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Alison Swindles Jewellery Design

Handmade silver jewellery

Month

July 2015

A few pictures of my recent work

Here are some of my solid silver cufflinks with just one shade of blue enamel. I love how these turned out.

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And some more solid silver cufflinks in the blended blue enamels are here.

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I also made some rings in the same style as the cufflinks to compliment them.

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Alongside my large solid silver pendants I have made some slightly smaller ones in which also feature the blue enamels. 

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As you can probably tell I do love these shades of blue enamel! But I have been doing lots of experiments with pink enamel……and I have discovered that pinks are pretty difficult to get right! The pink enamels ate extremely sensitive to the kiln temperature and the time they are in the kiln for. Also I have found that when enamelling on sterling silver you must use flux with the pinks. Anyway, after many, many attempts I finally made this necklace with a stunning pink centre. I love this piece!

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And finally I decided to stray slightly from my ‘blobs’ of enamel and I created this silver pendant with a blue enamel flower.

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Enameled blue wavey ring

Here is a little ring I made the other day when I was experimenting with doing part-enamel on a ring.

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Enamel and silver ring

Firstly I had to cut out a length of silver from a flat sheet. I am using 1mm thick sterling silver here.

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Silver ring with enamel

Then using silver wire, I soldered random shapes onto the flat sheet at various intervals. After doing this I shaped the flat shape around my ring mandrel so that it became a ring shape. I tested it for size on my own finger as I was making it for myself. Once I had the size correct I soldered it and then cleaned up the edges on wet and dry paper so that they were even and smooth.

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Next it was time to pickle the ring in my jar of safety pickle.

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Time to prepare the enamel!

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I used a couple of enamel colours on this ring. The darkest blue is LJE T330, then the mid blue is LJE T220 and the light blue is LJE T217. I didn’t use any flux as I find with the blues it makes them go all grainy. Perhaps someone could tell me why this is?

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My kiln is set at 820 degrees Celsius and I usually fire for around 2 mins per firing.

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The ring with the wet enamel, sitting on top of my kiln to dry out before firing.

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Various stages of cooling down when the ring came out of the kiln. I fired this ring twice, applying more enamel after the first firing.

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Next came the cleaning up, so back in the pickle. (the enamel I use is fine to go in the pickle and not be affected) Then I polished it up, not forgetting to wear my trendy safety goggles!

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And here is my finished silver ring with blended blue enamel.

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And here I am modelling it whilst playing my oboe.

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