Scarlett Willow Designs

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

sterling silver

Jars of Seaglass

BlogScarlett Willow DesignsComment

At the end of September, I was exhibiting at the Autumn Show in Malvern. I love this show, as a visitor and an exhibitor….especially the giant vegetable competition!

This year, I had a lot of people commenting on the “Morvoren Dagrow” collection that features seaglass. Each person I spoke to also had a love of these little jewels from the sea and loved to collect them on their trips to the coast. One woman had collected pieces from around the world! I asked each of them the same question…..

“What do you do with the pieces you’ve collected?”

Each and every person gave me exactly the same answer……

“I put it in a box or jar”

My reply was as follows……

Do you have a favourite piece? A piece that means a little more than all the others? You could always send it to me and I can create a beautiful piece of jewellery for you! “

I love creating bespoke pieces of jewellery for people, especially when they feature something from a place they’ve visited. And it doesn’t have to just be a piece of seaglass. Broken pottery, whether smoothed by the ocean waves or from Granny’s favourite teacup…a pebble that caught your eye….these can be turned into a piece of unique jewellery with meaning, my favourite kind of thing to make!

So if you’re someone who has a jar of seaglass or a piece of pottery that you would love to turn into a piece of jewellery for yourself or someone special, something unique, something with meaning, then please get in touch! Head over to the contact page and drop me a line

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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!

On The Bench!, Workshop WednesdayScarlett Willow DesignsComment

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 :-)

On The Bench!

On The Bench!Scarlett Willow DesignsComment

Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a new collection, comprising of a statement neckline piece (there's always has to be one!), a simpler pendant, earrings and a ring.  Inspired once again by the forest, these drops remind me of a simple leaf shape......or maybe raindrops.

All in sterling silver and made by hand, these pieces are very tactile.  They are now ready for my amazing photographer Alex (www.alexsharp.co.uk) to work her magic so they can appear on the online shop.  In the meantime, you'll just have to make do with my efforts using my phone!

I now have a little production line going, ready for their debut at the Autumn Show in Malvern (23-24 September), hope to see you there.

I've still got to come with a name for this collection, if you have any ideas then don't hesitate to get in touch!

Introducing the "Bark" Collection!

Bark CollectionScarlett Willow DesignsComment

You may have spotted over the last few weeks that a new collection has arrived in the shop!

Inspired by a fallen tree I found whilst walking in the forest (again!), this collection certainly makes a statement! The bark had started peeling from the tree and it was really quite stunning ~ it was made up of lots of small layers and, as it had been raining, the bark was wet and all these layers appeared to be different colours.

I took this and created my interpretation, instead of colours I used texture......every layer is hand-cut, textured by hand and soldered together.  Each piece will be completely unique (another thing you know I love!), what more could you want!

A statement neckline piece from the "Bark" Collection

A statement neckline piece from the "Bark" Collection

Fabulous texture on this "Bark" Cuff!

This ring is sure to be a conversation-starter!

This ring is sure to be a conversation-starter!

Perfect for everyday wear

Perfect for everyday wear

On The Bench!!

On The Bench!Scarlett Willow DesignsComment

On the bench this week is something a little different for me.  

It's a gift for a family member who has a very special birthday this month and thought I would create a keepsake that is crafted from sterling silver but isn't a piece of jewellery.  

I've decided to make a small silver marquise-shaped trinket box!  Quite different to anything I've ever made before and involves a few new skills for me.  It is definitely a challenge but I'm really enjoying it...just hope the lid fits!

Pictures to follow once the box has been gifted :-)