Sunday, 14 November 2010

Lot of hard work, but here it is...

I have been working this week on my new website.

A slightly easier format for me to update and add new products. Whilst I loved my old website, it was a beast to try and update.

So hopefully this new site will be easier to navigate, feel free to drop me a message to tell me what you think.

Always trying to evolve my website, so your feedback will be read with much interest.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Gosh, a long time with no blog...

Here is a recent commission of a local couple.
A 6mm pearl set atop a 9k white gold ring ,set with 19 x 2mm diamonds.
The design was sketched out by the young man and I had great fun in turning it into reality

Thursday, 15 July 2010

..and the winner is.....

I had a wee competition, a give away of a fingerprint plectrum.

To find the random winner, I asked on a forum for someone to pick a number at random

The number was 7, so the winner is Jax from the comment section, being the 7th comment.

Congratulations Jax. thanks to everyone for entering.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Win your own fingerprint plectrum.......

Win your own sterling silver fingerprint plectrum.

This is a free to enter competition, and all you have to do is leave a message here on this blog entry, telling me why you would find this the perfect gift.

The winner will be picked at random on July 10th 2010, 17.00 GMT.

I will then require your fingerprint via e-mail or through the post and I will engrave it and a name onto one of my handmade sterling silver plectrums and send it to you , wherever you are in the world.

Couldn't be more simple, good luck.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Angel wings in sterling silver.

I was asked by a lovely lady to make a pair of Angel wings in stelring silver to serve as a pendant in memory of her mother.

This was a delightful commission to create and I do hope that this bespoke design brings much comfort.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Fingerprint keyfob.

Joanne came into my shop and ordered this funky present for her hubby. A set of sterling silver discs, with her kids fingerprints on. Each fob is hallmarked and on the reverse side carrys the childs name and date fo birth.

This was great fun to make and great fun to get the kids to sit still to take their prints. In truth, they were all as good as gold, probably trying to work out why this strange man was taking their prints!

Fingerprint jewellery is certainly very popular at the moment. Personally I don't use precious metal clay (PMC) for this task as it is too soft. The fine silver that is produced is not suitable to the wear and tear that these items get and you would soon have the fingerprint disappear.

I recently had someone come into my shop with some PMC cuff links they had bought elsewhere and the prints had all but gone.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Part TWO. Hand engraving a wax seal (coat of arms or family crest)

So the shield was engraved to a nice depth and an impression was taken to ensure it all looked OK.

This particular design, has a horizontal bar, which was engraved in and the depth checked with the plasticene.

Next to bew engraved was the three diamond shapes. Again, the plasticene is used to check the impression.

I missed aphoto, but you can see that I have now engraved a helmet from a suit of armour.

I use the plasticene by pressing it onto the surface of the metal. This leaves behind a film of grease onto the metal. You can now draw in pencil onto the grease and it leaves a nice crisp pencil outline. Once I am happy with the scroll, I then engrave the pattern on one side.

I then mirror the scroll pattern onto the other side and engrave that as well. Once I am happy that all the elements work, it is then ready to be burnished, polished and mounted onto a handle.

Here is the finished piece, mounted onto a handmade teak handle. I can hand engrave your own coat of arms or crest to make your own unique gift. Click here for details.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Part ONE. Hand engraving a seal. ( A coat of arms or family crest)

This is what I am going to be engraving today. It is the Parry coat of arms. I will make some modifications to the artwork, but in essence I will be engraving my family coat of arms onto a piece of silver.

I will then mount this on a wooden handle, to make a "Parry" seal which can be used with melted wax. The tradition of sealing letters with melted wax, and using your official seal dates baack hundreds of years.

You can either engrave the entire coat of arms, just the crest. The crest is usually a helmet or an animal, or just the name with some swirling scrolls. Ultimately, your official seal, is whatever you want it to be. So nowadays you could have an X-Box and HD TV if you so wished it. These coat of arms however are just traditional.

These designs can be engraved onto signet rings, cuff links, wax seal stamps.....

So this post might take too long in one hit, so I will star and ight carry it over onto another day.
the picture above is my engravers ball vice. it is really heavy so it doesn't budge when you are working on it. It grips the piece you are engraving and at the same time, allows you to rotate the whole top section.

It is a bit like a bowling ball sitting on a ring, you can angle it, rotate it, and this version even allows you to re-centre it, but that is for the real engraving nerd!

The toothbrush in the picture, is because I like minty breath as I work. OK, it is actually just a really handy little brush to clean the piece as you go.

The picture above is a little homemade rack holding my different sized engraving tools. Each is slightly different in width and shape. I have colour coded the handles so I can tell them apart easier.

A close up of some of my tools, that I use to engrave. Top to bottom, we have a 1.2mm wide flat engraver, a steel burnishing tool with homemade ergonomic handle made from Jet Set from Rio Grande. A square engraver, used to do line work and script letters and finally an agate burnishing tool. used to smooth metal and give a high polish.

Here is the piece that I am working on. A 20mm circle of sterling silver. I have marked out a simple shield design and using the tools above, I have engraved a shallow depth of about 0.5mm.

As I progress, I use a piece of modelling clay (plasticene), to take an impression. This helps me to see how neat the edges are and how deep the engraving is.

Please come back to see the next stages and feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Custom wedding rings.

Of course, one of my passions is making custom wedding rings.

For me, there is an absolute thrill in taking a clients brief, and creating and designing the exact ring that the client is after. As a designer, it is not about trying to predict future trends, it is all about teasing out of a client, what turns them on. What metal and what style they like.

Some clients are easier to workwith than others, that is a given. However, with enough help, most clients suddenly realise, what it is that makes their dream ring. Sometimes it can be as simple as a chunky band with a hand engraved Roman font.

It is the making of custom wedding rings that for me, eclipses all other aspects of a wedding. Of course, I am going to say that, I am a jeweller. But name anything else that has the longevity of a wedding band from a wedding day. Sure, pics hang around in an album. The dress will be packed away in the attic. The marriage certificate ends up in a shoe box, but it is the wedding band that quite literally grows with you. That sees the good times and bad.

You will not make any other purchase that will stay with you the entirety of your life. Cars and houses will come and go. So give your wedding band some extra thought, and have one handmade by someone who really cares.

Sterling silver golf ball marker

A young lady came into my shop today. Just so happens she is getting married on Saturday. She was with her friend, and they both perused the shop. whilst they were looking at the jewellery cabinets, they happened across my sterling silver golf ball markers.

For those not in "the know", when you are on the green, waiting to sink your putt, you take turns. The ettiquette, is that he who is furthest from the hole, takes their shot first, and so on, until all balls are sunk. If your ball is in the way, you are supposed to mark where the ball lies, and temporarily remove your ball.

So these sterling silver golf ball markers are a touch of luxury, to give to that golf fanaticwho already has it all.

They can be personalised, and in this case, the young lady wanted just the date hand engraving onto the marker.

Now, it has to be said, that I love hand engraving. There is something really pleasing about gouging out the metal, from a highly polished surface, leaving a beautiful bright cut engraving. This is the sort of finish that a machine just can't replicate. God, I hate those machine engravers with a passion. The quality of line that a machine leaves is just so poor.

So, I simply rub some modelling clay (plasticene) over the shiny metal. This leaves a greasy film over the metal. Then with a crisp 0.3mm mechanical pencil, I draw the lettering on. The pencil line, stands out brilliantly on the greasy surface. If I make a mistake with the pencil, I simply rub my finger over the surface and start again.

Once I am happy with my artwork (it can easily be brushed off by mistake, so great care is now required not to accidentally smudge it). I then clamp th epiece in my ball vice and engrave away by hand. (For those who know the skill, I am a pusher, I don't use an air engraver)

So, this is the result of a young lady treating her future hubby to a little bit of luxury, just god help him if he loses it in the club house.

If you'd like to order one as well, please click here to visit my shop.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Hand engraved money clip

Another recent little commission. A fingerprint hand engraved on to a handmade sterling silver money clip, complete with "Rob" bright cut in an old fashioned script.

There is something really rewarding about hand engraving a piece of jewellery. If you have an idea, drop me a line of you can order your own version here.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Fingerprint on a silver guitar plectrum

Just completed this fingerprint, hand engraved onto a sterling silver guitar plectrum.

If you are interested, you can order your very own by visiting my shop here.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

hand engraved money clip.

Really pleased with how this commission turned out. I have started hand engraving, having been practicing for ages. It is the kind of skill that requires methodical practice.

I am now finding it devilishly difficult to photograph, as the engraving is "bright" cut and the metal itself is highly polished. It is hard enough at the bestof times to take a picture of a piece of jewellery, but it is even harder when you are trying to capture the delicate engraved lines as well.

I shall continue to improve on the photos so that you can see the detail more clearly.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Frankie's footprint pendant

Stephanie came to see me and commissioned this little pendant. A permanent reminder of her son Frankie.

I was honoured to undertake such a commission and to provide a pendant just as Stephanie wanted it.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Personalised silver ring with hearts.

A recent commission in sterling silver.

An oxidised inscription sits inside the ring with the outer edge covered shoulder to shoulder in tiny hearts.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Wedding Ring Inscriptions.

The one thing I am asked most, is

"What can we have engraved on our wedding rings?"

The simple answer is


I find most couples want something that is personal to themselves. So typically the inscription relates to their "pet" names for each other. Maybe a "cute" saying that they have. It might be a significant date, if not the date for the wedding.

In addition I find couples going , not for an obvious inscription, but something a little bit more cryptic. This might be a symbol, from the much used symbol for eternity (looks like an 8 lying on its side), to a musical note, a chinese word, or even a cartoon character, such as Woodstock from the Peanuts strip.

I have done the date in regular numerals, in Roman numerals and the most unusual is the date stamp in seconds from the dawn of the digital age (He was an I.T. guy)

Ring inscriptions have also used quotes from favourite films, lyrics, poems and novels.

I really don't hink it matters where the inscription comes from, as long as it has some meaning to you both.

Of course there is the more obvious statements such as those listed below

Yours forever.

I love you.

Faithfully yours.

You should also consider one of these quotes in another language, beit Latin, French, Italian or whatever. Sometimes, a rather dull English quote becomes that much more exotic in another tongue.

I have another page of quote inscriptions, that you can find here.

Have fun choosing your ring inscription, talk about what you both want or decide that you will each choose an inscription for each others ring and keep it a secret.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

9k gold pendant

A recent commission in 9k gold for Pamela. The inner hoop is in a hammered finish in 9k red gold. The outer loop and bail are in 9k yellow gold annd both polished.

Pamela came into to see me to discuss the design and the relevant sizes and scale of the piece.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Fingerprint cuff links witha wee heart.

Mrs Silverton popped into my shop with her two lovely kids. They each did a fingerprint and I added a wee heart to each. Then I made these unique sterling silver cuff links for Mr Silverton.

I recently had an e-mail from a chap, who received a similar unique gift from his better half. In his words "I have thrown all my other cuff links in the bin, as I'll never wear a different set"

It is such a nice part of my job, hearing back from clients, and how much they have enjoyed giving or receiving the items.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Etsy Interview

I was thrilled to have been interviewed and "twittered" about by Etsy.

You can read the full article by CLICKING HERE

I have been selling on Etsy now for a little over two years and the exposure is of course great. It has bought me clients from all over the world and to date, I have sent a commission to each continent!!!

It is quite amazing when an order comes through from obscure far flung countries, and it is such a lovely thought, to know that my pieces are being enjoyed the world over.
I haven't kept track, but I reckon I have sent at least one item to each of the USA states and what makes me smile the most, is that I have exported goods to China. I have certainly bought enough from China in my life, so nice to send something back.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Child's drawing onto cuff links.

I love my job as I get asked to make all sorts of special commissions. Here a child's drawings of a cat and mouse were hand engraved onto some cuff links that I made for the purpose.

I'm going to do so more like this soon, so keep popping back to have a look.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Blog Carnival. 20 things to kick start your creativity..

This is part of the infamous blog Carnival series.

The blog Carnival is a group of metal artists belonging to EtsyMetal who, on the first Monday of every month, share a blog post on the same topic. This month, the topic is

"Create an inspirational 20 things to do, to kick start creativity."

1) Draw a biscuit as you eat it, stage by stage.
2) Make a picture using some ink and only blowing through a straw.
3) Write a ten point instruction manual for something really mundane, like opening your car.
4) Draw a picture of yourself in a mirror using toothpaste.
5) Try to copy your signature using your other hand
6) Go outside and find the first piece of rubbish you find, then write a 200 word history for it.
7) Open a newspaper, point at a word with your eyes closed, then draw a picture to help illustrate that word.
8) Tap madly at the keyboard on google, then vist those pages it suggests.
9) Get a helium balloon, and write some instructions on a waterproof label for the finder to follow. Perhaps to contact you somehow. Then let it go.
10) Draw a can of food taking 10 mins to capture all the detail
11) Draw the same can of food, but only in 2 mins
12) Draw the same can of food with your eyes tightly closed.
13) Send a stamped blank greeting card out with each sale. Ask the buyer to draw a picture and send the card back
14) Draw a picture on some concrete using just water on a hot day
15) Point at a map blindly, go to that exact location and draw it or find some debris to take home
16) Take a book, read a page at random, then draw something inspired by that page
17) Take a shoe and two pieces of paper- draw two pictures of the shoe at the same time using both hands
18) Cut up a potato and use it to do some paint printing.
19) Scribble madly for 5 seconds in a round motion ona piece of paper, then create a monster from your sketch (See picture above)
20) Make a mad list of 20 things to do if your stuck for creativity, then pick one at random.

If you have enjoyed this post, please check out the other bloggers on the same theme,

1. - Chris Parry
2. - Sara Westermark
3. -Katie Miess Kohlhagen
4. - Ann Hartley
5. - Amanda Conley
6. - stacey
7. - Esther Eve
8. 2Roses
9. - Maria W
11. - Victoria Takahashi/Experimetal
12. [Berenice Schaltegger]
13. (Brooke Arin Medlin)
14. (Thomasin Durgin/Metalriot)
15. - Beth Cyr
15. - Catherine Chandler

Thursday, 25 February 2010


I do enjoy mu job, as I get asked to make all sorts, not all of which has its photo taken, but I just snapped a quick photo of these.

Sterling silver drumsticks.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

A tame squirrel

Just had a very tame squirrel come and take a piece of bread from my hand.

I know they're just tree rats, but still quite cute.

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

A custom handmade wedding ring....

Chris and Sara came to see me about making a pair of handmade wedding rings. A lovely couple but Sara's problem was her "shaped" engagement ring.

Her e-ring design, meant that she couldn't simply go and get an "off-the-shelf" wedding band. so what to do? I handmade this 18k white gold band , set with 5 3pt (2mm) diamonds.

The result is a truly unique ring as it will only ever fit her ring perfectly. A bit of a Cinderella's shoe type thing. Sure lots of girls could have got Cinderella's glass shoe on, but it would only ever fit one foot perfectly.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Feb Blog Carnival - A Ring A Day

mmmm, so what is a "Blog Carnival" and what is "A Ring A Day"? I hear you ask.

Well, to begin with I belong to a small group of metal artists where we set ourselves little challenges every now and again. the group can be found here

There is a diverse range of techniques and styles and we principally are there to help one another in our craft. It is great to be part of. The group grows slowly when we invite anyone to apply to join twice a year (Jan & June). The group votes on those who we would like to join.

So that is the group, and within the group we set ourselves little challenges. It is not mandatory to join in, but just fun to do so.

We then also organise a "Blog Carnival". This is where those wishing to particpate, blog on the first Monday of the month, on a given topic.

So this month's topic is "What is you favourite from the Ring A Day?" Now before I go prattling on, the "Ring a Day" challenge was nothing more than a creative exercise to create and record the efforts of making a ring. The given ring had to be neither practical nor useful and any material could be used in the making of it. The exercise was not to produce a commercially viable piece, it was more about getting the creative juices flowing.

My personal favourite from my own creations was turning one of my jewellery books into a ring. As you have probably guessed, it has zero practical use but just makes me laugh.

I have tons of favourites from the other talented jewellers on Flickr, but I haven't worked out how to link to their pics from this blog, so suffice to say you will have to go and check out the Flickr page or more importantly at the bottom of this blog entry, you will find links to other bloggers. Go see what they are chatting about.

We then shared our efforts on a Flickr page.

The most interesting thing for me on the "Ring A Day" challenge, was the number of ideas that came to mind. I now have bags of ideas to make, but the practicality of running my business, creating commissions and being a family man, have meant that I haven't created a ring every single day, I don't see that a s a failure, as I kind of knew that life would get in the way.

Initially, I was thinking how on earth am I going to come up with a new idea every day, but as time progresses, it actually becomes easier.

I never got around to taking pics of some of my creations, but all of them are helping me to develop new designs. You can think of the process of as doodling with materials. Sometimes a texture, a pattern, or the scale of a piece will influence the design of a piece of jewellery that can be made into silver, gold, palladium or platinum.

It is Feb nd I have lots of ideas to make some more "Rings A Day"

I'll be posting those ideas here and on my Flickr page, so feel free to pop by and have a look or drop me a line.

So here are all the Blog Carnival participants. Please do visit and see what they have to say on this month's theme. " A Ring A Day." There are some fab blog entries out there.

Alisa Miller
Colleen Baran
Danielle Miller
stacey hansen
Chris Parry
kerin rose
Sara Westermark
Victoria Takahashi
Su Trindle
Nina Dinoff
Maureen "Cosmo's Moon" BZ
Thomasin Durgin
Colleen Baran
Beth Cyr
Caitlyn Davey/discomedusa
Catherine Chandler

Friday, 29 January 2010

Valentines fast approaching.

Only a couple of weeks until that big romantic day is here.

Pop into the shop to pick up a little gift for your dearest. Sometimes it's just the little things like the little ceramic gift tag ( pictured)

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

iPad - WOW

So they don't need any more publicity, especially little ol' me mentioning it on my blog !!! however, I do think they are about to put a rocket up the bottom of the laptop/PC market.

They have created a cross between an iPhone, a laptop and soemthing you would see in Star Trek or Minority Report, or come to mention it, someone in Avatar was walking around with something similar!!

To think only 10 years ago, to have built something capable of what the iPhone can do, using the tech of 1999, you would have ended up with something the size of a couple of house bricks.

So just imagine what will be available and the size of such devices in 10 years.

I confess, I was a mobilephonephobe. I had one, but hated it. Then the usability and versatility of the iPhone now means I can accomplish , see and do so much with my little phone. I can twitter, blog, check my orders, reply to e-mails, check on the news, check my bank account, play a game, listen to my fav music and gosh the list goes on.

There will be a stampede to get the iPad and I will probably be at the front somewhere. So apologies now if I trample you in the rush.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Ring A Day 18/365

Here is my "ring a day" for day 18.

If you are unaware of the theme, it is as simple as creatinga ring each day from whatever, in as much time as it pleases it you. The ring neither has to be practical nor serve a purpose. Think of it as doodling without paper.

So this one amused me. I was going to use a "how to make jewellery" book, then saw this on my shelf and had to turn it into a ring.

Marks out of ten for being practical 0 /10. Marks out of 10 for making me laugh 10/10

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Ring a day 5/365

Love the naive and non-uniform nature of this ring.

I created this silver ring as part of my "Ring A Day " series. This is 5/365 and came about after a little doodling exercise.

Sometimes it is rather relaxing to make something on a whim.

Bespoke fingerprint cuff links with a heart.

Really pleased with how these turned out.

A bespoke pair of cuff links in sterling silver featuring the bride-to-be's fingerprint and a little heart that she had drawn onto her print.

This little pair went off to sunny America.

It is safe to say that this is the only pair in the world.

London day out.

Have been at the Top Drawer trade show today looking for some exciting new products to sell in my shop.

I'm really pleased with the orders that I've placed and can't wait to take delivery of the new items. Some will be with me in a week or two and other bits will take a month or two to arrive.

All very exciting. I'll post some more details when I have some product shots.

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Fun app for iPhone

This is a fun little app."Lego" let's you turn a photo into a mosaic of Lego bricks.

All I need now is 5,000 Lego bricks !!!!!

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Friday, 15 January 2010



Went to see the film Avatar in 3D. Just "Gosh".

If you have seen it then you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it, then go and see it and I promise you will come out and say "Gosh"

This film will be a defining motion picture by which others will be judged.

It is just breathtaking.

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Ring A Day

This appeals to my sense of humour.

Part of my ring a day challenge.

Most people display their jewellery to show their wealth and staus in life. Why not just show everyone your spending potential!!!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Ring A Day 13/365

Part of my ring a day series.


Made in sterling silver with a hammered battered finish. the ring is a deep 3mm round shank and has a free spinning 9k yellow gold ring on it. Perfect if you like fiddling with your jewellery!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Ring a day 10/365

Have I cheated? No, there aren't really any rules anyway!

I created this on my iPhone using the " Typedrawing" app.

For me, virtually all the rings I make start life as a drawing, so this is quite natural and I have dozens of books with drawings of un-made rings.

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

iPhone app of the week

Another useful little app for the iPhone " simplemindx"

It allows you to create mind maps quite quickly and is very easy to use.

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Monday, 4 January 2010

New iPhone app

A fun little iPhone app called " shakeitphoto" that turns a pic into an old Polaroid type snap.

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Ring a day 2

This is great. Part of the ring a day challenge and carrying on with my " found" theme.

Here a very temporary ring made from bubbles.

It might not be practical. It might challenge what your perception of a ring is, but in essence , it is a ring.

I have got a cracking idea for tomorrows " ring a day"

-- Posted From My iPhone. Blogging when I am not stuck indoors.