Scarlett Willow Designs

Jewellery is like a biography ~ a story that tells the many chapters of our life

Christmas

Crazy Pre-Christmas Sale!

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I think I might have Tinsel Fever!

Starting this Saturday until Wednesday, each day I will be sending a special code to everyone on my mailing list to receive a discount on either one particular piece or over an entire collection. I'm not talking 5-10% here......I'm talking up to 50% AND free UK P&P! You'll have to be quick, some pieces are limited in number

On Thursday morning, I will send one final code that will give you a discount on ANY piece in the shop! This code will only last for two hours and I will then be wrapping like a crazy elf to post everything out on Thursday afternoon so that you'll receive your jewellery in time for Christmas! (Only in the UK)

“But I’m not on your mailing list!” I hear you wail! Did you see the pop-up when you came to my website? Pop in your details and voila…you’ve just joined the mailing list!

Can’t wait to see what you choose……will it be a special gift for a loved one or are you going to treat yourself!

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On The Bench!

On The Bench!Scarlett Willow DesignsComment

It's finished!!!!!

The egg cup that my husband challenged me to make for his birthday/Christmas is complete!  I don't normally take THIS long to finish a piece but with working on shows and commission pieces, I'm afraid this had to be worked on in my "spare" (!) time.  

I really enjoyed this process, learning new techniques that I can transfer to my jewellery and seeing how much work goes into a piece like this. If we think back to a time, many many moons ago, where pretty much everything was made by hand, those silversmiths have my utmost respect.

Here are the photos from start......

A disc of fine silver being hollowed by numerous strikes of a wooden hammer

A disc of fine silver being hollowed by numerous strikes of a wooden hammer

Here we are shallow dish shape......

Here we are shallow dish shape......

Doesn't quite look like en egg cup yet....

Doesn't quite look like en egg cup yet....

Getting there.....

Getting there.....

I've ruined it! Only joking, new technique called raising which brings up the sides to close up the top to hold the egg.  Does  NOT  look good at this point!

I've ruined it! Only joking, new technique called raising which brings up the sides to close up the top to hold the egg.  Does NOT look good at this point!

Using a metal stake to strike against......

Using a metal stake to strike against......

Using a different type of hammer for this part.  All those tiny dimples on the silver are created by the strikes of this hammer......

Using a different type of hammer for this part.  All those tiny dimples on the silver are created by the strikes of this hammer......

Now that looks like it could hold an egg!

Now that looks like it could hold an egg!

And now a maths lesson! I decided on a cone shaped base for the egg cup to sit on so this was how I worked out the dimensions....

And now a maths lesson! I decided on a cone shaped base for the egg cup to sit on so this was how I worked out the dimensions....

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....to finish! TA DA!!!!  I left the texture left by all those thousands of hammer strikes as I love the effect on the cup and kept the base plain as a contrast, polishing the outside and giving the inside a matt finish.

Will I ever make an egg cup again? Unlikely, but never say never!  I will definitely be using the techniques I've learnt to create new pieces of jewellery though.

Hope he likes it :-)

Workshop Wednesday....Just a Couple of Days Late!

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So this week I have taken on a challenge set by my lovely husband! His birthday falls within days of Christmas so thinking of presents to cover both can be really tricky.  Husband has always loved a boiled egg or two for breakfast so has tasked me with making him an egg cup for birthday/Christmas.  This involves using skills that I don't yet possess so I have enlisted the help of someone who does!

And so we begin with a 75mm diameter disc of fine silver......fine silver is 99.9% pure and is softer than Sterling Silver (which is 92.5%) and therefore easier to shape.  My two tools for the job are a wooden bossing hammer, this looks like a wooden pear, and numerous blocks of wood that have a circular bowl shape set into them of various sizes and depths.  The silver disc is then hammered so the edges are bought up.  It's a bit difficult to describe so hopefully the pictures below will help!

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.......and this is where we're at so far! It doesn't look quite like an egg cup yet but it's getting there! I'll update again next week :-)

Christmas Craft Market at the MAC

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From 11am to 5pm today, you can find me at the MAC in Birmingham (Cannon Hill Park) for their Christmas Craft Market!

Do some Christmas shopping or treat yourself!  I have some new designs with me today including some pendants created using a water casting technique and some very unique pendants created by fusing silver.  I love both of these techniques as you can guarantee that no-one else will ever be wearing the same!

I will posting pictures throughout the event on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest so if you can't come along but see something you just have to have, contact me and I'll put it to one side (as long as it hasn't sold in the meantime).

Have a great day everyone and I hope to see you at the MAC!

On The Bench!

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Only 29 days left until Christmas.....Are you ready?!

I'm still busy preparing for the MAC Christmas Craft Market on the 12th of December (if you're near Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, pop in...say Hi. It's always nice to put a face to a name!).  New ides keep popping into my head, I experiment, I love the result and want to make more so expect some new pieces at this event!

I know we're only in November now buy I'm already looking ahead to April next year.  I will be exhibiting for the first time at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate.  This is a trade-only event where gallery and shop owners can meet people like myself who handcraft their pieces, not just jewellery but ceramicists, leather workers etc.  Even though I'm terrified (!), I can't wait to get in front of these buyers!  I can't decide which collections to take with me, I may have new designs by then but I know one thing, it'll be here before I know it.

I will be off to visit the jolly man in his red suit in Lapland on the 5th December so although you will still be able to buy through the online shop, I won't be able to ship it until the 9th.

On The Bench!

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I'm lucky enough to have been chosen to have my work shown in the B(u)y Me for Christmas Exhibition at Brampton Museum!  I'm very excited!!

So the next couple of weeks are going to be taken up making/choosing 20-25 pieces.  My problem is that I have so many new designs spilling onto my sketchbook!  Do I stick with what I have already created as well as a few new pieces?  Or do I go mad a create lots of new things?

I know what I SHOULD do....but this gives me an excuse to spend more hours at the bench  ;-)

You can visit the B(u)y Me for Christmas Exhibition from the 14th November to 10th January.

On The Bench!

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It's my favourite day of the week....Workbench Wednesday!!  Although I do spend time during the rest of the week, I always set aside Wednesday so I can spend ALL DAY at the bench. 

At the moment I'm working on a couple of new collections to take to the British Craft Trade Show in April next year.  I am so excited as it'll be the first trade event I've ever done and I guess like most "creatives", the designing and making is the easy part, speaking to gallery and boutique owners and marketing is the hard/scary part!  I do love talking to people, especially about my work, so if you're an owner of said galleries/boutiques, please come and say Hi, I'd love to speak to you!  I'll be in the Newcomers Gallery, stand 65.

I'm also preparing for the C word.....Christmas!!!  If you would like a piece commissioned in time for Christmas, please get in touch as soon as you can.  As each piece is made by hand, they can take anywhere from 7-14 days to complete, sometimes longer as Birmingham Assay Office, where my hallmarking is done, gets very busy in the run-up to the festive season.