Highlights of 2022

Posted: December 2022

As 2022 draws to a close I'm reflecting on what a hell of a busy year it has been. Not just designing and making lots of jewellery, but also creating an artwork for an art exhibition, making preparations for setting up a stall at my first craft market, taking a course in building an audience on social media, and all of this while still working an admin job 3 days a week. I've never been much of a one for sitting doing nothing, but I'm definitely ready to take a break over Christmas and recharge my batteries, ready for whatever 2023 has in store.

Create For Collab Exhibition

Create for Collab, a Bristol based venture founded by Ellie Wilkinson and Amie Murphy with the aim of building a community of artists and hosting exhibitions where they can show and sell their work, while also raising money for local good causes. Both Ellie and Amie have full time jobs, and give up their free time on a purely voluntary basis to make these events happen. I first got involved by volunteering to help with the installation of the first two Create for Collab exhibitions, which was enormous fun. “Create for Bees” , their third exhibition took place this Autumn in aid of the West of England B-Lines Project, which is working on restoring and connecting a network of wildflower-rich meadows and grasslands to enable pollinating insects and other wildlife to move across the landscape.

When offered the chance to exhibit some of my handmade silver jewellery, I had to give some thought to how I would display my work in an art exhibition, and figured I could create a picture out of jewellery pieces. On the theme of the charity, I decided to depict honey bees at work, and created three sterling silver bee pendants with hammered silver wings and yellow stripes of brass across their abdomens. I placed these in a frame with sterling silver flower stud earrings and leaf stud earrings to complete my artwork.

My Top 3 Favourite Makes This Year

I absolutely love creating new one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery and I've always got ideas for new designs buzzing around in my head. These are my three favourites from this year: 

1. Emerald Earrings I was quite excited to buy these tiny genuine emerald stones. Aren’t they pretty! Silver is snaked around the stone settings and patina added to darken the backplate to create a frame for the lovely green gemstones. 

2. Rainbow Moonstone and Amethyst Gothic Pendant My favourite "Gothic" pendants are the most fun to make. I never know exactly what shape they will turn out until I have soldered all the elements on, the stone settings and the silver balls. Once these are in place I saw off the excess silver from around the outside and the pendant shape evolves. This one, with its big rainbow moonstone stone needed some colour with it, and doesn't it look beautiful with the little amethysts!

3. Hollow Form Hammered Heart Pendant I’d been pondering for ages about how to construct 3-D silver shapes. My solution to make a hollow form shapes would enable me to create chunky pieces without them being too heavy to wear. This heart pendant was constructed from four pieces of sheet silver soldered together. The most important part in this process is to be sure to have drilled the holes for the chain before soldering on the last piece. Without the holes a build up of gasses inside the hollow object could expand in the heat from the blow torch, and the piece could have exploded. Jewellery making can be a dangerous occupation!

Bristol Creators Market

As a naturally shy and introverted person, I was pretty nervous about attending my first market. Setting up my stall at Bristol Creators Market was stressful! Less than an hour to lay out my display equipment and fill it with my creations before opening time, and no idea how many shoppers were likely to come flooding through the doors. I was so worried that my earring cards and price labels might not withstand any knocks to the table, and had visions of them all tumbling from their shelf and ending up in a heap! Much to my relief this didn’t happen and everything was fine! I’ll be putting out feelers to find more craft markets to attend next year, and will let you know in future newsletters where I’ll be and when.

What can you look forward to in January?

I have an announcement. You’ll have to wait until next month to find out what it is! 

 Just to give you the heads up, if you have any birthdays coming up next month, garnet is the birthstone for January. Garnet comes in a variety of colours (who knew ‽) but most popular is the beautiful red.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas

I'm looking forward to seeing my family, some frosty morning walks, curling up on the sofa in the warm, playing some board games, nice food, a few drinks and watching some festive telly. Whatever your plans are, I wish you a joyful Merry Christmas!

​With very best wishes



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