and also one run by Gem-A called Fifty Shades of Colour, which explored pleochroism in gemstones. this is when a stone can appear to be different colours when viewed at different angles, particularly in polarised light. here you can see some pictures I took during the class. They show the different stones we looked at and examples of pleochroism in a sapphire bead and a ruby cabochon.

The show finished on Tuesday 2nd September and we made our weary way back up North with extra long ‘to do’ lists and exciting plans for Christmas!! Check out my ‘Exhibitions‘ page to see what is coming next!

Stone Setting

In July I spent a week at Birmingham School of Jewellery on a stone setting course, run by the very talented (and patient!) Nigel Yates. We started off by preparing some of the tools we needed….

GraversGravers and Buff sticks 

 

Then we moved onto practicing with the gravers to master some of the skills we would need for setting, such as graining and engraving.

Gravers and CopperCopper on shellacAfter many attempts (a lot of which failed!) we moved onto setting CZ in the silver castings provided. We began with three claw settings of various shapes and sizes.

Square Claw Claw Setting Square Claw Small Round Claw Large Round Claw Large Round Claw

We then moved onto a variety of settings, including rub over, channel, cluster and combination. Thankfully this is where I found my comfort zone!!

I had a fabulous week on this course and would thoroughly recommend it to any jewellers wanting to take on the challenge of setting stones themselves!!

A new range of work incorporating precious stones is on its way very soon, but in the meantime if you would like to commission a special piece please get in touch!!

 

 

 

Spoon!

I have been wanting to experiment with making spoons for sometime but not had the chance, or the means with which to make any other shaped bowl than round. After Christmas we welcomed this little chap to the shed, my own fly press! Its a Norton No. 1 press so only small but still heavy and can press adequately to make spoons.

Press

This is my first attempt, I started with annealed copper sheet (approx 0.9mm) but I didn’t seem to be making much headway, so I moved on too some thinner brass sheet which gave much better shapes. From this I gathered it was actually the pressure I was applying to the metal that was restricting how deep my press was – I wasn’t strong enough!!

First Attempt

Day Two I asked hubby very kindly if he would lend his hand with the press and came out with much more positive results! This was again using the annealed 0.9mm copper sheet, however applying more pressure (man power!)

Second Copper Attempt

From these I then cut the shapes out and these would form the bowl of my spoons. After cutting and a little bit of filing and buffing, I had the start of my spoons! I have experimented with two shapes to see which work best.

First Cut InsideFiled BowlBuffed bowl

 

After some more buffing and the addition of an ad-hoc brass handle I had some models which resembled spoons!

Copper spoonsAs I was working in the shed, I took a well earned break in the sunshine and started thinking about handles. Japanese design has a significant influence in my life and we have a wonderful bamboo plant at the bottom of our garden. I started looking at how this could fit in with my From the Orient collection and came up with a lovely organic bamboo handle. Watch this space for the final version in silver!

Bamboo Spoon

I will hopefully be taking a sample of my new spoon to BCTF in Harrogate from 6th – 8th April, see you at stand 110!

 

Floral 21st Celebration

I was asked just before Christmas to make a pendant for a 21st present based on a very special, well loved piece of costume jewellery.

Joy's original flower

 

I started by doing some basic drawings and measurements based on the original piece which was actually only 2in in length.

Sketches

I then cut the stem and made some textured leaves from very fine silver. i can be quite fussy and knowing how important this piece was, I decided to take a different approach with the leaves, giving them a more realistic texture but with a stylised shape. I then attached a small silver dome on which the flower would be mounted.

Initial SilverworkFlower Silverwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now my experience with textiles is limited so this was an excellent opportunity for me to experiment and challenge my sewing skills!!

Experiments

After many hours, wonky pom poms and unidentifiable creations I finally settled on a ribbons design which complemented the silver stem and leaves. Here is the final pendant….

Silver and Textile Flower Pendant
Silver and Textile Flower Pendant

Happy 21st Birthday Joy!