more twiddly bit

•September 19, 2018 • 5 Comments

and some legs for later. There’s soemthing about that particular shade of madder for legs that makes them look like they belong to a fat toddler.

Another roll along

•September 14, 2018 • 2 Comments

perhaps the penultimate?

asterix finished

•September 10, 2018 • 5 Comments

I had some issues with the red being a lot bouncier than the stuff I’m used to, and with the white definitely being thicker than the colours – it really does stick up a bit – so I burnished the whole thing with a heavy glass and that seems to have sorted out a lot of the kinks.

It’s a bit on the sparkly side to photograph though.

I think I want to do tintin on the other side of the purse. I like this image but it will need a bit of smushing to get it the right size. I want to make the background with gold and black underside couching. Although I have to admit I was quite tempted by the spoof tintin in iraq

I’m going to measure this very precisely whilst it’s under tenstion, then draw tintin when I get the next canvas tensioned. I’m hoping to avoid my perrenial problem wherby I make to pieces for a purse and no matter how hard I try they come out slighly different and I end up have to add a bit to one or the other. In fact I’m going to write it here so I can’t lose the piece of paper. Left hand side 195 mm, right 189 (my inability to craw square might be part of the problem?) top159, bottom 160.

I have another project to do before I start tintin though. I ordered two new floor frames yesterday, but am aiming not to have four projects on the go at once, it was more a safety measure because one of my frames is thirty years old, and the other one has been repaired countless times due to the assorted strains of having been drastically widened and thrown around in the back of my van every other week. I thought it might be a good idea to get spares, and my tax bill was less than I expected so I treat myself.

Ring bling

•September 7, 2018 • 8 Comments

I had to set the West Yorkshire hoard ring straight away, but I had these as well.

This one I didn’t have plated. There are many variation on these medeival flower rings from fancy bands to tiny 2mm saphires, and pigeons egg rubies. I had one wiht a massive garnet, but I gave it away, so I made a smaller one for my little finger

Then I did a Byzantine style setting for my trial enamel flower from last week (the original was a round enamel, whereas mine is square)

And another for the little face enamel. This one ended up a bit messy, but it’s for me, so I’ll live with it

and a thirteenth century one with three stones. The original was a saphire and two garnets, but this one is saphire and amethyst. It was going to to saphire and ruby, but I cocked up the ruby bezels because they stretched out of shape when I bent the ring, so I fitted a couple of oval amethysts instead

And this one I only made because it was on the same page as the one with the enamelled face, and I couldn’t work out whether it had stones in or enamel or niello, or what, and the book was old and translated from Hungarian and didn’t have much info and the photo was black and white, so I decided to try amethysts.

Then the shape just went all wrong. I think I chose the wrong stones. I should have used triangular garnets. but ti’s still pretty?

as you can see they’re not even vaguely similar.

Obviously I shall wear them all at once, although possibly this will result in my knuckles dragging along the floor.

Your normal embrodiery posts will resume next week.

woodville bling

•September 6, 2018 • 2 Comments

I had to wait until Monday to get this lot plated,

So I decided to have the last two evenings off from sewing so I could set stones.

Earlier in the year I bought fabric to make a version of Elizabeth Woodville’s famous portrait. I haven’t started on the dress yet, but I made bling. Perhaps the reason the portrait is so well known is because there are so many versions.

And there are a lot of differences, so I’ve focused on the early versions.

I’ve seen versions of the jewellery based on the later painting

which as you can see depicts the upper necklace as a distinctive chevron pattern, with a central pendant containing only one stone and no pearls. The lower pendant is shown as a whopping big stone on a plain square – this seems clunky and unmedeival to me

But the two earliest versions are quite different

The upper necklace isn’t chevrons, it looks like either an impressionistic depiction of a broad chain, or perhaps a double row of small pearls. And the pendant has stones on the petals and pearls on the edge.

The lower pendant isn’t a solid square, either, it’s a far more gothic quatrefoil with even more pearls.

The later copyists got lazy and missed out a lot of detail.

So here’s my finished bling

For the top necklace I’ve gone for a broad chain, which is a double loop in loop. It’s not overly flexible, but for me it’s a feasable interpretation of the points of light on the first collar. I didn’t have a large pyramidal diamond (early diamonds weren’t the multi-faceted jobs we’re familiar with now) so I used a big white moonstone. And it sits well when it’s on

The other pendant was a problem for me. I can cope with a collar, but dangly pendants flapping around on my boobs literally get on my tits. So although I put a loop on the back for a black cord like the one in the portrait, I also put a small brooch pin on as well so I can fix it into place when  wearing it.

Setting the pendant was just a tale of disaster though. It was meant to have a large piece of amber in the centre to reflect the rich red of the one in the portrait. Because there’s a bit of a lag between making the thing and setting it because of the assay office, I have a compartment box where I keep stones for finished portraits. I saw that chunk of Amber last week, but I turned my entire workshop upside down on Tuesday evening, checked every box, scrabbled around under the bench, but couldn’t find that amber.

Which left me with a choice-

A) wait until the amber turned up, which would inevitably mean leaving it to go dusty on my bench for at least three years.

B) find something else to fit, and accept that the amber will now turn up next week.

So the only thing I had was a slightly too small smoky quartz, which I had to surround with an extra strip of silver inside the bezel to stop it moving. I’m expecting the amber to appear right in the middle of my bench at approximately 4.30pm on Saturday.

I also managed to snap off one of the two pendant loops (it had two to make it hang square) which is a problem because you can’t solder gilt metal without buring off the gilt. So I had to come up with a unsoldered repair.

I drilled two holes behind one of the bezels, pushed a looped wire through, and bashed it over inside the bezel before setting the pearl. I was worried it would sit a bit high though, so I used a bit of epoxy glue as well, which is a massive cheat. But at least now it has two loops again



beholdeth ye the subtle understated glory of my new ring!

•September 3, 2018 • 17 Comments

John at the platers got back from his holidays.

Gareth, not not known for his love of jewellery, had a reaction to my finished piece of art that mostly consisted of expletives, which only makes me want to make something even more garish.

I’m quite pleased with the back. The shank isn’t quite as defined a twist as I would have liked, since I had only round wire, which I had to square off and then twist, but I got the fiddly bits about right.

I still haven’t found the hallmark because they had to laser mark it, and I can never see those.

Gold palted silver with a garnet, based on the west yorkshire hoard.

And I had a lovely time stopping at the supermarket on the way back. I mean I actaully genuinely enjoyed a trip to the supermarket and found it an uplifting experience, because,

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love the way the interioirs work with the old building rather than boxing them in, the whole thing was just a complete joy. I wondered if it was an old prison, but the guy stacking shelves said army barracks – it goes round in a quad, with parking on what is presumably the old parade ground.

King playing a thing

•August 31, 2018 • 8 Comments

I think the thing is a dulcimer

I got the perspective on his chair all screwy, but never mind. He seems more concerned with not messing up his hair than with the tune, I think he just got it blow dryed.

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