My lovely client Talitha requested an initial pendant to give to a friend whose name begins with J.
Simple and sweet!
Thanks as always, Lithy.
My lovely client Talitha requested an initial pendant to give to a friend whose name begins with J.
Simple and sweet!
Thanks as always, Lithy.
I came across this beautiful antique Chinese cinnabar cabochon and knew I had to make it into a pendant for my best friend for her birthday.
I even added some detail to the back of the pendant, to match the front.
This domed pendant was a one-off creation for my dear mother-in-law, who is so good to me.
I wanted it to be an everyday piece that has interest, simplicity and clean lines.
I think it got there!
I created this opal pendant for a lovely client to give to her mother-in-law.
The stones were found by my client’s husband’s grandfather in the 50s.
What a fabulous family heirloom!
The lovely Rusty of Vance Custom Guitars had me create a bespoke guitar pick pendant for one of his artists.
The spec was for the pendant to be the same size as an actual guitar pick, and for it to have some “pillow depth” i.e. not to be flat but to have a bit of curve to both sides. The pick has the Vance “V” logo, and the artist’s initials on the reverse. There are actually three layers of metal in this piece. It was fun to build, and both Rusty and Samantha were very complimentary about it!
This little bee pendant flew off to a new home recently ~ a custom piece from one person named Deborah to another.
Deborah is Hebrew for bee apparently. I love that we learn something new every day!
Not many people with children have escaped hearing about Pokemon and Minecraft, and my dear friend Sarah is no exception!
She let me know that Santa wanted to commission me to make her two boys a pendant each.
Love you all, and good on you Santa for supporting indie businesses! xxxx
One of my lovely everlasting besties asked me to make a lotus flower for her yoga teacher.
It was a joy to create!
My dear friend Aimee asked me to make her a green pendant. I searched around for a stone that she would love and found this fabulous variscite cabochon.
Symmetrical, with just enough inclusions to make it apparent that it is a real piece of the earth, in such an amazing colour, it suits Aimee down to the ground!
I know Aimee loves quirky love hearts, so I added a secret one on the reverse of the pendant. I was happy that I completed it in time it to give it to her as a birthday present. Love you Miss Aimee!
My smaller son asked if I could make three ghosts for he and his friends.
It’s handy when your mum can whip you and your besties up something special to wear!
A client asked me to turn this gorgeous piece of sea glass into a pendant for his partner.
Sea glass is always so beautiful, and how lovely to be able to wear a piece you found yourselves!
A lovely client from Paris got in touch and asked me to find the perfect stone to make her mother a pendant.
This amazing and unusual piece of rhodochrosite fit the bill!
I love knowing that my pieces are scattered around the world – it’s a great feeling!
This pendant was a custom piece I created for a client to give to his wife.
They are Dungeons and Dragons fans, and this is the symbol of the Harpers.
Their daughter’s name is Harper, so it’s a lovely and meaningful gift!
I created this pendant for a lovely client as a going away present for her friend. The symbol has significance to them both.
I love making special keepsakes for nice people!
This gothic cross was commissioned for a friend of a friend, as a replacement for an existing costume piece.
The oxidisation gives it a worn feel, and enhances the detail. I like the look!
Some of the gorgeous ladies from Alderley Post Office commissioned me to create this pendant for their lovely boss Maria for a significant birthday.
I happen to know that Maria loves orange, so this carnelian gemstone was just the thing! Happy birthday again, Maria!
This custom piece I made is a depiction of a character named Haro from the Japanese animation series ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’.
There is a romantic story behind this pendant – a guy commissioned me to make it for his girlfriend because they randomly first met one another due to of a shared love of this character; then randomly met again because of these animations and fell in love with each other. So sweet!
One of the lovely mums from school had inherited this gorgeous piece of smoky quartz, and asked if I would be able to make it into a pendant for her to give to her mum. The stone even came to me in a cute little vintage box!
I created the setting so that the stone would be protected, but the maximum amount of light would come through – I always aim to make the stone the star of the show!
Thanks, Emma, and I’m so glad your mum loves her new pendant!
A friend from circus training needed a gift for a girl about to have her bat mitzvah in the US. He wanted something that was age appropriate, timeless, and Australian without being tacky.
I designed this pendant for him, the gum leaf and the opal both being very Australian!
I love boulder opal, so many fabulous colours.
In part one of a series of tips about the basics of jewellery wearing, I’m looking at necklaces. A necklace is a piece of jewellery which (as the name would suggest!) is worn around the neck. If the necklace has a primary hanging feature, it is called a pendant. If the pendant is a small container, that is called a locket.
Necklaces come in various lengths to suit different styles and different occasions. Some standard lengths are:
When you’re trying to determine the right length necklace for you, use a measuring tape to measure your neck. Standard necklace measurements as shown above assume a 35 cm (14 inch) neck, but of course we all vary wildly, so calculate accordingly! Add 5 cm (2 inches) to your neck measurement for a comfortable length for chokers; add 10 cm (4 inches) to it for princess length. Alternatively take a favourite necklace, or use a piece of string to measure around your neck from the desired level; then lay the string or necklace out straight and measure how long it is. That measurement will be the length you’re after.
Choker: suits a garment with a high neckline. Chokers can work well for people with long necks.
Princess: sits just below the throat at the collarbone. This is the most common necklace length, and is a good length for a pendant. This style works with most necklines as it can sit above or on top of the garment.
Matinee: sits below the collarbone and just above the bust. People with larger necks may choose this length for a pendant style necklace too. Matinee length draws attention to the center of the bust area, so bear that in mind when choosing this style. Women with larger busts may want to opt for a longer necklace to create a more balanced look.
Opera: hangs below the bust, and elongates the torso. This length works well with high necklines and evening wear. If you have a fuller bust, an opera length necklace can be an issue as it may not hang properly. You could try a necklace that sits slightly higher on the body, such as a princess length necklace.
Rope: can reach all the way to the waist. A versatile length, in that you can double and layer it, or wear a pendant on it. Looks great for business and evening wear.
When deciding what material your necklace should be made from, sterling silver is a good choice – as well as being beautiful, it is usually hypoallergenic, so you avoid allergic reactions and green skin (problems usually brought about by the nickel in inferior quality metal). Stainless steel can also highlight your pendant choice. Leather or ‘pleather’ (pretend leather) is another good option.
If you are planning to wear a pendant on your necklace, take into account the size and weight of the piece you will be wearing when you choose the necklace you will be suspending it from. This is important both physically to support the weight; and aesthetically to balance the piece.
Bear in mind that in a similar way to sunglasses, a necklace helps to frame your face, so try out different lengths and see what they do for you. A long necklace may flatter a taller frame where a smaller frame might need a shorter style. A good thing to consider is that people’s eyes will stop at the point where your necklace ends. And remember, really, a necklace is a personal choice – with a little trial and error you will work out what suits you and your wardrobe.
I am always happy to create you a made to measure silver necklace, whatever size you require. You can contact me here!
Rosie, one of my lovely clients, commissioned me to create this necklace for her. It is completely handcrafted from sterling silver and black onyx, and the cabochons were cut specially for this commission by the lovely and talented Annaig from Annaig’s Gemstudio.
I’m often wowed by the ideas and requests I receive, and this was one of those times.
It’s a real statement piece, and I envisage it being worn by generations. It’s a privilege to do this kind of work for such wonderful people. Thank you, Rosie!
Tina came to me with this most gorgeous chunk of moonstone that her husband had brought her back from Chile, to find out if it was possible to turn it into a pendant. We decided the best option was to set it very simply so that the beautiful stone was the focus, and I designed this claw setting for it.
The stone is gorgeously asymmetrical, both in shape and thickness!
It could almost be worn either way I think.
I love the way the moostone glows and glimmers – very magical!
I was so pleased when my dear friend Judy asked if I could create another matching pendant and earrings set for her to donate to the ArtSound FM Radiothon fundraiser this year. (Last year I created this set).
I drew up a few quick ideas, incorporating the ArtSound logo, and Judy chose the one she wanted. She chose kyanite cabochons from my gemstone collection, which I think looks just lovely!
Thank you, Judy, what a pleasure to create for you!
You might recall this fabulous olive green titanium coated drusy ring I created – I made this divine pendant for the same lovely client.
I was able to make this pendant in the same style as an existing pendant that she loved.
This chrysocolla comes from Morenci, Arizona, in the USA. Isn’t it gorgeous!
It’s always a joy to see other people’s creative techniques. I have written before here and here about the process of silversmithing, and I thought you might like another little insight into this world.
First, the drusy gemstone (from my never-ending collection!) and a rough design sketch. I’ve already created the bezel (the metal that wraps around the stone) in this picture, bending a straight strip of metal (like the one pictured) around the stone.
The next step is preparing the backing plate. He’s some sawing and filing in action.
After filing, comes emerying.
And laying out the component parts to see how it will look. The balls of silver are made by heating some little pieces of silver until they melt – the molten silver naturally gathers up into a sphere. It’s fun stuff!
I emery the back of the bezel flat, so that the join between the two pieces of metal will be exact and the solder will flow correctly.
Then it’s time for a bit of heat.
I love how from this dirty blackened thing comes an object of beauty!
Into a solution of sulphuric acid to remove all the oxidization etc.
While the piece is pickling, I create the bail (the part from which the pendant will hang), and a little plate stamped with my maker’s mark and ‘925’ to show the piece is made from sterling silver.
Those are soldered onto the piece, then it’s back in the pickle and after that, a rinse off.
After a good clean-up, with lots of emerying down to a fine grade, I mount the piece on a wax dop so that i can set the stone.
My engraving ball comes in super-handy here!
Some time with my chasing hammer, and the stone is set.
And finally, the finished piece!
If you like this pendant, you can see more of it here in my shop.
Reticulation is a texturing which occurs when silver is heated almost to melting point. The surface of the silver shimmers and moves. It’s a fine balance between a molten surface and an unrecognisable lump! The process is very satisfying when you get it right. I created this pendant (and also the base of this ring) at the school I attended, starting with a flat straight rectangle of silver. I added the silver spheres and some stippling, with a chenier bail, et voila! 🙂
Simple yet effective!
I made this piece when I was studying at the Goldsmith’s School under the supervision of my teachers. I found this black onyx cabochon at the annual Gem Show here in Brisbane, and designed this pendant to suit it.
The spirally curlicues are known as ‘shnoerkels’ (having two German teachers had its interesting and educational side!) and the piece was set in dental plaster to solder.
As I was expecting any minute at the time, my kind teacher Sue was worried that I wouldn’t get back to class to do it, so she set the stone for me! 🙂
I previously created this cross for a lovely customer to give her partner.
As my client’s partner is a personal trainer, the dimensions my client requested turned out to be a little large for everyday wear – so she asked if I could construct a second cross, leaving the first one for special occasions.
I enjoyed revisiting this process – thanks, Bella!
Some years ago, my gorgeous husband came home from a work trip to Hong Kong with this beautiful piece of jade for me. Yes, I love him!
I created an elaborate design for the stone, and built that during my goldsmithing classes. Part of the component creation included making some chenier – which is hollow tubing, to go through the middle of the jade, which was cut in a donut shape. That was fun!
At the end of the day decided I didn’t like what I had made, so removed a good portion of the framework and left a simpler way to wear the jade. Sometimes, you have to modify your original idea to make the piece work!
Earlier in the year I had a weekend away with some of my closest high school friends ~ some of whom I had not seen for thirty years! We felt just as in tune and had just as much fun as we did way back at school, and I feel totally fortunate to have such beautiful people in my life.
I wanted to create us all a memento of our weekend, and the girls chose forget-me-nots – so apt!
I loved making these – I love all the recipients, too. Happy days!
I have a lovely sister, who has two lovely girls – my twin nieces.
I made this pendant for my sister’s birthday this year.
I saw two little girls with their heads together, reading or doing something crafty – although they could be dancing, or kissing. I love all three of those girls, super-much!
It’s not often you get asked to handcraft a llama!
I was commissioned by a lovely client to create this pendant as a farewell gift for a psychodrama therapist, who also breeds llamas. Yes, a psychodrama llama farmer.
I was very taken, both by the notion, and by the recipient! A joy to create.
At the Goldsmith’s School I studied at, the second piece that all students created was a pendant. We were asked to come up with a couple of designs, bearing in mind that we would have to cut the pieces out of sheet metal with a jeweller’s saw. Good to see I’ve had the spiral theme going for a long time!
After cutting out the circle for the base layer of the pendant, I stippled it by hammering with a stippling tool (a steel rod with a design carved into one end) all over the metal. Then I cut out the top layer, and soldered it and a a simple cup hook bail on (with some assistance from the teachers!)
I was always very taken with how, out of a room full of people given the same basic brief, so many very different pieces come to life. I’m still pretty fond of this piece, although I don’t wear it very often – perhaps I should get it out!
A client emailed me to ask if I could help her with a costume jewellery piece she loved that had deteriorated and could no longer be worn.
As she could’t replace the piece, and it had been created in a cheap base metal, I was happy to replicate it for her in sterling silver.
Now it should last forever. Ah, the joys of working with precious metal!
I was approached by a new father, who wanted to have a special piece made for his partner to celebrate the birth of their first child.
The design idea started with the baby’s birthstone, which is garnet, and her mother’s love of water. I provided a few quick sketches, and the lovely dad and I worked together to finalise the design.
The baby’s name is stamped on the back of the pendant, making it the perfect piece to treasure for a lifetime!