6 Dec 2018

Jewellery class on Wednesday evenings at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading


Intermediate/Advanced Jewellery class on Wednesday evenings at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading

18:45 – 21:15 Wednesday evenings – intermediate/advanced jewellery class – next 10 week session starting 23 January £105

Continue learning silver jewellery making with an emphasis on more challenging projects. Students will be guided through a series of projects or a single more complex project. The focus will be on developing skills, so the class is for learners with some experience, but basic techniques will be reviewed as necessary. We will cover techniques including but not limited to stone setting and complex soldering. Full instruction in the use of tools and equipment will be given. Students can work in silver or copper or brass.

3 Oct 2018

jewellery at the Tiny Gallery in Henley

The lovely Tiny Gallery in Henley has a new selection of my jewellery with gemstones. On their website, they are currently showing a small selection of the jewellery. More pieces are in the gallery. There are earrings and pendants with brillaint red beryllium treated sapphires. There is a bangle, pendant, earrings, a brooch and rings with garnet - both faceted garnets and cabochon garnets. There are also several pieces with black checkerboard cut onyx cabochons. Here are some photos of my jewellery you can see at the Tiny Gallery!

tiny cup set garnet earrings

small cup set black onyx earrings

beryllium treated red sapphire small stud earrings

beryllium treated red sapphire drop earrings

beryllium treated red sapphire open circle stud earrings

garnet open circle brooch with double steel pin

11 Sept 2018

Jewellery commission

Really pleased that this secret commission was well received. Husband had this necklace and matching earrings commissioned for his wife as a special anniversary present. Sterling silver with amethysts - in the earrings 4mm amethysts and the necklace two 5mm and one 6mm amethyst.

21 Aug 2018

jewellery commission

I finished this commission of three stacking rings in sterling silver with the customer's own stones. The stones are zircon, peridot and amethyst in tribute to the suffragettes.

3 Aug 2018

ring commission

This is a recent ring commission I made. The ring is a tapered sterling silver shank with a square rub over set 6mm synthetic ruby.

21 Jun 2018

Jewellery Classes in Chesham, Buckinghamshire

You can now book for jewellery classes starting in September 2018, January 2019 and April 2019.

Be guided through a series of projects progressing to designing and making your own individual jewellery. No experience or artistic skills are necessary. Classes are for both beginners and those with experience. The course provides a range of hand tools and access to equipment. You will be introduced to the tools and given full instruction in the use of tools & equipment as the course progresses. Students can choose to work either in silver or they can work in copper or brass. Silver and other metals are not included in the cost. You will be given instruction in how to purchase your own materials.

Taster session: 11 September 2018 17:00-20:00 £32. Come and try the class before you sign up to a full term class!

Tuesday 9:30am-3:00pm (next 11 week session starts 18 September 2018) £347

Tuesday 5:00pm-7:00pm (next 11 week session starts 18 September 2018) £139

Tuesday 7:30pm-9:30pm (next 11 week session starts 18 September 2018) £139 SOLD OUT

To book, please click on this link to Buckinghamshire Adult Learning or call 01296 382403.

11 Jun 2018

Teaching jewellery making for a hen do

This past weekend I taught a group of eight women who were having a whole weekend of activities for a hen do. They each made a silver ring and a silver bangle. It all went well! If you would like to learn how to make your own silver jewellery, I teach private jewellery lessons in Reading!

Everyone showing off their finished silver rings

Eight finished silver bangles

Silver bangles with 'team bride' stamp!

23 May 2018

Cufflinks for Father's Day 2018

The New Ashgate Gallery is having a special cufflinks mini exhibit for Father's Day this June. I'm sending these four pairs:

17 Apr 2018

Jewellery weekend classes in Great Missenden,Buckinghamshire

Jewellery Weekend courses at Missenden Abbey in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire

To book, please click here for the Missenden School of Creative Arts website.

9 and 10 June 2018 (non-residential £197, residential £286)

This course aim to cover the basic techniques of jewellery making while adding a level of complexity by introducing stone setting. We will make a ring and discuss ways to size rings and design options. This will include sawing, shaping, filing, hammering, soldering, cleaning and finishing the piece of jewellery before setting the stone. We will also learn what to do for stones that aren’t totally flat on the bottom. We will then progress to making a pendant, learning how to saw and file shapes out of sheet, how to choose appropriate textures and how to design and make a bail for your pendant. The pendant will also have a bezel set stone, so you can practise your new skill. You can also make a second ring instead of a pendant if you wish. Time permitting, we will discuss embellishment options. If you have your own cabochon stone that you would like to set, please email the tutor to determine ahead of time if the stone is suitable: machidewaard@gmail.com. If you would like to progress in jewellery making, the tutor can advise of suitable classes.

9 and 10 August 2018

This course aims to teach students the basic principles of jewellery making and bezel setting a cabochon stone. You will start by learning how to use the basic tools required to make jewellery, such as the piercing saw, benchpeg, pliers, hammers, mandrels and torch. The first project will guide you through the fundamental techniques of jewellery making, such as piercing, shaping, filing, sanding, hammering, soldering and finishing. We will also make a bezel setting for a cabochon stone and solder it on to your piece of jewellery. We will then learn how to set the stone in the bezel setting. We will practise texturing techniques using hammers and the rolling mill. We will discuss how to design and plan your second project and depending on what you make, we will cover other techniques of jewellery making. You will leave with at least two finished pieces of jewellery in either copper or silver. The tutor can advise you on further courses to take if you would like to continue making jewellery. If you have questions before the class starts, please email the tutor at machidewaard@gmail.com

16 Apr 2018

Jewellery related trips on holiday in Death Valley

I just went on a trip to Death Valley in California and it turned out to be surprisingly jewellery-related. Death Valley attracted its fair share of miners during the late 19th century gold rush, but interestingly there were hardly any profitable mines in the area. One mine which was profitable was the borax mine! I may have been one of the most interested parties walking around the borax museum!! The museum was an outdoor selection of equipment used to mine and transport the borax mostly from the 1880s.

After the museum, I went to see the old borax mine. It's quite amazing to think of the miners slogging away in the desolate surroundings, especially as the average temperature during the summer months is 47C. If you click on this photo, you can read a bit about "white gold"! And you can see a photo of the iconic mule trains that were used to transport the borax. The mule trains became a symbol of the miners working in the Death Valley area, despite the fact they were only used for about 6 or 8 years total!

This is the view away from the borax mine down to the car park. It's amazing how much space there is and the sweeping, impressive views.
Here you can see part of a remaining mule train car - although the mules have been replaced by an engine. Imagine the same wagons with 15-20 mules in front - it would have been an impressive sight.
Some of the miners lived very close to the mine. It's hard to imagine the conditions, with the heat and desolation and very limited water sources. I believe they ate mostly tinned food, and certainly the Chinese workers recruited from San Francisco didn't really get a good deal!!! (Click to read more details)

Besides all the borax, a group of clearly very intrepid entrepreneurs decided to start a charcoal making operation way, way, way up in the mountains. You have to go pretty high to get to anywhere with some trees. These picturesque and impressive kilns were lined up in what really felt like the middle of nowhere. The charcoal was made by burning wood for days and then cooling it for days. The charcoal was sold to a "nearby" (NOT very near!!!) mine for silver smelting. (That's according to the sign I forgot to take a photo of!) The charcoal operation didn't run for very long - I think it was either 3 or 5 years. Stunning location, but so very isolated it's hard to imagine how the people there got enough food and water.

To top off all this jewellery-related excitement, in the nearby Owens Valley we passed a plant processing sodium bisulfate! That's safety pickle to jewellers!

We also went to the ruins of what was a profitable gold mine...about which more later when I get the photos downloaded. 

26 Feb 2018

Setting for small stones in my jewellery classes in Great Missenden

As part of exploring basket (or prong, or claw) setting, I showed one of my jewellery classes how to make this small basket setting, which is well suited to small stone around the 3-6mm range. You can find a full tutorial on this blog, which explains it very well: http://fluxplay.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/make-your-own-claw-setting.html 
I made two samples - a 4mm cz with the basket made from 0.5mm wire and a 6mm rose quartz with the basket made from 0.8mm wire. The one my student made was 5mm with 0.8mm wire - and it looks great! It's the one with the bail, my two samples are either side of it in the two lower photos.

(Please ignore the terrible state of my fingernails, that's a result of filing and sanding all the time!)

7 Feb 2018

Jewellery classes in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire

I have been busy teaching and making new jewellery! The new jewellery hasn't been photographed yet, so that will be coming up. In the meantime, a bit about the teaching.

I'm still teaching in Buckinghamshire - at Great Missenden. There are termly classes and Saturday classes for Bucks Adult Learning. There are also weekend courses and a summer 2 day course for the Missenden School of Creative Arts. For both, you can see details on my website: www.machidewaard.co.uk/classes

In November, I taught a private lesson in my studio in Reading: Introduction to Silver Jewellery Making. The results were three rings - a wide one with leaf texture, a twisted wire one and a wave ring.

Also in November, I taught another introductory course in Chesham where the students made a textured wide ring and a wave ring:

Two of those students came for a private lesson in January, and we made jewellery with bezel set cabochon stones:

In the termly classes (now at Great Missenden), we continue making interesting jewellery and working on things like Keum Boo technique (gold foil fusing) and stone setting (such as basket setting). This student made a silver saftey pin:

And here are some examples of student work on basket setting for cabocons and also earrings made with copper and silver: