Jewellery Adventure - Beginnings

I have always been a maker and crafter and regularly have a project  or two on the go. I have worked in many mediums. I did some metal work at high school and loved it. I have always drawn and painted which is fun but my skills  are never quite as good as I want them to be and I tend to get disheartened. I loved taking photographs and used to develop my own 35mm films. Next came knitting and crochet and I dabbled in soft furnishings. Dress making is not my forte but I can whip up some curtains if I am pressured to do so. All of these things were fun and passed the time but just not the hobby I was looking for. 

I started my jewellery adventure with some beading and wire work. I made rings out of buttons and gave them to friends and family. Being able to make a real ring was still way out of my reach and skill set but I had the bug and didn't want to stop there. I attended a two day stone setting course at the precious metals workshop in Edinburgh. There I discovered the magic of shaping, soldering and polishing silver and of course setting stones. My first ever silver project was a pair of opal stud earrings. I loved the challenge of stone setting and I was hooked. My passion ignited I bought some tools  (alot of tools!) and metal and set up my work bench on an old kitchen table. I started experimenting and making lots of mistakes. A Silversmithing night class covered the basics and wonderful online tutors such as Soham Harrison and websites like Ganoskin taught me everything else. I made lots of rings and earrings, setting stones and making mistakes. I look back on these first projects and they look so rough!

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Tools Tools and More Tools!

Just as I was finding a rhythm and starting to sell my work I found out I was pregnant. My jewellery adventure was put on pause. I decided to wait until after the first trimester before making again in case I exposed my unborn baby to any nasty fumes or chemicals. This turned into a longer absence than I intended as the exhaustion of being pregnant and working left little energy for my hobby. When my son was born I had even less time. I managed to make myself a moissanite ring but that was about it. Then we moved house and my workshop equipment was packed away in the attic for over 6 months.  

Once I started to find some time for myself again I took my tools out of the attic and set up my work bench in our spare room. I made a few pieces in Aluminium, dyeing the metal and my hands blue. I set up my etsy shop and started listing. Sales were slow coming but then in the run up to Christmas I started selling. I would buy enough metal for one silver cuff bracelet, then once it sold would buy metal for another two. and so my little spare bedroom business started to grow. 

Dyed Aluminium Cuff Bracelet

I spent the following year trying out new designs, taking photos, working on listings and setting up my website. Friends and family commissioned bespoke designs and my sales on Etsy went up and down.

I now have a growing collection of earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets that have a common theme and style. I love minimal jewellery as it can be worn everyday,  I love adding precious stones
and mixing precious metals. I enjoy working with lab created stones and recycled precious metals.

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Amethyst Ring with Hugger

My jewellery making skills have come a long way since I started with the button and wire rings and my drive to improve them and make new things is stronger than ever. I hope you will continue with me on my jewellery adventure.

Ellen x