Jewelry Making

Last weekend I travelled up to Ripon to Alma House for a WI workshop on making jewelry from anodised aluminium. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but as the tutor was Rachel Poole I knew it would be a good day. Rachel teaches workshops in all sorts of subjects from stained glass to basketry.

We could each have two or three small squares of aluminium, this marks easily if you so much as get a fingerprint on it, so we wore vinyl gloves most of the time. Our first job was to decorate the sheets with patterns using Sharpie felt tips, squiggles, lines, circles, any design we wanted. The sheet of aluminium was then soaked for about 20 minutes in a dye bath, there was a choice of six colours and how long it was left in depended on how deep a colour we wanted. I soaked my squiggles on in purple, though it dodn’t get anywhere near as dark as I anticipated. I also did a splodgy one, just dropping dye straight onto the metal, adding spots in different colours. All our creations were then steamed for 20 minutes to set the dye. All this creativity took most of the morning! 20180922_131131

All we had to do now was make the jewelry! Rachel anticipated we would all make at least a brooch, a pair of stud earrings and a pair of dangly earrings…that seemed a tall order at lunchtime, but we all made that and more!

DSC_0577I tackled the brooch first, in fact I made two! I traced the outline of a sheep from silhouettes that Rachel had provided, stuck it onto the metal with a glue stick. Using a very fine hacksaw we then had to saw all the way round, moving the brooch and keeping the saw straight. It wasn’t actually as hard as I anticipated, he’s not perfect but he looks like a sheep (this is a bonus if anyone remembers the willow sheep I made, nic-named Pig!!) I cut him out of my swirly sheet, however I decided I preferred the back view as the purple dye had taken up the marks from the base of the steamer, making a rather nice dappled pattern, so I stuck the brooch back on the twirly side instead.DSC_0575 (2)

Once I had the confidence that I actually could saw round a shape reasonably neatly I decided to make a running hare brooch. This is from my splodgy sheet so it nice and subtly coloured.DSC_0576 (2)

The earrings were made using a stamp to cut the circles. The stamps were in a heavy metal block, we just had to choose the size, set it up and hammer them through. Another block gave them a concave shape if that’s what we wanted. Rachel kindly offered to drill the holes in the earrings, I don’t think anyone fancied that job.

I made one set of studs from the squiggly metal, a set of simply danglies and a more complex one with three circles of differing sizes.

For a one day workshop I was surprised just how much we managed to make, I wasn’t sure at all about how my colouring came out but when you only see snippets it does work, or you just use the back!! Either way I came away with some nice individual jewelry.DSC_0586 (2)

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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13 Responses to Jewelry Making

  1. tialys says:

    It’s great to try different things isn’t it – I’m lusting after a leaded glass class but it’s a whole weekend and expensive (and in French).
    I like your running hare brooch and the coppery effect dangly earrings. Will you wear any, or all, of these pieces?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. claire93 says:

    sure sounds & looks like you got lots packed into that day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun day! The sheep and hare have a very folk art feel and are adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So you can wear clothes you made, wear earrings you made, sleep under a quilt you made, or wander around your beautifully tended garden, etc. – you are the crafting queen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nanacathy2 says:

    What a lovely creative day. I really like the coppery ear rings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tonymarkp says:

    So glad you had the chance to take a class and do something a little different! Your jewelry is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. wybrow1966 says:

    So love the hare and the sheep – and agree that the back of the sheep looked nicer than the front!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the earrings. Thanks for sharing a technique I wasn’t familiar with!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Catherine says:

    What great pieces! It sounds like a really fun day, and you’ve learnt something new which you can now use to make unique gifts too.

    Liked by 1 person

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