Tuesday, 28 May 2013


The learners have been very busy lately, pushing their skills to produce some excellent finished designs.


 Inspired by another maker, the lovely Jane Riddiford, the students asked to learn how to make wire wrapped rings last week. These first attempts are fantastic and they have managed to make the designs in their own individual styles.



Lyn is a talented beader and she showed me how to make this lovely peyote stitch ring. It's a technique I've never tried and thanks to Lyn, I now feel ready to have a  go!
 Some of the ladies from the lifestyle course and previous, accredited course joined me at a local fair last week, showcasing their work and making sales :) A lovely day was had by all and I was blown away by the quality of their work.
From left: Steph, Sue, Lyn & Julie  
Shown here is a selection of the beautiful work of Sue who specializes in occasion jewellery and even makes stunning wedding gowns!
A selection of work

Finally, congratulations to all 10 students from the accredited course wh received their certificates last week. I am so very proud of them (and me!) for all their hard work.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

LIFESTYLE COURSE - Learner's work

As we start week 6 of a 10 week lifestyle jewellery-making course at Bedwas Adult Education Centre, I wanted to share some of the work done so far.
Everyone was keen to try wire wrapping and so we've concentrated on this for the last few sessions, having a go at various techniques. The class is a mixture of abilities and skill levels but all have made some great designs. All apart from one learner has attended my workshops and/or courses before and I've chosen some repeat designs for them to tackle as well as new ones. Several people in the group attend glass making classes with other tutors at the centre and have incorporated their own lovely pieces into the designs.

Lyn recently completed the accredited course with me and is a regular workshop attendee at various classes in Bedwas Centre

Tracy also took the accredited course with me and enjoys the design element of the making


Steph too completed the accredited course and has done several workshops with me at both BAEC and Y GALERI

Ken is new to my classes but is a regular at the glass making  ones in BAEC and other workshops



Lyn, Steph and fellow students Julie and Sue, will be joining me at a craft event 

Sunday 19th May at Bedwas Workman's Hall, 11am-3pm. 

A selection of their work will be available to purchase, as will some of my own designs created using glass pendants made by Ann Jones, art and glass tutor at

 Bedwas Adult Education Centre.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Making Jewellery Magazine Issue 54 - Chilichic Tutorial

Once again I am lucky enough to have  a tutorial included in my favourite jewellery-making magazine, Making Jewellery. 
June's issue 54 includes an array of designs created within the theme of 'Decades'.


I've had a fascination with the 1920's since my art college days and couldn't resist tackling a dramatic necklace style, associated with that time.
'Sautoirs' were originally from around the early part of the 19th Century but became popular from the early 1900's and are now usually associated with the 'flapper' style of the Art Deco era.
 Features of a  'Sautoir' necklace generally dictate it should be an extremely long and substantial design, culminating in a tassel that may also be removable. The extreme length of the design is to allow it to be draped down the back (think elegant backless dress) or looped at the neck. An extra tassel or feature may also be added at the back. There are fantastic examples of elaborate, beadwork pieces that are quite beautiful.

My inspiration for choosing this piece was an old beaded item (a belt I think, but I wear it as a necklace!) gifted to me by a dear friend. I believe it belonged to her grandmother or aunt and though I am unsure of its actual date or origin, it is one of the nicest items I own and was the starting point for my own design.
Original Jewellery
Chilichic Design

I decided not to use traditional beadwork for this project, instead incorporating some basic wire work by creating loops either side of glass bugle beads and threading them on clear monofilament. Though still long, I opted to keep the length shorter than a sautoir would be, simply to make the piece more wearable. I did use the idea of panels, interspersed with tiny, clear seed beads and re-created 
the 'chain' loop effect for the top section. 
The tassel was made using both the seed and bugle beads and is attached with a small bolt clasp. 
My idea was for there to be an option of detaching it and the necklace can be switched around so the wire and bead section hangs at the front.

I had several ideas for this project and so for the extra pieces required for the Making Jewellery tutorial, I went for a similar style but using gold and a really simple but effective tassel design using crystal beads and chain.

I like jewellery that has movement and many if my Chilichic designs update these ideas to contemporary pieces, featuring detachable pendants and charms. I love the idea of altering the look quickly and having versatility to a piece of jewellery, these may be my favourite style of necklace.

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