Since I last wrote I have had another birthday and decided to move house and put our flat on the market! I also got a commission from a friend I see in the park while dog walking. Her granddaughter gave her some rubies (red beads) for Christmas and she wondered if I could make a bracelet for her from the rubies. I was rather nervous with my silversmithing skills being rather new but said yes. She gave me 8 rubies. I decided to make silver bezels from bezel strips, solder them into circles (all the rubies were different sizes) and then solder the circles onto silver sheet. Only one of the bezels was successful. I could have cried! They either melted as the bezel strip was only 0.3mm thick or they didn't solder because I was too worried about melting them. I wanted to give up and tell Amanda that I couldn't do it but decided to have another go. Eventually I had my 8 circles and soldered them onto 8 pieces of silver sheet, pickled them, sawed them out and filed and polished them. Then I had to join sterling silver jump rings either side of the bezels. I was most worried about this bit but only one jump ring gave me a problem. I put the rubies into the bezels and joined the links together with more jump rings and added a toggle clasp. I had to make some adjustments to the size and only needed 6 rubies in the end. Here is a picture of the finished article - I am amazed I managed it. I will take it into the Assay Office in Hatton Garden for hallmarking and will let you know if she likes it!
My wonderful husband gave me a doming set with punches, a barrelling unit and a disc cutting set from Cooksons for my birthday. My sister gave me two books - Two-in-one manual on jewellery by Madeline Coles and Tips and Shortcuts for jewellery making by Stephen O'Keeffe - both great books! Victoria who looks after S&M when we are away gave me a schnauzer bag charm/key ring.
Made a few other pieces recently - see piccies. My fibromyalgia is flaring up at the moment so I am going back to Prof Davies for some help.
S&M are doing fine - still haven't had their hair cut since November! It's a bit matted.