Alison Swindles

Handmade silver jewellery


jewelry business

Blue enamelled earrings

I made these lovely silver earrings with blue enamel and documented the process for you to see.

They began life as a couple of bits of 0.8mm silver sheet and some silver wire. I cut and shaped the wire and then soldered it onto the silver sheet.

Ready to solder the wire shapes
Silver sheet cut to shape ready for the wires

After soldering the wires on I then filed the edges smooth and cleaned the pieces up so they were nice and neat.

The cleaned up pieces ready for the next stage.

Next I applied a layer of flux and also applied some silver jump rings to protect the area that I would be drilling through.

Cooling on top of kiln after firing the flux on

Next I drilled the holes and then applied a layer of enamel on top of the flux.

Grinding and washing the enamel powder before applying to the earrings
Enamel wet-packed onto the silver and drying out on top of the hot kiln before firing
The pieces just out of the kiln and starting to cool. The colours change rapidly during this time.

I fired these pieces for 2 mins at 820 degrees Celsius. I did a second firing at the same temperature and for the same time after applying another layer of enamel in a slightly darker shade. The shades I used were LJET215 and LJET230.

The enamel drying before firing again

After the enamel was fired I then used a carborundum stone under water to file the surfaces level with the silver wires. Then I fired the pieces a final time to get the surface nice and shiny again.

Pieces prior to filing the surfaces level with the carborundum stone.

Then it was time to polish up the individual pieces using the usual process of wet and dry paper in various grades. Then onto polishing compound and finally finishing off with a soft mop and some rouge. The last stage was assembling the earrings using some jump rings and the earring findings.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog.  Here I am going to share with you my journey of creating my own handmade jewellery business, my other job as an oboist and also general aspects of being me!  I enjoy baking and cooking and also all handmade crafty things and I am a single mother to my six year old son, so it will be a mix but hopefully you will find bits to interest you.

I did an evening course in silver jewellery in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it so I thought I would take it a stage further and do a 3 year fulltime degree course as well.  I graduated in 2010 with a BA(hons) in jewellery (2:1) and have been playing with the idea of setting up my own handmade silver jewellery business ever since.  In January 2012 I decided to take the plunge and registered as officially self-employed and I am now working on making this a reality.

I have a website which can be found at

Also a Facebook page

Also a Twitter account @alisonswindles

And also an online Etsy shop at

And now also this blog!

I hope you will join me on this journey and share in the ups and downs of it, which I will now be sharing publicly (eek!)

Alison x

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