15 Dec 2010

only 10 days til christmas!

Another commission done, sterling silver star earrings:

9 Dec 2010

blue wave pendant

just a quick photo of a wee commission I did last month:

3 Dec 2010

Reveal in Henley

Reveal is on this weekend at Henley's Old Firestation Gallery - see www.revealshowcase.com for details. I will be there 10-12 tomorrow morning. Unfortunately I got a little overzealous when I put my display stuff back in the car after Desire, so I've sprained a muscle in my back. So I was dreading setting up at Reveal yesterday because I knew it would hurt. Luckily Lauren (of the beautiful ceramics) and another Caversham artist very kindly carried my cases inside. I am pretty sore today from all the shlepping around yesterday, but jewellery is up at Reveal and even have a small case up at South Hill Park (also for sale, just ask the reception). I have to say, though, that I am super tired. I've been running around since October doing a ton of things and now I'm ready for a rest. Today I had a major lie-in after my last class of the term at South Hill Park. There's more snow in Bracknell than there is in Reading so I guess people were nervous about driving, so there were only three students in the last class!! Oh well, Emy kindly brought biscuits so we had biscuits and made stuff anyway! Hope everyone's keeping warm, it sure is cold out!!!

25 Nov 2010

Desire and Reveal

Desire is nearly here - the jewellery and silversmithing fair in Winchester. It starts tomorrow and the private view is tomorrow evening 6-8.30...
Next week is Reveal in Henley, in the lovely old fire station behind the town hall. I always like to go Henley, preferably by walking there. If you walk from Reading to Henley, then you arrive in Henley on a long walkway over the river. It's very pretty...and then there are all the super cozy pubs! I bet that, given the layer of ice on the cars outside, rather a lot of those cozy pubs will have lovely warm fires!
Today is packing for Desire. I say packing, I mean just repacking and adding some extras - like some posters I made for the behind me on the shell scheme. I also need some more boxes and some more stickers and some more postcards and so on. Nearly there, also want to finish some earrings that I'm still working on. I only have one pair of each left, so making a few more which will hopefully be ready in time for my early departure tomorrow morning.
It's a hectic time of year, so to those of you across the pond, enjoy your day off - happy thanksgiving! Enjoy your long, lovely meal!!

19 Nov 2010

Desire Fair at Winchester

Next weekend is the Desire Fair in Winchester - below is a bit of info on times and dates and so on. I have no private view invitations left!! I am still getting ready, polishing a pile of earrings this afternoon. I've made posters too, so I'm hoping my stand will look sharp :-) See you there and have a lovely weekend!

Desire Fair - Winchester

26 - 28 November 2010.

I hope to see you there where you will be able to view my latest designs

For further details and directions to the show see below or log onto www.desirefair.com

12.30pm - 5.30pm Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Saturday & Sunday

AA signposted

The Desire Fair showcases stunning collections from emerging British talent together with a number of established contemporary designer jewellers and silversmiths. All are professional craftsmen who have been selected from the very best jewellers and silversmiths in the UK for the quality of their work, individuality and innovation.

Desire offers an opportunity to see and purchase or commission work direct from the designer makers. By discussing the purchase with the maker, you will immediately be aware of their enthusiasm for the creative process and understand the inspiration behind each piece. There is an enormous variety of stylish designs on offer from the latest in exciting and contemporary designs to classic pieces that will not date. Each item sold is unique and can often be designed specifically for the wearer – a world away from the mass produced items offered on the High Street!

To see examples of just some of the stunning designs on offer please visit www.desirefair.com

17 Nov 2010

Jewellery classes

Phew, another craft fair done - South Hill Park Christmas Fair was at the weekend and I saw loads of people I knew, so I certainly had a lot of nice chats. Now it's on to the Desire show at Winchester. I still have some tickets for the private view - contact me if you'd like one. I still need to finish a whole bunch of orders and make some things for the Desire show that I've sold out of...
Also booking began this week for the next term of jewellery classes at South Hill Park. Some of my classes are already full for next term. Booking for members who aren't on the course starts next week. Keep trying if you want to get on those courses, but if you can't get on, you can always have a look at the brilliant Janet Richardson's classes in Wokingham - for info just follow this link or look at this poster here (click to zoom):

12 Nov 2010

Friday again!

So it's nearly the weekend and nearly time for the South Hill Park craft fair. I'm nearly ready...still a couple of things to make and polish and pack and... yeah, so, nearly.
It's been another busy week - and I've been on the Folksy blog! A lovely selection of silver jewellery was showcased, including my silver crossover ring.
Meanwhile, over on the Reveal blog, there's a piece about my jewellery as part of the 'meet the maker' series in the run-up to the Reveal Showcase in Henley in early December. Just follow this link for more info.

9 Nov 2010

South Hill Park and benchpeg

South Hill Park Christmas Craft Fair this weekend!!! 11am - 6pm on Saturday and 10am - 5pm on Sunday!! I'm in the Wilde Theater, see you there!

Proof that I've been working hard - here's a photo of a new benchpeg, followed by a photo of my well-loved benchpeg. The benchpeg is the centre of a jeweller's bench - it's where almost all the work gets done!

27 Oct 2010

things I like

I've been so busy with craft fairs and teaching and my engraving course that I would like to just mention something else besides all that! So here's a small list of things I like that you might like too. Firstly there's my friends' new shop called Comma in Oxford which I visited last night for the first time. It's brilliantly set up and looks amazing - plus lots of fun gift items, so I need not worry about where I'm going next time I need a birthday present for someone:Then there's the talented bag and purse maker I was next to at Farnham - another good destination for presents for any girly girls you might know: Nicola de Cruz
Then there are the delicate, gorgeous ceramics of Lauren, for example this round vase that I think is absolutely lovely:And then for the knitters in your life (everyone's got one or more!!!) there are the luscious hand dyed yarns by Skein Queen like this one:

19 Oct 2010

Creative Boom and Craft in Focus

hey hey, just a quick note to say - check out a mention on Creative Boom's fab website! Yay!
Also this weekend is the Craft in Focus show at Crowthorne!! See you there!! Open Friday from 1pm and Sat & Sun 10am - 5pm.

It's late now and I need to get ready for tomorrow, so keeping it short...

18 Oct 2010

silly season

Well, silly busy season....first craft fair is over and I'm preparing for the next one! This coming weekend, the Crowthorne Craft Fair at Wellington College, Crowthorne is on from Friday until Sunday. It was excellent last year, with a good buzz and people enjoying seeing the fabulous skills on display. Between now and Friday I have four classes, my engraving course, and about a hundred little household tasks. So, busy it is! I'm going to try to get some items up on Etsy and Folksy today as well. I have so many ideas for new items, it's hard to focus on the things that need to happen now...must concentrate and write down all my new ideas for testing after the busiest time of the year.

Also, aside from all that, an amazing new shop has opened over in Oxford called Comma. The website is coming soon, but the shop is already there! If you're in the area, you should definitely give it a look! Especially since it says Hello in giant colourful letters in the window :-)

14 Oct 2010

16 - 17 October Festival of Crafts

Festival of Crafts is this weekend at Farnham Maltings in Farnham! You can see details here on their website: http://tiny.cc/2v9t5!! Looking forward to seeing and meeting lots of people!! I will be ready, with a new stand, new business cards, new postcards, and of course lots of new lovely jewellery. See you all there!

11 Oct 2010

beautiful flyers

All the beautiful flyers for the craft fairs are arriving - like this one (click on it to get a larger image):

8 Oct 2010

other art exhibits to see...

South Hill Park Arts Centre, Ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 7PA.

Directions at: http://www.southhillpark.org.uk/aboutUsTravel.jsp

New exhibitions on 11 September - 7 November:

Memento by Ed Pien (Bracknell Gallery)

Out of Print? by Printmakers Council (Mansion Spaces)

The Human Response by Bracknell Camera Club (Community Gallery)

Beauty Spot (diptych) by Rowena Easton (outside the Bracknell Gallery)

Craft Fair (13-14 Nov)

7 Oct 2010

Crowthorne Craft in Focus show

Wellington College, Crowthorne, 22 - 24 October

I hope to see you there where you will be able to view my latest designs
For further details of the show see below or go to www.craftinfocus.com

The event displays only the highest standard of exhibitor that visitors to Craft in Focus have come to expect. We hope that you will visit us and look forward to seeing you at the show, as rarely is such a wealth of top quality work seen together at a single event.

Due to a strict vetting and selection procedure Craft in Focus has earned an enviable reputation for presenting events of the highest quality, and over the years, reports in the national media have often placed Craft in Focus above all others in the UK. We hope you will continue to visit our events around the country, and do keep an eye on our website for future developments and other shows in your area - www.craftinfocus.com

If you'd like a discount card for entry, drop me an email and I'll send you one!

4 Oct 2010

Happy October

It's October - welcome to three months of fabulous craft fairs. First up is the Festival of Crafts at Farnham Maltings. Not only is Farnham a lovely town, the Maltings is a great building (are a great set of buildings, technically, I think). There will be loads of fabulous crafts on display. You can see many of the exhibitors here: http://tiny.cc/5sal5
I will have new items on show, including my gold ball hoop earrings (sterling silver with 18k gold ball):
Thankfully I'm mostly over my horrendous cold of last week!So it's back to getting ready for classes, making more things for fairs, finishing my stand...and so on. I'm unveiling my new stand at Festival of Crafts as well....nearly finished....

30 Sept 2010

new logo

Ah, I forgot to actually put in the pic of the new logo - so here it is:
Also, in December I'm participating in the Reveal Showcase over in Henley. Right at the top end of Henley's main street, the show is set in a lovely space. Do come and have a look at then afterwards you can relax in one of Henley's many fab cozy pubs! In the meantime, you can 'meet' the makers over on Reveal's organiser's blog here: http://laurenceramics.blogspot.com

29 Sept 2010

plodding ever closer to craft fairs...

So now it's 2 weeks until the first of my autumn craft fairs - Festival of Crafts at Farnham Maltings. I'm still making things and will be sending off a hallmarking package soon.
I went to the Goldsmith's Fair on Monday but was too ill to enjoy it - just helped my friend and then went home again. Yesterday was worse, felt awful and had to get another friend to cover my evening class for me. Today is a bit better, after the long sleep and lots of medicine! I'm going again to Goldsmith's Fair on Friday so will have a proper look around then. What I did see all looked very impressive! In the meantime I have one more class to teach tomorrow and I have a lot to make!
My new website is finished apart from some tweeks here or there: www.machidewaard.co.uk. There's a new logo - same as at the top of this page! New layout and several new pieces of jewellery. It's neater and hopefully simpler for me to maintain!! I also sent out my latest newsletter - if you'd like a newsletter, you can sign up here.
In other news, my friends over at ToDryFor have been very busy indeed - and are opening a shop in Oxford! A real bricks & mortar shop! It's all super exciting and their opening is going to be in a couple of weeks (I'm crying into my tea that I can't make it to the launch, boo hoo!).
Here's a photo of my new gold ball stud earrings:

23 Sept 2010


Ok, not the best photo in the world, but here's a photo of my first go at engraving... Last night we had a lesson again and we started on our lions. This is what mine looks like so far... If you click on the photo, you can get a proper look, closer.

20 Sept 2010

teaching again

This week teaching starts again at South Hill Park - have lots of plans and things to show, so besides some small preparations to go, I'm ready for that! Went and had a look at the Caversham Artists' show yesterday, lovely location and very nice display too. Sorted out a bunch of stuff yesterday so now just need to knuckle down today so the week doesn't get too hectic. It's going to be busy though, with the teaching and meeting people and the engraving course on Wednesday! I'm updating Etsy and Folksy, adding things a day at a time. I've been adding things that I already had but hadn't been on either site yet. Soon I'll start adding new items (some I have to wait because I still need to get them hallmarked). So here are a couple of photos of washi earrings now up on Etsy & Folksy:

15 Sept 2010

mini pliers

Look at these super cute tiny pliers - a freebie from Walsh's at last week's Jewellery Symposium at Farnham Maltings:

14 Sept 2010

Caversham Artists autumn show

Caversham Artists' next show will be taking place on Saturday 18th (11-6pm) and Sunday (12-6pm) 19th September 2010. The exhibition is housed in Mays Barn, a historic 17th century brick & flint building tucked away in the garden of 234 Peppard Road, Emmer Green, RG4 8UA.

Check out the details here: http://cavershamartstrail.co.uk/

13 Sept 2010

inspirational week

Last week was packed with inspiring trips and new lessons and things. On Monday I went to International Jewellery London, which is a massive all-things-jewellery show at Earl's Court in London. The trip in was the usual London excitement, with the tube being sort of functioning - it had rained so hard that the gutters were overflowing and the water was gushing out of the cracks in a brick wall like a giant waterfall. I still got to the show, though, and was dazzled by the huge selection of gemstones and beads in what was only a small section of the event. There was lots to see and I got some useful information about boxes and display gear.
On Wednesday things got even better with my first evening of a 6 week course about hand engraving. The course is offered by the Hand Engravers' Association and in the first evening I learned a ton of things - even though I got home at 11.15pm I could hardly sleep for thinking about all the useful tips and things. I'm already looking forward to the next class this Wednesday evening!
And then to top off an already exciting week, on Friday I went to the Jewellery Symposium at the Maltings in Farnham. I took the chance at lunchtime to look around the New Ashgate Gallery, which had some amazing work in it. I went to three workshops - Reticulation & Heat Scarring, Keum Boo and lastly and most exciting, Polymorph and making a flocking machine. I'm going to try out all the things I learned as soon as possible! Polymorph is amazing stuff - you can heat it in warm water and then shape it to anything you like and then it cools and hardens to be like nylon. I can see the tool possibilities already!!
And last, but certainly not least, progress is being made on my brochure! I'll be updating my website, sending a newsletter and offering a brochure very soon...hopefully all by the beginning of October - so watch this space!

31 Aug 2010

things are getting busy again...

Tomorrow is September again, which I can't quite believe. Where did August go? Today is a bit of a running around day and I think I better get used to it - might be a running around type rest of the year! This morning I had an exciting dentist appointment. I use the word 'exciting' here to mean 'not remotely exciting' which is exactly how I like my dentist appointments! Nothing wrong so then I drove over to South Hill Park and took down the students' show. Went pretty well, 6 pieces sold and I'll return the rest when the term starts.
I've started posting again a bit on Etsy and Folksy. Will be trying to increase that slowly. Also finally getting towards the end of a project I'm working on with Hello Wilson - just a couple more things to do and it's nearly finished.
You can probably spot the most exciting news at the top of my blog/etsy/folksy/twitter....see anything new???

23 Aug 2010

want to learn how to make jewellery?

Click on the photo below for a closer look - take a jewellery class taught by an experienced silversmith and learn how to make your own creative pieces:

20 Aug 2010

Summer course over...

The summer course is over now, I think it went quite well. We discovered some interesting things, one of which is that hollow items with no holes can indeed explode during soldering. It hadn't happened before and then it happened twice - it is loud, an enormous bang! Luckily there were no injuries!! I covered metal inlay and things that look like inlay, for example, amongst others:

So now back to making more things and very soon hopefully heading off to London to get more boxes, as I'm out of nearly every type of box. I'm hoping the supplier won't be too low on stock...

16 Aug 2010

just randomly...

Just thought I'd point out these posts in case someone else finds these interesting. They are about the work life of one person in London in the 1940s over on Mary Portas' (of Mary Queen of Shops fame) blog: http://tiny.cc/3lhiu

11 Aug 2010


So Ernest Jones have agreed with no fuss to get the watch fixed, new strap and all at no cost to me. So now I just have to wait another 2 weeks. Sigh. Oh well, at least I didn't have to kick up a fuss.
The guys at The Watch Shop in Reading has been exceptionally helpful and polite. They went out of their way to help me get this sorted.
Anyway, in other news I am working on an order for a wedding gift - a collection for the bride & groom. I had one of the necklaces in stock, so I re-polished that:I've nearly finished a pair of the earrings, of which I had sold out:
And I just need to polish the cuff links which had also sold out:

10 Aug 2010


So I have been working on jewellery and will stick a photo here soon of some new stuff. However, am now posting to vent. You know when you have a little task that should be super easy? And then it goes horribly wrong? Through no fault of your own? Wellllll....so I had a very nice watch. I liked it a lot. My mom had the same one. She liked it a lot. Hers broke by accident. She wanted the same one again. We searched and scoured the internet, could not find one anywhere. It's a lovely, slim line Skagen watch. Very minimal, neat and modern. In the end, I gave my mom my watch because it seems Skagen have stopped making any of their slimline watches for women. They have men's, but they are way too big.
So, I needed a watch. I went to John Lewis, thinking they might still have a Skagen slimline watch for women because they used to have one. No luck. All other women's watches either covered with diamonds, pink, or otherwise bling. Nothing minimal.
So, went online to a reputable shop and bought a minimal calvin klein watch. No numbers, no extra dials, no fuss. It arrived a bit later than I had anticipated because it was out of stock.
Anyway, lovely watch - far too big. Can't self-adjust it because it has links. Go into town for what should be a 5 minute job and go into Ernest Jones. Can they do it? Yes. Now? Yes. About 40 minutes later - sorry can you come back tomorrow, I can't get it back together. I come back the next day, manager hasn't been able to do it either. Watch in pieces.
Took the watch to another shop. They are amazed at the incompetence of Ernest Jones. Turns out Ernest Jones broke one of the pegs. Come back tomorrow....
Went back today, turns out Ernest Jones hadn't the foggiest what they were doing and took out the wrong peg, breaking the watch strap. I need to buy a whole new strap. I haven't even worn the watch yet. Arrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhh.
So, now another week to wait while this shop fixes the problem. Will be presenting the bill to Ernest Jones. Why didn't they just stop when they realised they didn't know how to do it????
Sigh. Anyway....apologies about the long post about this, needed to vent!!!

2 Aug 2010

more cat action!

Thomas, who lives near us, made an extended visit today. (I'm also working on jewellery, but a cat photo for now...)

28 Jul 2010


Peppy, originally actually Pepe Romero (influence of a concert I'd just been to) is our family cat and he's nearly 21. He's still going strong and is super cute. Here are some photos to prove it!!

27 Jul 2010

Summer Course at South Hill Park

There are still a couple of spaces left on my summer course at South Hill Park! See here for details: http://tiny.cc/i1gb8
It's a three day course from Tue 17 Aug - Thu 19 Aug 10.00am - 4.00pm each day.

26 Jun 2010

fun photo

I just like this photo. It's a super close up of some laser hallmarking on a clasp for a piece I did which is part silver and part 9ct gold. You can't see this detail with the naked eye!!

18 Jun 2010

engagement ring...

and here's another commission. Sterling silver with ruby, sapphire and CZ. Middle stone in 'mock' tension setting - ie there's a tiny bridge behind it to make it sturdier. satin finish.

14 Jun 2010

more commissioned work

Here are some photos of a piece commissioned for a birthday. I think I said in a previous post, the hard part with this one was finding the right stone (checkerboard cut aquamarine). I found one and it looks much better than the photo the supplier sent. It also actually looks a lot nicer in real life than on any photo I could take. The light dances over the surface, hard to capture on a photo!! In any case, here is the final ring. Bezel set in sterling silver with a satin finish.

10 Jun 2010

and more wedding gifts

And a chop of the couple's names on cuff links and a pendant...chop is actually upside down on the cuff links in this photo, sorry! These look fairly simply but they took a whole load of steps to make!

8 Jun 2010

wedding gifts...

These have now been given to the various wedding guests, so safe to put up some photos. These are brooches and cuff links with silk Chinese cloth. The surround is all handmade by me, sterling silver: