Kate’s Stories

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 Read More

Miniatura

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!!  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 Read More

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.   Read More

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. Read More

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

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. 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!! 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!) 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 Read More

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.   I started by doing some basic drawings and measurements based on the original piece which was actually only 2in in length. 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.               Now my experience with textiles is limited so this was an excellent opportunity for me to experiment and challenge my sewing skills!! 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…. Happy 21st Birthday Joy! Read More

Robin Redbreast in a Cage

There seem to be lots of birthdays on the run up to Christmas! I was commissioned to make this pendant for a daughters 18th birthday present, her name was also Robyn! She loves the William Blake poem ‘Auguries of Innocence’ which features the lines: “A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage” From this I designed and made this simple and unique pendant from silver and 9ct gold, highlighted with a striking red breast. If you would like a special piece making for someone special (or just for you!), please contact me here Read More

Kate is a member of ACID

      Kate is a registered member of ACID (Anti Copying in Design). ACID is a not for profit organisation providing help, advice and support on Intellectual Property (IP) to its members through IP awareness and education.  Cases of small independent businesses being ‘ripped off’ by larger high street chains are increasing, such as Tatty Devine and Claires Accessories, and more recently Myia Bonner and Dorothy Perkins. It is essential that designer makers protect their hard work and unique designs. If you are a designer maker or would like more information on ACID check out their website http://www.acid.uk.com/ If you are a trade customer ACID welcomes design buyers to register to view the latest designs created by ACID Members. on the online Marketplace.   Read More