Category Archives: Interviews

Folt Bolt Feature

I was happy to be featured recently on the Folt Bolt Blog – a link to the full piece here. (Kriszta has the most divine font, which doesn’t show up in this post). What a gorgeous website! I love the way Kriszta combines colours and textures in her montages. A fab way to advertise! Here’s the piece Kristza put together, with interview blurb provided by yours truly:


Ruthie Gray – The Silver Forge


At The Silver Forge, I handcraft limited edition and one-of-a-kind sterling silver jewellery.

My passion is making well-designed, comfortable, fun, wearable art pieces for people to enjoy every day.

All my pieces are made entirely by hand using traditional methods and tools in my own studio in Brisbane, Australia.

I believe in leaving the smallest eco-footprint possible on our earth, so I’m pleased to say the silver I use is sourced from an eco-friendly manufacturer.

I’m inspired by gemstones and glass; by nature, especially by the ocean; by architecture and maths – and most importantly of all, by colour!

My shop is full of vibrant pieces for you, or I would be happy to consider any requests for custom orders no matter how small or quirky – I’ d be pleased to work with you to create with a design for your dream piece.

Kriszta adds:

I offer 10% discount off anything in my shop on 2nd and 3rd of June, just use FOLTBOLT10 as a coupon code!

Find me here:





I’m glad to be a part of your lovely blog, Kriszta, thank you for the feature!

Gataker’s ArtSpace Newsletter

I was very thrilled to receive a copy of the Gataker’s Artspace e-Newsletter in my inbox today, and find a lovely feature on The Silver Forge. Thanks, Susan and staff! Here’s the excerpt of the newsletter:

Gatakers Newsletter

This Saturday evening, Gatakers are hosting their monthly ‘Gatakers by Night’.

Gataker's By Night

If you’re in Maryborough on Saturday, why not stop in at Gataker’s for what looks like a fabulous, funfilled evening. Be sure to tell me what you think of the shop, won’t you!


I was recently invited to share my wares at the in.cube8r gallery in Brisbane. A quirky little shop chock full of divine handmade items, with a great ethic – for a small weekly fee, they provide each artist with a space, which is theirs to do with as they wish.

The Silver Forge incub8tr display

I’ve placed some of my pieces there in my own little cube, which I’ll be refreshing from time to time! I’m sharing the space with some amazing artists, well worth a look.

Vicki, the owner of in.cube8r in Fortitude Valley, blogged this artist profile about me the other day. You can see the blog post here on the in.cube8r site.


artist profile :: the silver forge {the valley}


tell us about your background

i am a silversmith. originally from canberra, i’ve lived in brisbane for around seven years. i have been smithing since 2005, and last year completed intensive vocational certification at a local dedicated goldsmith’s school. my shop, the silver forge, opened in may 2012.

tell us about what you create

i handcraft bespoke, one of a kind and limited edition pieces of silver jewellery.

what made you start making your pieces?

i’ve loved silver since i was young, and just fell into creating with it – it’s been my obsession ever since i began! it feels like what i am meant to be doing.

what is your inspiration/influences?

i am often influenced by a particular stone or theme, and nature in all her glory provides so much endless inspiration! i’m currently finding some of the architecture and sculpture around brisbane very inspiring, too.

what materials do you use?

all my jewellery is created from quality sterling silver. i like to use gemstones and glass as accents to my pieces, so you’ll find a range of things from drusy agate, to czech glass, to seaglass, as well as other semi-precious stones. the more unusual, the better, i think!

tell us about your creative process?

i like to create everything by hand, using traditional methods and tools. there’s nothing quite like making a delicate piece of jewellery using metal, flame, and some big steel implements!

why did you choose in.cube8r?

in.cube8r is so unique – the idea that i could have a cube which is mine to use as i wish, was very appealing. having the lovely vicki on site to take care of the sales end of things means that i can set up my display, then head home to create some more!

where else can we find you?

you can find the silver forge at:
tweeting on twitter @thesilverforge


Thanks, Vicki! 🙂

Next time you’re in Brisbane, head to Brunswick Street in the Valley and check out some amazing handmade products at in.cube8r. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

ABC Brisbane Radio Interview

Peruvian Blue Chalcedony Castle Ring

The lovely Terri Begley from ABC Radio Brisbane contacted me recently, after she read my blog post about the Newmarket Brickworks Chimney. I wrote that post as that lovely chimney has given me inspiration for some pieces (including my smokestack ring above). She asked if I would do an interview with her about it for a segment called ‘Stop The Train’. ‘Stop The Train’ is a local program which takes a passenger’s eye look at some of the great sights there are to see as you travel around Brisbane. It’s well worth a listen, as there are some fascinating places tucked away down the train lines!

I was very flattered, but had to tell Terri that I was totally NOT an authority on the subject – however, Terri wanted to talk to someone who is passionate about the chimney rather than an actual history boffin, so as a total (but enamoured) amateur, I was happy to help. I met Terri at the base of the chimney and we had a chat about what makes it such a special piece of architecture, and why I love it.

Newmarket Brickworks Chimney

After a bit of a hiccup (where this chimney interview was bumped to make way for the momentarily more topical “Stop The Train” piece about the church at Lang Park), the interview went to air yesterday, Monday 1 July. You can hear the ABC Brisbane Podcast of it here. I didn’t even say ‘um’ and ‘ah’ too much!

It was a bit of fun, and I’m glad I took the time to do this, even though my brain’s initial reaction was a shortlived “What? Hey? Um. No way!” I realised it was good to get out of my comfort zone, so I pushed past that ‘no way’ stage, and it was totally cool to share my enthusiasm and (limited) knowledge about such a beautiful old structure. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Terri. Love your work!

‘Made-It Monday – Seller Interview’ on the Raw Toys blog

What a pleasure it was to be interviewed recently by Kylie for a ‘Made-It Monday – Seller Interview’ feature on her blog. Kylie creates the most amazing Raw Toys – I really recommend checking them out if you have a little person (and even if you don’t!). My son spends hours playing with his beautiful rainbow (which you can see below in Kylie’s blog header), and I keep one of Kylie’s little wooden tree puzzles on the windowsill by my desk – it makes me smile each time I see it! My nieces are the proud owners of two of Kylie’s little fairy doors, which I believe are helping some flowers grow in their garden as we speak.  Kylie’s toys are natural, well made, whimsical, and most importantly of all, stimulate the imaginations of our little ones beautifully.

Below is the interview in full – please do check it out over on the Raw Toys Blog as well, won’t you!


Raw Toys

Made It Monday ~ Seller Interview

I love Made It. It’s a user friendly platform for me to sell my toys and it doubles as one of my favourite places to shop. Topping off the awesomeness of Made It is it’s lively, supportive and inspirational community of sellers. I’ve invited some of these talented folk to tell us a bit about what they do and share the story behind their favourite creation. 

Out of all the people I’ve connected with on this creative small business pathway, Ruthie from The Silver Forge has to be one of my favourites! Ruthie is a brilliant artist whose work I absolutely adore and you won’t find many people more lovely. I’m sure you’ll love reading about what is involved in Ruthie’s work and viewing her incredible jewellery. A lovely giveaway is on offer too – enjoy!

My name is Ruthie, and I live in sunny Brisbane. I am a silversmith.
My shop, The Silver Forge, opened in May 2012. I have been smithing for over five years and last year, completed intensive vocational certification at a local dedicated goldsmith’s school. I feel very lucky, as I love what I do!!
My favourite item in my shop at the moment is this teal green drusy agate and sterling silver ring. (Available for purchase here).

I fell in love with drusy agate a few years ago when I found a gorgeous piece I used to create a ring.

The term “drusy” comes from the word “druse”, which is a rock surface covered with tiny crystals, like those found inside geodes. Drusy crystals take hundreds or even thousands of years to form – molten rock begins to cool with trapped gases inside. The gases create gaps in the rock. As ground water carrying dissolved silica is forced into these porous areas, tiny crystals form, creating sparking clusters. Amazing!!
Since then, I have collected a range of gorgeous drusy cabochons that I love to create gorgeous big chunky rings and pendants with. Because the stones are so full of beauty and colour, I like to keep my designs simple and elegant, letting the crystal speak for itself. I have a number of pieces in my shop.


I also offer people the option of choosing their own stone from my collection on my website.

This particular ring was created using sterling silver sheet. Firstly, I shaped the bezel (which is the part of the ring surrounding and holding the gemstone) using half round pliers, then I soldered that to the backing plate using a propane gas soldering torch. (Whoo hoo, flame!!!) I cut out around the bezel plate with my jeweller’s saw, then bent the ring shank (the part of the ring that goes around your finger) and soldered that to the bezel assembly.

Then, after some filing and emerying, I set the stone into the ring using my setting ball and my gorgeous setting hammer. Finally I gave the piece its final texture – a high polish this time! The whole process is a fairly industrial, noisy, fiery, tool-wielding experience, which sometimes seems at odds with something so delicate and refined!You can find The Silver Forge at:
*The Website
*The Made It shop
*On Facebook
*On Twitter
*On Pinterest
*On Wanelo
A big thank you to Kylie for choosing to interview me for her gorgeous blog!
Ruthie has a fantastic newsletter that you can subscribe to either on the Silver Forge website or Facebook page. Just by subscribing, you enter the draw for a monthly giveaway – very exciting! 

Ruthie is offering a very special giveaway to one Raw Toys readers.. a custom made pair of Czech glass earrings! I have a gorgeous pair of these in green – they are just divine. Here is an example of the style:

Visit Ruthie’s shop and have a look at the earrings there. Pop back here and leave a comment to tell Ruthie your favourite bead and which shape takes your fancy. A winner will be randomly chosen on Friday evening.

Huge thanks to you for sharing your work here, Ruthie, I’m very honoured to have you!
It is an honour to be featured on your gorgeous blog, Kylie, thank you SO much for having me!! 

Cassie Jene – Creative Parents Interview

I am thrilled to be featured in an interview with the lovely Cassie Jene from Rainbow Lollies on her wonderful website, as a part of a series she is writing about Creative Parents In Business. Below is the interview in full. Do check out the original as well of course!!


Creative Parents in Business – The Silver Forge

5 april, 2013 by  

The Silver Forge Logo

Ruthie Gray is a silversmith specializing in well-designed, comfortable and fun jewellery for everyday wear. She is the creative owner of her own jewellery line, The Silver Forge. The Silver Forge was started in May 2012, although Ruthie has been studying and practising silversmithing as early as 2005. Ruthie’s creative process may start from a simple daydream or art drawing with all possible ideas and designs ‘dumped’ onto paper. The ones that stood out will then be physically prepared from a silver sheet or wire; such as  sawing, filing, emerying, soldering, hammering, bending; until the final piece emerges. All the jewellery you see in The Silver Forge were made by hand using using traditional methods and tools in Ruthie’s Brisbane home studio.


Besides managing her creative business, Ruthie is a mother of two children (17 and 2 years old – yes, I checked and it is not a typo!) and has a ‘day’ job working from home. She feels lucky to be able to have another form of paid work that is flexible and not confined in an office building. To make the most of this arrangement, Ruthie ensures that she spends lots of time with her children in the daytime during the week while also working her ‘day’ job in the background plus running her handmade business. As if that is not enough to keep her occupied, Ruthie manages to squeeze in time for reading and indulging in several crafty pursuits; among them sewing, knitting, needlework and painting miniature models.

“It is a privilege to be able to create for a living.  Doing something that you are passionate about makes the days fly by, and there’s never a dull moment!”   – Ruthie Gray

Emerald Green Drusy Agate Ring Closeup Right

Even though The Silver Forge is a part time business for Ruthie, she still faces the challenges of juggling the demands of a handmade business with those of having a family life and a ‘day’ job. List-writing works very well for her. Everything and anything that needs to be done goes on a list to make it easy for her to prioritise. Naturally, family duties come first as the whole point of being able to work from home is to spend time with them. Ruthie acknowledges that it can get quite busy sometimes trying to fit the ‘day’ job and handmade business into everyday life. One of the ways that Ruthie does to stay on top of things is having her 2-year-old spend a few hours each week at crèche and also having quality time with his Nanna. This allows him to learn social interaction skills while giving mum some space to focus on work and business commitments.

Orange Czech Glass and Sterling Silver Earrings 1

I asked Ruthie to share her tips for those wanting to start a business –

  • Have a basic structure on which your business should be based upon. Do you want to stay small as a one woman business or do you have plans to change the world?
  • Do not underprice your own work. Setting prices too low not only hurt yourself but you are undermining the value of the whole handmade industry.
  • Maintain proper financial records. Put aside time to do administrative work on a weekly basis. Yes, it may be boring but at the end of the year, your tax accountant will thank you for it.
  • Time management is essential. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try this – Spend a couple of days to review your daily tasks and how long it takes for you to do each one. Perhaps you are watching too much television or checking your social media accounts too often in a day. Set time limits when you are on the internet and you may be surprised to discover the amount of free time you can uncover.
  • Several ways to promote your business – Word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Wanelo, Stumbleupon, Blogging, Giveaways, Etsy team membership.
  • At the end of the day, everything can wait except your children – they grow so quickly! Each precious moment you can spend with them is something you can treasure.

Blue Titanium and Sterling Silver Pendant

To view more of Ruthie’s work or have her commission a piece for you, do visit the following sites :-

Ok, here is the best part –

Any purchases made from today and up to 15th April 2013, will be entitled to a 10% discount as a thank you for taking the time to read about The Silver Forge. Just mention in the notes to seller that you are a CassieJene blog reader when purchasing through her Madeit store (a 10% refund will be send to you via Paypal). Alternatively, if you choose to shop through her Etsy store, just use coupon code CASSIEJENE10.

All images featured in this article remained the property of Ruthie Gray / The Silver Forge and is used here with permission. This post is written based on Ruth’s reply via an e-mail interview.



Thank you so much, Cassie, for taking the time to interview me. It’s such a pleasure to be a ‘Creative Parent’!

Etsy Stalker Solo Exhibit

I was very excited to be interviewed and featured in an Etsy Stalker blog post recently. Below is the feature in full:


Solo Exhibit & Giveaway: The Silver Forge

by VIOLET on JANUARY 21, 2013

There’s no doubt that the work done by Ruthie at The Silver Forge is eye-catching and beautifully done. Swirling in silver, these jellyfish earrings are filled with gentle, graceful movement.

jellyfish earrings

But take a step back. Ruthie creates all of her own components, everything from bezel settings to ear wires. And let’s take things back even a step further: she starts by “throwing” her own silver, a procedure which takes it from pellet to sheet or wire through a process of heating, pouring, and molding.

triange smoked topaz earrings

I love the way Ruthie pairs the silver with such varied and interesting elements. From the clear topaz beads in the earrings above, we go to bright blue titanium as a contrast to the gorgeously textured silver in this pendant meant to evoke the scale of a sea creature.

blue titanium and sterling pendant

In this pendant, a rich piece of unakite has been nestled into a setting echoing the roundness of the stone. The off-center placement is accented with still more circles of silver to create a cohesive, compelling whole.
unakite pendant

Read on to learn more about Ruthie’s inspiration and process!

Curator V: You’ve studied goldsmithing extensively. How did that come about? When did you know you wanted to make jewelry?

I have loved silver jewellery ever since I was a child. I remember being mesmerized by the collection of huge silver and gemstone rings my best friend’s mum had, and I certainly did my fair share of buying beautiful pieces! Around 2005, I stumbled across a short evening course in silver jewellery making being held at a local college. It took place in the Industrial Arts area, so we were working amongst some huge unrefined equipment! As soon as I walked in, I knew I’d found my niche. (I can still remember the lovely oily smell of that room.)

I kept trying to find other courses, but it wasn’t until I moved to Brisbane that I found a dedicated goldsmithing school, which I have been attending since 2008. Last year I completed intensive vocational certification, which covered many aspects of smithing from art and technical design drawing to lost wax casting and tool making, all of which helped improve my skills and knowledge immensely.

Curator V: You make all of your own component pieces. What made you decide to do that?

There are many pre-manufactured ‘jewellery findings’ available, such as earring hooks, gemstone bezels etc. however for me, the true nature of ‘handmade’ is that everything is crafted completely by hand from start to finish. It’s part of keeping the art alive. The only commercial components I use are the neoprene chokers I supply with pendants, which are more for people who don’t already have a favourite choker or chain.

Curator V: In your About page, you say “Each piece starts life as a throw of silver”. Can you explain what that means?

Once it’s been dug out of the ground and refined, silver is usually provided in pellets. These are heated to melting point in a crucible and poured into a mould, creating either a plate or a bar of silver. These can then be rolled into progressively thinner flat plates or extruded into wire. This heating, pouring and moulding process is called a ‘throw’.

Curator V: You’ve recently added some druzy agate rings to your shop. What about working with that stone appeals to you?

Druzy agate is a great stone to work with – it’s unique, unusual, and every piece is guaranteed to be different! I love the large, colourful cabochons (smooth cut stones). The idea that they come from a hollow geode that water has seeped through for thousands of years to create tiny sparkly crystals is fascinating to me!

apricot drusy ring

Curator V: How would you describe the woman you design for?

She’s funky, stylish, interesting; likes one of a kind statement pieces; has great taste, and is aged between 17 and 97. That’s my lovely customers so far! I also think she’s attracted to a fusion of modern with old world charm.

Curator V: What can we expect from The Silver Forge in the future?

My mind is so full of designs I can scarcely begin to make them all! In the works right now are more amazing druzy rings and pendants, a new range of gorgeous domed pieces, and a new line of earrings. Then there’s the Valentine’s Day collection!

If you’d like to keep up to date with what’s happening at The Silver Forge, you can follow my blog and/or my Facebook page .

Ruthie is offering a $50 Gift Certificate as her giveaway prize! To enter, visit The Silver Forge, then come back here and leave a comment with your favorite item. One winner to be chosen at random next Sunday, January 27th.


Thanks so much for having me, Violet!  There were one hundred and six entries into the giveaway. Congratulations to Maeghan for winning! Be sure to pop over to EtsyStalker to keep up with the fabulous goodies Violet finds next.

Lilly’s Life Interview

Back in November 2012, I was happy to be featured in an interview on Lilly’s Life – a blog hosted by the lovely and amusing Lilly.

Lilly's Life Blog Feature

For a giveaway prize, I offered two gift vouchers to the value of $35 each. Although it’s over, you can read about the giveaway here.

The lucky winners were Abby Lee from Western Australia and Vicky Westra from Minnesota in the USA – congratulations to both!

Abby chose this Seaglass and Sterling Silver Pendant as her prize.

Seaglass and Sterling Silver Pendant

Vicky chose these Sterling Silver and Swarovski Crystal Earrings.

Sterling Silver and Square Crystal Earrings

Vicky has a blog, Westra World, which chronicles her daily life as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. She is a brave and amazing woman. Best and warmest wishes go out to her.

A big thank you to Lilly for interviewing me!