For a long time I have been watching basket makers online, mostly on Instagram and thinking maybe I should give it a try.

I decided to start small and simple and take it slow.
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about this point I resorted to what I know best, crochet and started working the bowl that way.

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Here it is finished!

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I love this, I love the process and the simplicity of the end result. Even though ideas of colour and texture and additions are swirling around in  my head I have to stay calm and take things slow.


Given the type of jewels I like to make it is important for me to have two desks, one clean and nice desk for enamelling and one grubby desk for cutting/filing and soldering.
Recently a desk I had been borrowing returned to its owner so Me and Dan took on the challenge to make a new desk for me and I’m quite pleased with the results!


Hitting things to solve problems

So, Im very stressed about little Beatrice, still waiting, still hoping as things seem to get worse.
Yesterday I decided to take a break from worrying and go hit some things.

So heres what I did yesterday :


Stage one: Bar stock, cut into 180mm lengths


Stage 2: A little pile of links, forge welded closed.


Stage 3: A chain of seven links, all forge-welded closed, in varying states of “round”

This is the start of something very special for Doris but I will update about it seperately and properly, when Im less stressed out.

Brooch a Day 2013

I don’t really consider myself a jeweller, or a blacksmith, or a painter, I am simply a maker. This allows me to explain what I do (make things! ) without having to limit myself to one particular discipline or field of knowledge.

The downside of this is some places want me to explain my “pedigree” who I have been taught by, where I did my degree etc etc, and while I have a masters of fine art  it is technically in painting (even though I  seldom painted since my second year of undergraduate), and while I have studied under some pretty amazing artists and jewellers ( Linda Darty, Katherine Bowman, Mary Hackett, Kirsten Haydon to name a few) I don’t feel like I know enough to describe myself as a jeweller, the same goes for blacksmithing.  This can lead to me feeling inadequate  when associating with other (more experienced and talented artisans)

I heard about a group called Brooch a day, basically a group of jewellers and artists are making a brooch every day of 2013,  and posting them on flikr . I am joining them in this, the current problem is my own insecurity about what I am doing has me too nervous to post my brooches on the group page.  I have just started doing today.


however you can admire my creations at my new flicker account : and here are a few of my favourites, I am planning on making more from metal but I have been going through a studio reshuffle and re-organise and I’m a bit delayed.

My Flickr
Brooch a Day Flickr



Silver smithing class or: how I made my first stake

I’m doing a silver smithing course on Monday nights taught my amazing and supremely talented friend Mary Hackett who I studied my masters with.

Mary’s Blog

This class has managed to be both a huge challenge and a joy; it’s amazing how after a long and often tiring day at work hitting bits of copper makes me feel so much more in control and balanced.

In the class we are learning raising. The basic process of raising involves repeatedly annealing and then forming the sheet metal over a series of stakes by hammering.

Primarily we have been working on making small copper bowls and what really surprises me is even though each student was given the same size copper disc to work with our work is in the process of being so very different.

Here is a family picture of our vessels and spoons in progress

 silver smithing class

and here is my piece, I am trying to form it into the shape of a Kina ( a species of sea urchin common in New Zealand) so very round, chubby with an overhanging lip at the top, this is proving very difficult, here is a progress shot


The problem is I couldn’t find a stake that was the shape I was after and then I would be stuck in a loop of making a dent then trying to get it out then denting it and so on.

Being as Mary and I are practical sorts who also are very involved with Blacksmith Doris, we decided to have a stake making day, we drew out the shape I was after and I was able to forge a bit of steel into the required shape, as it was a curl I welded a bit more steel onto the back to steady it and began the long process of grinding it down to be perfectly smooth.
Mary made a couple of stakes to fit the work of the other students but by this stage we were too proud of our success and were busy drinking cups of tea rather than taking photos.

Here is a image of my initial pattern shapes and the sketch on metal I had so I could match the hot steel against the pattern as I was bending it.


And here is an image of the stake after it had been polished to within an inch of its life in class, behind it is the bowl Im making that is now much easier to work on.



Desk in progress

Forgive me internet I have sinned, it has been quite a few weeks since my last update.
The loss of the furry ginger love of my life has made the last few weeks difficult at best.

Anyway onto brighter topics, here is an update on my desk in progress.

Day two of desk building started with two legs and a top and finished up with all four legs cut to size and a lot of chiselling in my future.


The desk top cut into rough size with two sets of leg holes done and two drilled.

tetris desk

Tetris desk! all the pieces cut out and almost ready to assemble.


Getting stuck into chiselling.

Day three finished with the desk standing upright and the gaps around the leg holes filled with a mixture of resin and red gum dust, this will solidify the desk in the end square cut outs will be level with the top surface and will look fancy as they will be a few shades darker than the rest of the desk.


My desk standing up by itself! super exciting moment, its tucked into the shed next to the boat.


Resin all smeared into the gaps.

This was the first time I have used resin and it was kind of fun when red gum dust was added to form a paste, though a bit messy and smelly. I can see lots of other applications for the stuff though. More resin will need to be used to fill in the cracks in the top surface and to mend around the legs after sanding as I am unsure if these have been completely filled.

A rainy day ring.

The last few days everything I have tried to make has been a bit of a failure.
There was melted metal right through to a cake that seemed like lava.

When I cant make things, I get frustrated.

So today I decided to just make something pretty to cheer myself up.
I bought a pair of cute little ceramic moons a while ago, today I decided to make one into a ring.


How cute is it?


The band has the phases of the moon going around it, which meant I also got to play with my new disc cutter.

phase 1


The setting isn’t perfect but as it’s just for me I don’t mind one bit.