11 Dec 2013

been a while...

Been a couple of months since I wrote a post, but it's been busy busy busy. Always the same in the time leading up to Christmas, things get hectic! I've been making loads, but some of those things are secret Christmas presents, so no revealing them here yet. I had a fun time with Jane Tadrist at the two crafts fairs that we did - one in Farnham and the other in Winchester.

This is one of Jane's pieces, a rose gold plated large star pendant:
My mom has also been busy with her portion of the Art is Davis gallery in Davis, California. Coming up for Christmas, she made a little penguin installation (mini penguins from Jam Eton Gallery!) and also made a mama penguin for the mini penguins, who guards over them from the corner! Amazing!



Today I'm working on making another of these bracelets and another pair of these earrings:


In other news, I'll be doing my part for the Windsor & Eton Living advent calendar on 19 December, next Thursday evening, at 6:15pm at Jam Eton Gallery at 81 High Street Eton. Come along and join in the fun if you can make it :-) Find out more here: http://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/livingadvent
Oh yes and Jam Eton has a shiny new website! You can see my page on it here: http://jam-eton.co.uk/makers/machi-de-waard.html


23 Oct 2013

Desire jewellery and silversmithing fair at Winchester

Come see me and Jane Tadrist in November at Desire:


1 Oct 2013

Lace tie slide made from wedding dress lace

A couple months ago, I made a lace tie slide for a wedding. Having already made the engagement and wedding rings, this was a secret gift for the wedding day from the wife-to-be to her future husband. He doesn't wear cufflinks, so a tie slide was another option. The lace was an extra piece from her wedding dress, so it was very personal and truly one-of-a-kind. This was the process of making the tie slide:

Machi de Waard lace tie slide

24 Sep 2013

Quote

I really like this quote and it took some finding, because I saw it years ago, but here it is: this is a really good way of saying that when you see the finished piece, there are years of hard work behind that one piece that works, that looks good, that is finished!


13 Sep 2013

Festival of Crafts


Festival of Crafts!

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 October 2013, 10am-5pm (Sun 4pm)

Farnham Maltings is delighted to host its 17th annual festival of crafts, a celebration of contemporary crafts, part of Farnham Craft Town Month, in one of south-east England’s creative hot spots.
Festival of Crafts brings together over 80 designer-makers and offers a great opportunity for visitors to buy bespoke craft pieces and gain inspiration from skilled professionals.
Contemporary crafts on show include ceramics, textiles, glass, metal, jewellery and wood. Items range from embroidered accessories, bespoke wallpaper and handmade furniture.

I will be there, along with my good friend and fellow jeweller, Jane Tadrist. If you'd like a complimentary entry ticket, please contact me!

I was delighted to see that my little stud earrings made it on to the flyer (you can click on the photo below for a larger view):


Also, while I was at the opening of the Autumn Craft Exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery a few weeks ago, I saw some work which I thought was really beautiful, so I bought myself a piece - a tiny (4.5cm) ceramic vessel by Jill Haddock. It's lovely, with little layered circles on the edge. Here's a photo:




30 Aug 2013

New Ashgate Gallery Autumn show

The New Ashgate Gallery Autumn exhibition opening reception is this evening from 6-8pm. I am participating with a set of oxidised versions of my gold ball collection. This will include several new pieces, such as these two pins - both about 70mm long with a stopper at the end. Elegant and minimal, they would make a chic addition to an outfit! The circles are about 11mm wide and the pins are silver.

These bold statement earrings haven't been shown for a while and this is the first oxidised pair I've made:
Another pair of earrings, available in this mid length or in a longer version, are new to my collection as well:
To see the full collection, visit the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham.

New Ashgate
Waggon Yard
Farnham
Surrey
GU9 7PS
http://www.newashgate.org.uk



9 Aug 2013

cleaning some neglected silver plated items

I have a pair of silver plated salt and pepper shakers which I really like for sentimental reasons and the amusing family stories attached to them. I have had them now for several years, having found their way to me via various family members. I really do like them, but sadly neglected them at the back of a cupboard. Hopefully by doing this post about cleaning them, I can pretend I didn't actually neglect them but was embarking on a carefully planned project to demonstrate how to get rid of bad tarnish on silver plated items.

Of course you can use a polishing cloth - although a bit slow with such bad tarnish. You can also use silver cream polish. However, if you don't have that handy and you have some silver plated items either sat in storage for ages or simply rediscovered at the back of a box somewhere, then toothpaste will do the job. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, so will quickly and easily remove the worst of the tarnish with a bit of scrubbing with an old toothbrush.

So, to demonstrate:

1. Here is my as-part-of-this-project neglected salt and pepper shakers.
2. Put a dab of toothpaste on the object and have an old toothbrush (never again to be used on teeth, I say!) handy.

3. Scrub away on said object, adding toothpaste if necessary. You can already see after a couple of seconds it makes a difference:
4. Compare with other objects not yet clean. Feel smug.
5. Proceed in same manner with all remaining objects.
6. After drying, use a silver cloth to give the objects a vigorous final rub down. Take picture and sit back in awe. The whole process took about 10 minutes.
***disclaimer -- this is what I was told was useful to remove bad tarnish. Works for me, might not work for everything.

5 Aug 2013

500th post!


Blogger informs me that this is my 500th post!

On Saturday I received the New Ashgate Gallery programme for their autumn shows and to my delight my gold vermeil mini pendant is featured (see below).  You can see the whole programme on the front page of the New Ashgate website. Today I am working to finish the last piece in the collection I am sending for this autumn craft collection. It's a new piece and hopefully I will have photos by the end of the week. The opening reception for the show is Friday August 30th from 6-8pm.


Machi de Waard at New Ashgate gallery

22 Jul 2013

lace

My lace collection has been getting a lot of attention lately - perhaps it's the warm weather or the season of weddings soon approaching. September is peak wedding season, according to a wedding facts booklet I once got from Cookson Gold. In any case, I still have plenty of my small lace imprint stud earrings, available on Etsy.

The 13th wedding anniversary is the lace anniversary, which doesn't make it easy to find a gift for the husband or non-lace loving partner. But my lace cufflinks include a lace imprint without being girly or obvious. Also available on Etsy.
Also in the same collection, I have a narrow and a wide bangle which have a pleasingly soft finish. They are larger items, so have a certain tactile quality that is not so present with the smaller earrings. I don't have them available on Etsy at the moment - simply because sizing is much easier in person! If someone knows what inside diameter they need, then it's easy. If you like seeing jewellery in person, I will be at the Festival of Crafts this October at Farnham Maltings! More about that closer to the day, in the meantime some photos of the bangles (6mm wide and 11mm wide):





1 Jul 2013

new bangles

Shiny new bangles...in stages....

Waaaaaaaaay back at the beginning, making them round and cleaning them up:


Then some more polishing and adding the gold ball.....


Then more polishing, yet more polishing and some more polishing on top of that....and voila....a chic, minimalist bangle with gold ball detail. Bangle is 4mm wide....




19 Jun 2013

blast from the past - wedding rings


I was thinking about all the wedding rings I've made and realised I never put a photo here of these particular rings. They are 18ct white and yellow gold alternating stripes, with the white gold (with a textured finish) set deeper so the yellow gold is higher. The one on the left is the woman's ring, very small, I think it was size H. The man's ring is a square ring, sometimes that shape works better with thinner fingers that have wide knuckles. I made the rings in silver first to test the process and sizing, which turned out to be a good thing, as the groom lost his ring! So he's wearing the silver version now - luckily for him I still had it and it fits.

A couple posts ago I wrote about a triple sapphire wedding ring I made. I've made numerous plain bands - no stones or decorations - in a wide variety of sizes, widths and profiles. There have been several wedding bands made to fit against a complicated-shaped engagement ring. As I look through my photos while writing this post, I realise I didn't take photos of many of those, shame!

This is another wedding ring, a silver ring with 4 diamonds set all the way around with an oval profile.

 

These two rings were for a couple who wanted unique rings - each quite different to each other but with a unifying element. That element was a touch of gold. The ring on the left has a solid gold ball sitting on a delicate shank, while the one on the right has one silver arm and one gold arm.

16 May 2013

another ring

Here's another ring I just finished for a customer who was looking for a Russian wedding ring. As far as I'm aware, a Russian wedding ring is traditionally three rings, each with a D-shape profile, interlinked with each other. I think usually they are three colours of gold (rose, yellow and white) but my customer was looking for an all-silver one. Here's the result, which she is picking up on Friday:

(According to a very cursory search on Google, the three rings were in a Russian wedding ring to represent the holy trinity. Not sure how reliable the website I landed on was, though!)

15 May 2013

wedding and engagement ring

I have just finished an wedding ring for a customer - she already had an engagement ring from me. The engagement ring is my blue sapphire peek ring, which is this one:

My customer had a look at various rings I had done and together we came up with a triple sapphire ring that  echoes a stack ring, sitting against the above peek ring with a slight overlap, thus giving the allusion of a single ring and showing continuity between the wedding and engagement rings. This is the finished wedding ring:

They are both sterling silver with a matte finish with 3mm blue sapphires.

29 Apr 2013

mega 13 course birthday meal

It was Dougall's birthday a couple of weeks ago and I made him and a friend a 13 course meal. I cooked and cooked and cooked until I could cook no more. It took about a day and an evening and here's the result: (order may have been different, I can't remember it all now!!)

cream cheese and walnut and roasted peppers palmiers- tastey! 

Spiced macadamia nuts - very nice but didn't realise how expensive macadamia nuts are!
Toasted walnut and stilton balls - not for the faint-hearted
gazpacho with caraway and pimiento twist - twists were fun to make
cherry soup - reminiscent of mulled wine and liked by all
Forgot to take photo - courgette noodles with chashew and sun dried tomato sauce. courgette in thinly peeled sliced are delicious alternate to noodles, who would have thought...
Spicy coconut and beetroot soup, rather lovely and the herby yogurt that went with it rather unnecessary. lots of work though.
asparagus spirals - would have been yummy if i hadn't picked dud, rather stringy asparagus!
Not a success - apple crumble cocktail. Would have been better if I had checked if we had ice. We didn't. So the crumbled digestive and apple sauce that was supposed to be decorative on top just floated around in the drink in a bad way. oh well.
Stuffed tomato - with gruyere and cream sauce. Nick's fave, although there is a LOT of cream in the sauce, so could probably be better with less cream and just the gruyere. Dougs said nice rocket and dressing underneath!
meh. Parsnip pudding. just a tarted up version of mashed parsnip really, not that exciting.
Blueberry tart - a fave from my childhood, wanted to see if it's still good. it is. delicious almond crust and fat blueberries covered with apricot and grand marnier jelly.
chewy biscotti a success with everyone - lots of dried fruit in those! served with limoncello - recipe said to make it, but that was one step too far so I bought a bottle. Great with the biscotti. 



So that was the whole meal - recipes are here: (I had to add a half pint of water to the courgette recipe, otherwise it wouldn't blend, still tasted great.)

can't find the palmiers recipe, but plenty similar on BBC good food website. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spiced_macadamia_nuts_76146

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/stiltonandtoastedwal_78906

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gazpachoshotswithpim_93819

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/warm_cherry_soup_15890 (totally ignored the thing about the cherry stones because it was too hard and I had no hammer)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spicybeetrootandcoco_85158

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/16/vegetarian-main-course-recipes (courgette noodles are in this article)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/asparagus_and_puff_00402

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/04/christmas-vegetarian-recipes-shaun-hill (parsnip pudding is in this article)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/biscotti_with_limoncello_55604

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gruyre_stuffed_tomatoes_08076

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/apple_crumble_cocktail_95570

you'll have to email me if you want the blueberry tart recipe, that's old and not online as far as I know!

8 Apr 2013

Planning your wedding?


If you're planning your wedding and looking for a photographer, let me recommend Loren Stone. She does amazing photographs! You can see a selection of her photographs on her website, which is http://www.stonephotos.co.uk

Loren studied photography at Reading College, where she got her BA and qualified for the British Institute of Professional Photographers Licentiateship, demonstrating her professional level of skill and competence. Loren really enjoys weddings and has lots of experience - she could probably also give you good recommendations for wedding favours! The other day, she brought in a rather nice chocolate that was in the shape of mini cake slice. Not that she offered me any....!!! ha, just kidding :-)

Anyway, I thoroughly recommend Loren for your photography needs! Go have a look at her website, go on,  you'll be impressed. http://www.stonephotos.co.uk

20 Mar 2013

Various updates


So if you'd like to take a fun day course on how to make silver clay jewellery, you can do exactly that at Jam in Eton on either (or both) April 20th and April 21st. There are a mere 8 students per class and the setting is lovely, so do book soon if you'd like a place. You can find details - as well as a video of the last course held at Jam - on the Jam website here: http://www.jam-eton.co.uk/pages/workshops.html

In other news, I have been quiet but that's because I am making, making, making. I have a few commissions, a couple of small jobs and I am preparing new work for October. I will be the featured jeweller at Jam for October (you can see their exhibition schedule here to see all the exciting jewellers on show: http://www.jam-eton.co.uk/pages/exhibitions_diary.html) I am planning to have some new pieces, as well as some one-off pieces just for that exhibit.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is totally bored with the winter. I'm bored of my winter clothes, bored of the damp cold and bored of waiting around at freezing train stations. So I was delighted to feel a tinge of warmth at lunch yesterday - there was even a small ray of sunshine. Hopefully this means the tide will be turning soon and we can all chill out a bit. I saw this amazing cake yesterday in Eton that may actually herald the beginning of spring, it's from Foxy's Cake Co at the end of Eton high street:



It is my plan to put a couple more items up on Not on the High Street and Etsy this week, so hopefully that will come to fruition as well. I need to take some photos before that can be done, but I am hopeful that I'll have a super productive day today! Tea at the ready!


8 Feb 2013

updated page on Craft & Design

My page on Craft & Design's Selected Makers site has been updated. You can see it here:
http://www.craftmaker.co.uk/machidewaard/ and if you fancy it, there's still time to vote for me at the bottom of that page for Craft & Design's Selected Maker awards for this year.