New Year, New Challenge.

I think everyone would agree that 2020 was not the best of years, but if I was to look for at least one silver lining (there always has to be a silver lining, right?) it was that 2020 challenged us all to flex our creativity muscles. Whether that was getting creative with how we worked, entertained ourselves or our kids at home, or how we stayed in touch with our nearest and dearest, those creative muscles were flexed a lot over the past 12 months.

The thing about muscles, is that they get tired. Even creative muscles get a little drained after a while, especially after 3 Lockdowns and 2 terms of homeschooling. So to keep things fun and the creativity flowing, I decided to join The Jewellers Academy Challenge for 2021. Each month you are challenged to make a different piece of jewellery or use a specific technique (a great way to brush up your skills, or learn a new one). 

I'm a little late to the challenge (it started in January and here we are already in February), but fortunately enough, this challenge has worked well with my newest creation. The challenge for January was to create a pendant (done) and February's was to make something that was bezel set (also done).

I have had in my mind for a long time, an idea for a pendant featuring the patterns and shapes you find along the shoreline. I have always been fascinated by the patterns the sea makes in the sand as it washes up on the shore.

Wax carving and cast silver pendant

I sketched a few designs, working in the ripple patterns I found on the beach near my home. Once I had a pattern I was happy with, I carved the pendant in wax and sandcast it in sterling silver.

Close up of new 'Ripples" pendant in sterling silver, with bezel set onyx cabochon, from the new "Shoreline" collection 

The bezel set stone wasn't part of the original design, but when I had finished the pendant and had it all polished up, it just felt as though it was missing something. I tried several different gemstones, but settled on onyx, as it reminded me of the wet, black basalt rocks that make up the Causeway Coast where I live.

I'm really pleased with how the pendant has turned out and I am definitely going to be developing a new collection- Shoreline, including rings, earrings, bracelets and of course cufflinks for the gents. So keeping checking my website, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram if you're interested.

Now all that remains for me to do, is to get this pendant hallmarked. 



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