Post archive

World Ploughing Championships 2016

I have met people from all over this Planet at the World Ploughing Championships 2016 - and they have been charming, friendly ambassadors for their countries. Forget celebrities and politicians,  I feel these are the most important people on the planet, people who put the food on the tables of the world and do so with hard graft and integrity.

My jewellery will be travelling to New Zeland, Finland, Croatia, Spain, Romania, USA, Ireland and several other place too and I am honored to have made it for such an audance.

Thank you for visiting Yorkshire. x

Good food & Blue Skies

Sun & silver, blue sky & beads.  I'm prepping for the Summer show season - the next one being Beverley folk festival -17th to 19th June &  free entry to the folk village, wonderful music & such great food I don't even bother to take pack up!

Back to normal (ish)

I'm happily back in the studio after a long absence (five weeks of proper flu) and then a four day event up at York where the weather was some-what fresh.  Wearing so many vests, jumpers & coats that when I dropped a greetings card on the floor I had to ask a customer to pick it up for me.  I resembled the Michelin Man (just with a pinker nose).  The cold weather was more than balanced by the warmth of the lovely people who stopped to chat and sometime buy too (which is always nice). 

I love working quietly in the studio, but these events allow me to meet people and see a different view.  I especially like the way the people who stop to chat seem to be articulate, intelligent and often humorous.  They brighten the day and make the job worthwhile.  

It’s been pearls today – two strands  done (one for a wedding on Saturday  - and I only received it today – Tuesday, and one a heavy grey pearl necklace.  Another yet to be done, a long strand of cream pearls, 75 in total, so I think I will find an amusing broadcast on the radio & get cracking.


Cheerio  Diane

Up on the Moors

New Blue Skies. 

I have been asked to add the Jeweller to an exhibition at the North Yorkshire Moors National Park visitor centre - a new venue for me so it's all hands to the pumps here!  In the studio at 7.30 am this morning - and I got to watch the sunrise too.  It's also been a busy week for necklace & pearl restringing & reknottingS I think the Christmas "Downton Abbey" effect is still going on - whenever this is on the TV I get an increase in pearl work - lets hope they make another series!

I'm also working on more Celtic inspired pieces (and I need to get these off to Assay for the poor patient lady waiting for her ring).

So on that note - cheerio  x Diane

This time of year as the days grow shortened and the hens begin to look a bit despondant, I find my own world contracts.  I spend my days either in the studio, the kitchen or on forays to the supermarket and post office.   It is a seasonal pattern and after nearly ten years , friends & family have begun to get used to the fact I dissappear.  (Or at least I hope they do). 

I'm very busy in the studio preparing comissions and trying to keep up with the new stock for the galleries & online shops, and as a one woman band (My lovely student Pippa went of to academic things at University) I sometimes struggle to keep up.  The hosue is looking particulalry dusty again!

But donlt misunderstand me, I'm not complaining.  The studio is bright & warm, often there is a good play on the radio & I like my solidary workspace.  It gives me time to reflect and enjoy the process of creating the jewellery.  I have time to think about the tasks of my work. 
For example, Today I have knotted a truly priceless string of pearls – I’m just waiting for the jewellery shop to collect them for their customer.  I know they are priceless because they are the worst quality I have ever seen – very little pearl colouring left on them, glass beads showing, no gilt on the clasp (and only two of eight crystals left).  They have obviously been worn constantly over a period of time, maybe even 60 years.  So to wear a string like these and have them professionally reknotted, they must have great emotional significance – more so than that big blue diamond sold today -  a thing of commodity, hence their priceless nature.  I feel honoured to have worked on them.   I touch a lot of pearls within my work , and  teir value is not always just the price.

xDiane

Practicing with a bit of code for Etsy!

<a href="//www.etsy.com/shop/SilverHares?ref=offsite_badges&utm_source=sellers&utm_medium=badges"><img src="//img0.etsystatic.com/site-assets/badges/en/holiday/Facebook_Revised.jpg"></a>

I'm hoping you see abadge above - if not I will just have to go back to my hammers!

I had a good day yesterday teaching a one to one workshop with a lady who was a beginner to silver jewellery making.  She quicly grasped the techniques and made two lovely rings, one in copper and a big statement piece in solid sterling silver.  So thank you Elaine for your hard work.

Cheerio  Diane

A new Toy!

 Lovely big son has suddenly changed from being a small chap around the house, to large strapping engineer (you take you eye off them for a minute.....) anyway from a purely selfish point of view this means I persuaded him to make an alteration to my hand press in order to increase the accuracy of point of pressure.  Now I just need to encourage him to bolt it to my desk (before I accidentally catapult it out of the window).  

Hmm I wonder what else I can encourage him to assist with.... Pearl knotting?  Definitely not, but I would like a sinusoidal stake....

Bejewelled repairs

Just a quick post because I am catching up on some commission & repair work.  I have been changing some garnet set stud earrings into drop earrings for a customer, and replacing a missing pearl in a ring.  With the pearl replacement, it is tracking down a matching (size colour & shape) pearl that takes  the time, but luckilly the one I have found looks like it has always been there.

I have my first big four day event for Made in Yorkshire - at York on 27th to 30th August, and also Thornton-Le-Dale on 5th August - Busy, busy (and a scary amount of money committed to the hire of the stands - I'm feeling the pressure).

Let's hope for a busy Summer!

Cheerio  x Diane

Beverly Folk Festival 2015 & 2016

I am back from a truly wonderful weekend at the 2015 Beverley folk festival (and already looking forward to the 2016 Beverley Folk Festival 17th to 19th June 2016).

I met lots of really nice people, bands visitors, other traders.  Had lovely food from Kerbedge & Mashed  &  met many customers old & new.



Lovely to see you all again.  & Thank you all for you support - do pop in & see me at the next events. Driffield Show. Kilnsey Show & Thornton-le Dale.

Cheerio  Diane (in a scarily tidy studio!!!!)

mending a necklace

I'm packing up beads this morning because I'm doin a talk & demonstration at North Newbald WI tonight.  We are going to make necklaces, bracelets & earrings (and later in the week I am doing a jewellery making hen party - so plenty of new beads to add to the boxes).

Just had a customer pop in with a blue multi strand necklace - I made it several years ago and a strand had worked it's way loose. I was pleased to be able to mend it for her, and very impressed at how carefully she has looked after it (I have had a couple of similar ones back to repair after the dog ate them!).  The necklace, priced at £48 can be made in any colour - so if you fancy owning one, please mail me for details .


Jewellery Restoration

It must be a day for restoration - I'm just about to clean an old tennis bracelet ans add a safety chain for a customer coming to collect  it later in the day & I have also had an interesting enquiry about refurbishing & restoring an old (and treasured) tiara for a wedding next year.  I am confident I will be able to help both customers.

It's just a pity I'm not as efficient in the kitchen - burnt bread AGAIN today - I was out in the garden planting beans out, & didn't hear the beeper.  One job at a time perhaps?

Diane (nightmare in the kitchen) Lee

Studio Sounds & textures

It's been a while since I was on my bench, so this morning I am doing a bit of depletion guilding with sterling silver as a warm up exercise - this is a process where the metal is heated & quenched (so I'm being  a blacksmith in my imagination everytime I make the 'sqwwuish' sound) several times to bring a layer of pure silver to the top surface - the next step is to reticulate the metal.

Once it reaches this stage it crinkles as it cools  - I wonder if that makes a sound too?

The silver is destined to become sample silver wedding rings in response to a customer enquiry & I want to present several different textural surfaces. 


.....& I'm hoping lovely Hubby will cook the tea tonight whilst the studio light is at it's best.

Hens & Pearls

 The Hens are laying eggs daily (and doing quite a bit of shouting about it), Hitchcock the rooster is full of the joys of Spring  (& thankfully seems to have got over his Pink wellington fetish) and I am forgetting to let anyone know where I will be exhibiting & teaching andwhat am I up to ? Wonderful new pearl necklaces made. A talk for MAG last week -we raised £79, enough to clear 40 square metres of landmines. A full day's class yesterday plus a jewellery making party with delightful little girls, a talk tonight to an Inner Wheel Group & two days sales event at Forest Pines in Lincs this weekend......no wonder the studio is untidy .  I will update the events page, so do please pop along & see me!

Bangles, bluebells & bespoke jewellery workshop.

Hello everyone - it's a really quick hello as I am just about to dash off to be the Artist in residance as part of Art In the Garden with The national Gardens open for Charity today.  I am going to be at Hotham Hall & will be taking some of my tools & jewellery (but thought it best to leave my blow torch at home today).

It has been a busy week, yesterday I held a bespoke workshop for three ladies who wanted to make a silver bangle.  They enjoyed their afternoon & are going to join me for a ring making session. 

You don't need to wait for a set class, get together with a few friends & commission me to set up a workshop!

Right I'm off to put on about six layres of clothing !

Cheerio  Diane x

Childrens Jewellery Parties & Pearl knotting

It's 10:30 on a Monday morning & in a burst of new years resolution energy I have updated my webpage with details of a beading jewellery workshop for 2015, booked in details of a Children's jewellery making party and reknotted a string of pearls for one of the highstreet jewellers. 

But will it last?  lets hope so and now I had better get on with a very special gold heart commission made from ethical gold.

Happy new year all

x Diane

Monty & Mabel

All of a sudden I have been making penguin jewellery - more specifically Monty & Mable jewellery.  Penguin necklace & penguin earrings - very cute pieces for Christmas 2014.
So May I take this opportunity to wish you & Yours a very Merry Christmas & Happy 2015

x Diane

Jewellery making Beading workshops

Well I don't know whether this website has suddenly appeared in a new search engine, but all of a sudden I have had four enquiries in a week for beading / jewellery making workshops?  Perhaps it is just that people are staying in during the dark winter nights and want a fun & creative hobby to enjoy?

Either way I am pleased because I am looking forward to spending the day teaching two new enthusiasts at the beginning of November. In addition tomorrow night I am running a drop in session for a Youth club and teaching my adults silversmithing on Thursday.  (the house will be getting dustier by the day :D).

I didn't come in to the studio to do the blog, I actully popped in to print a photo of Hitchcock the gorgeous Cockerel (Itchick turned out to be a boy), as he is my latest muse for my watercolour paintings! 

Good night!  x Diane


A Springy Hare

I'm working on a commission for a hare ring for KF.  It's taking a little time because with family events, I needed to wait until things calmed down (I believe the mood transmits to the metal) so things needed to be balanced before I could start the work. 

On Friday I began, but just as I readied myself to curve the hare to the shape of the ring it sprang away, disappearing from view - it's a tiny one only about 12mm in length.  I searched, I crawled around the floor on my hands & knees, I even got the handheld Hoover out & then proceeded to sort the contents.  No sign.  I began mentally to compose a letter to KF explaining the situation & then had to go out to another meeting.  On my return I continued to search stopping only when Lovely Hubby arrived home & enquired whether I was hiding from view.  I explained the only place I thought the mischievous hare could be was behind the wooden beading at the base of my workbench; where there is a small gap, and debated whether I could remove it. 
Being of a more practical (and less destructive nature) he suggested merely removing the bottom drawer to see if it had dropped through. And there sitting on the ledge was the tiny hare.  Pitifully grateful, I secreted it safely away with the ring ready to start work on Monday, and now at almost the end of the day, it is running (firmly attached) over the hills in the Moonlight image of the ring. 

A mischievous, springy hare, so full of life that even made of metal it has a life of it's own.  And KF, it's almost ready for you.

x Diane

A close encounter with an unexploded bomb

It's all been a bit quiet here lovely people, but I am now back in the studio after a very intense few weeks. I have travelled to Laos, in Indo-China, visited amazing sights & landscapes, seen land mine clearance in the truest sense of the phrase and met inspirational people. M.A.G. team I salute you. 

Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped around 2.5 million tons of bombs on Laos. While the American public was focused on the war in neighboring Vietnam, the US military was waging a devastating covert campaign to cut off North Vietnamese supply lines through the small Southeast Asian country. People in the West were unaware of this, known as the secret war, even today few people know what was and still is going on.

The nearly 600,000 bombing runs delivered a staggering amount of explosives: The equivalent of a planeload of bombs every eight minutes for nine years, or a ton of bombs for every person in the country—more than what American planes unloaded on Germany and Japan combined during World War II. Laos remains, per capita, the most heavily bombed country on earth.


http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/4/4/40_years_after_secret_us_war_in_laos_ended_millions_of_unexploded_bomblets_keep_killing_laotians

Whilst we were there the magnificent MAG ladies blew up an unexploded bomb in front of us.  These brave people have to deal with this situation everyday.  Imagine what it is like to send your child out to school or play never knowing if  they will return well, alive or maimed. 

The deadly legacy of the Vietnam War lives on today in the form of unexploded cluster bombs, which had about a 30 percent failure rate when they were dropped from American planes over large swaths of Laos. Experts estimate that Laos is littered with as many as 80 million "bombies," or bomblets—baseball-sized bombs found inside cluster bombs.  Made by Honewell (the company who probably made your heating thermostat) - something to think about next time you need to make a purchase.....

I have been given an opportunity to see this first hand and want to do something to help these gentle people.  Have a look at my facebook page for more details of fundraising for MAG & what I plan to do.

Diane, living a sheltered and privileged life.




It's not all jewllery

I like to be in the studio as early as I can in the morning, but before I start there are a few regular tasks.  One of these is sorting out my tiny flock of hens. 

Stormageddon - the huge Welsummer and her chick 'Itchick" as we are still waiting to see if we have a He-chick or a She-chick, and the two blondes Cerberus and Odin (my son named them).  My gang are enjoying a bit of sun today & yesterday.  Following a moult, Storm has all her feathers back and is properly ruling the roost again.  Itchick is still snuggling up to her Mum (is this feminizing behavior - I hope so) as much as possible and the two blondes have been giving us a couple of eggs each day for the last week.  I put lots of straw in the hen house yesterday (possibly too much ) but they all went to bed early & snuggled down .  The blondes have never roosted and after trying three different perches (two at different heights at the same time) and physically putting them on, they still don't perch, just snuggle down.  I suppose like people, not every one is the same, and because they are happy healthy & laying I’m just leaving them to it.

 I'm packing up & listing jewellery for despatch for the galleries for the pre-Christmas rush, but looking round the studio I should probably be tidying up before my student comes in to help tomorrow - better get on with it x 

Pearl Knots & Patience

I can't believe it is Thursday already, the week has gone so fast - much like the year, and there is still so much to do.

I have been self employed for nearly ten years now, and although work comes in fairly regularly I still worry on occasion whether I should be getting the job pages out.  That said, the in-box is looking pretty busy at the moment  with plenty of jewellery restoration, pearl and coral beads to knot and string and enough finishing & polishing of the metal jewellery to keep the Mr Sheen fairy busy (giving my age away with that one). 

It's dull, wet & cold outside (typical English Summer) making it so much easier to be indoors working.  I'm wearing my summer outfit, of long trousers, vest , t shirt wooly jumper and body warmer, although this is partly because I am spending the whole day knotting a series of jobs for a customer.  One necklace I have just finished  had a pearl which had a hidden blip just at the point where the thread passes back through - the result of this?  An extra 20 minutes carefully easing the needle through a single bead.  It's done, it's finished and perhaps I do have more patience than I actually give myself credit for.    (Mind you it took so long my leg went numb & have had to walk around a bit to get the circulation going). 

Right off to do star jumps in the hall.
 

x Diane

Restoration of Old Jewellery

I have been restoring an old brooch of great sentimental value to a customer and have replaced the missing "diamonds" and given it a new silver plate coat.  The customer has just emailed to say how pleased she is with it (which I am grateful about because it was to use a studio term "blooming fiddly").
Must learn to say no occasionally!   Right off to do what I am really supposed to be doing today - it involves a vacuum & duster sigh....  x Diane


Professor Alice Roberts, students & Sunshine

It's sunny in the studio and I am listening to Professor Alice Roberts on the radio -(Lovely lady & brilliant scientist, in fact I would very much like to make her some jewellery).  And with the start of my cheerful, helpful Summer student today, I am finally making some headway at catching up.

A husk of hares is well on the way for a patient customer and I have finished the renovation of an old beloved stone-set feather brooch.  I thought it would take two to three hours, it took nearly three full days. Deary, deary me, but it is finished, looks good & I hope the customer is happy with the result!

A long thread

People look surprised when they ask me what I do for a living and hear the reply "Professional pearl knotter".  "Is that a job?" they inquire Well, it's one facet of mine and a task allowing a significant degree of contemplation.




 I have spent most of the day reknotting a necklace I first did years ago.  An extremely long double stranded piece, with crystal details, it brought back memories from that time.  It was done in my tiny studio, too small to fit two, at the top of a steep flight of stairs.   Customers would wait patiently whilst I ran up & down those steps, gathering different beads and materials to show them at a time when I was younger, fitter & thinner. Involuntarily made redundant, I was also a single parent, trying to support my small children & myself with the only work I could find to fit around school hours.   We like to call them the interesting times.

Years later, the small children are tall young adults, I have the love & support of my endlessly patient husband and a ground floor studio with much more space.  I am older, a bit more curvy, less anxious and much happier.      I am blessed to be able to do this work,  to be there for my family, and hopefully as the lady clasps the refurbished pearls about her neck, she will feel a little of that contentment knotted into the strands.

x Diane

 

A new online shop

Hello Lovely people.  It's been an admin morning (and I need to return library books too) so no metal working so far today  But I have just gone live with my new online shop on Folksy <a href="http://folksy.com/shops/Silverhares" ><img src="http://folksy.com/images/badges/folksy_blogbadge_Find_Small.jpg" alt="Find Me On Folksy" /></a>


Where I hope to bring my new flower jewellery to the attention to you lovely folks. Hammer or library  - it's a toughy - but it is going to have to be library :(  

Easter Egg Time

Easter Egg Time - really!  With the addition of Cerberis, Odin & Stormageddon our three new hens (My son came up with the names) there is a definite Easter egg theme going on.  We are on egg no 12 today and really enjoying having the hens.

I have some cute little chick decorations ready for the Waters Edge Easter weekend too- I am there from Saturday 19th April to Monday 21st April  10-am to 4pm.  so come & say hi!

May you have an Eggciting Easter. (get it? Egg-citing).







Quick Update

It is April and we are enjoying April showers.  I am actually having a day off and am supposed to be out in the garden planting up a new border, but just whilst the shower finished I thought I would nip into the studio for five minutes. 

This week I have been working on  pet portrait jewellery for a surprise commission - no details until it has been delivered, but it is a bespoke pet portrait.  So if you know someone who has a treasured cat, dog, horse (or chicken) and you want to give them a special gift - ask me for my price list!

Ok wellies on. spade at the ready and I'm off!

x Diane

Update I can publish the image as the new owner has (and loves it) .  This is Rosie The Dachsund !