Stamford Apple Day

Stamford Apple Day

I had a nice time at Stamford Apple Day event on 7 October and met lots of lovely people.

Stamford Apple Day
My mini orchard at Stamford Apple Day

So what has metalsmithing got to do with Apples? Not a lot really, but I do like to support the Stamford Community Orchard Group by attending their annual Stamford Apple Day event at the Arts Centre.

And if you still want a link, however tenuous… I had a mini orchard on display with some of my copper leaves, Mr A’s Bare Iron Trees  and other nature related items like copper flowers, copper mushrooms etc.

It was also a good opportunity to promote our ESC Artists Exhibition from 25 October – 5 November in the Stamford arts Centre Gallery.


How to Store Copper Off-cuts

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

Metalworking Tip about Copper Off-Cuts

Copper Off-cuts tend to have sharp ends which really hurt if they pierce your fingers. I know because I have experienced it plenty of times! And if you use snips / scissors / shears to cut shapes out of thin copper sheet then the off-cuts have all kinds of curls and bends on them too.

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

I never throw anything away and hold on to these copper off-cuts as they are useful for all kinds of design projects, especially for smaller items like earrings, pendant bails and even small pendants. I store all my copper off-cuts in little plastic boxes. And when I need a small bit of copper for something I just rummage through the boxes to find the right piece instead of cutting up a bigger sheet of copper.

Previously when I put my hand into the box there were lots of “OW” and some (OK a lot) of swearing as these pesky little bits with really sharp ends attacked me!

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

To avoid injured (sometimes bleeding) fingers I have now started hammering these curled up bits of copper off-cuts to flatten them before I throw them into the plastic box. It just takes a few seconds to flatten each piece out using a flat hammer and a nylon block. But it saves a lot of pain, especially when you are in the middle of a project and just need to get on without bleeding all over the workbench.

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

How to Store Copper Off-cuts
Box of Copper Off-cuts hammered flat to avoid bleeding fingers

Hope this tip is useful to other metalworkers who, like me, have experienced sharp copper off-cuts biting them!

  • Don’t throw away copper off-cuts
  • these off-cuts have sharp ends which can hurt your fingers
  • flatten the off-cuts using a hammer and a nylon (or wooden) block. Don’t have a Nylon bench block? Buy one here
  • store them for future use.

How To Sell My Jewellery On Instagram | The Bench

Useful post via Cookson Gold.

Looking for ways to market your jewellery? Find handy tips and tricks on how to sell on Instagram from our helpful guide at The Bench.

Source: How To Sell My Jewellery On Instagram | The Bench

Art in the Heart Team

So pleased to be part of the Art in the Heart team. I really do enjoy my Wednesdays at the Gift shop and Gallery in  Westgate Arcade, Queensgate, Peterborough meeting lots of customers and helping them choose fabulous handmade pieces by local and national artists.

Shalini Austin: Key Volunteer and Sales Assistant

Shalini is a key member of our sales team giving of her time voluntarily. Having her own website company, she advises us on website development, SEO and assists with social media marketing mainly through Twitter. She was the leading light of the Stamford Artisans Guild and then became one of the founding members of ESC Artists, now organising artist led exhibitions and pop up markets at Stamford Arts Centre. Originally a jewellery maker and designer, she has established herself as a copper smith exhibiting her adornments and sculpture in our gallery. She has a store too on our online Marketplace

Source: Meet the Team | Art in the Heart

Lincolnshire Showcase at Whisby Nature Park

I was recently invited to be part of the Lincolnshire Showcase at Whisby Nature Park’s gift shop in Thorpe on the Hill, about 6 miles south-west of Lincoln city centre.

Lincolnshire Showcase at Whisby Nature ParkLincolnshire Showcase at Whisby Nature ParkLincolnshire Showcase at Whisby Nature Park

Sharing a Display cabinet with my friend Eve Marshall at the Lincolnshire Showcase. Eve is a fantastic felt artist and makes amazing felted accessories, sculptures and pictures.

Eve and I work together on several creative projects and designs which we exhibit at various locations including Art in the Heart Gallery at Westgate Arcade in Queensgate, Peterborough.

We are both co founders of ESC Artists with stained glass artist Cathi Prince and we organise gallery exhibitions and artist markets at Stamford Arts Centre.

See More: Lincolnshire Showcase at Whisby Nature Park

Bead Peeps Swap n Hop… The BIG Day is here!

Bead Peeps Swap n Hop… The BIG Day is here!

Yes its Reveal Day for the Bead Peeps challenge! Time for all of us crazy creative people to show off, to give ourselves a pat on the back and generally feel good about positive networking with like minded people – the Bead Peeps.

I was sent some really beautiful beads and handmade focal pieces by my partner Rosantia. I was also sent a huge challenge because one part of this set was totally outside my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, they are lovely beads, and the handmade components are really special but not something I work with. So it took some thinking about.

For my first piece I decided to make something out of all the pieces that were outside my normal style, without using any of my wire work or metalsmith skills. The beads appealed to the child in me because they are so colourful and pretty and summery and there are flutterbys in the set too!

butterfly bead necklace collage

So this is my summer garden necklace for which I used the beautiful butterfly focal bead by Margit Boehmer, Eco-leather cords in blue, green, pink and purple, some bronze colour spacers, Czech crystal pressed flower beads (green, yellow, aqua and pink), some of the Ceramic and polymer clay beads and metal bronze coloured components.

The necklace does not have a clasp, instead it has a pink ribbon as close to the lovely ceramic flowers as I could match which goes through the two bronze circles and is then tied. This also makes the necklace adjustable for different summer dress necklines.

zoisite bead bracelet collageThese Ruby in Zoisite beads jumped out at me from the moment I opened the package Rosantia sent me. What fabulous colours! And they are just the kind of chunky stone beads I like working with.

I was also attracted to them because we recently acquired some rough material which is sitting in the lapidary workshop waiting to be shown some love. Its nice to see what the polished stone looks like and an added incentive to do some work in the lapidary workshop this summer.

If you have been following my coppersmithing journey you would know I have a new favourite component. Copper Washers! 😀

This is what happens when you give a girl big green beads, washers, wire, a texturing hammer and a bottle of liver of sulphur!

Picaso Jasper bead braceletAnd then there were these gorgeous Picasso Jasper beads.

I decided to keep it simple on this one and did variation of my very popular gemstone bead and wire bracelet by doing a mix of small copper washers and the Jasper beads linked together with swirly connectors and a hand-made hook clasp.

And of course don’t forget the texturing hammer and the liver of sulphur to give the bracelet an antique look.

Wooden beads earrings Wooden beads, decoupaged with Washi paper, made by​ Rosantia

What can I say about this! Absolutely gorgeous beads, beautifully crafted and finished and in my favourite colour RED!

Kept it really simple so its all about the beads. I made a couple of “lantern handle” style components for the bead to hang from. A very pretty pair of simple earrings I have to say.


And Finally there were these amazing Raw Beach Glass pieces which Rosantia collected on the Black Sea shore.

seaglass pendantI have looked at them again and again and there are so many ideas going through my head. I think I spent so much time thinking that I ran out of time and deadline day was looming. So four of these pieces have been wrapped in tissue and put away safely for another day. (Won’t be long) I have an idea but need to practice the technique more before I touch the beach glass.

Anyway… I used the biggest of the pieces and did a wire weave setting. The lovely Austrian crystal bicones make a nice sparkly border to offset the matted look of the glass.

I am very pleased with it 🙂

I am very satisfied with this stash! Hope you like it too! Now Let’s go blog hopping. Please do have a look at Rosantia’s blog and see what she has done with the components I sent her. I am amazed at how creative she is. And I am so happy she has used wire work techniques to play with the pieces I sent her. As a wire artist that makes me so happy 🙂

Thank you Rosantia Petkova for being my partner and giving me the opportunity to try new ideas. I have not used everything that came in your very generous stash but the pieces are safe and will be used at some point in time soon. I know a couple of these designs will be tried again and again with different beads and added to my on-line shop in the near future. And I will write a separate blog post about your beautiful work very soon.

all bead peeps jewellery


And here is a list of all other participants in this Blog Hop.

Do check out what everyone else has been up to. I have just had a few sneak peaks so far and there is so much amazing work on display. All participants are winners. Well done everyone!

A very special thank you to Linda Anderson, our hostess for this blog hop who has spent a lot of her time encouraging us all, reminding us what a blog hop is all about, and generally being such a fun person to work with. While doing all this she also managed to find time to have two swap partners and make fabulous pieces of jewellery. Linda you are amazing!