I have been very lucky to work with Anna Calvert, a jewellery maker and designer. However, her designs really intrigued me; how can you create that amount of detail? I also think that they are wonderful for people who have Aspergers like me; the material used does not create sensory intrusion, which is wonderful!
Growing up, what did you aspire to do, in terms of a career?
I didn’t really have a particular thing I wanted to be but I did for a while want to be a hairdresser and every time I get my hair cut I still think I’d have loved to have done it.
What was it that got you interested in Jewellery making?
My nan she always had such beautiful jewellery, she was old school and never went a day without a matching set on. So her jewellery box was like a treasure chest to me when I was young and I got to play around with some broken bits and that’s where it all started.
Could you take us through how you make an item of jewellery?
Yes, I’ll talk you through my personalised necklace.
To start with I cut the pendant out of a piece of sheet metal. Then put it on a steel block and using a round-headed hammer, hammer the disc to give it a dappled texture. Once I’ve done this I turn it over and using a metal letter stamp I put it In place and strike it with a hammer to leave the impression of the letter on the disc. Then I make a tiny mark with a punch where I want to drill the hole that the jump ring goes through (this is so the drill bit doesn’t slip and mark the metal) then drill through it so I can put the jump ring through and solder it together so that it can’t come undone. For the chain I cut off 17.5 inches add a jump ring and the clasp to one end, thread the pendant on and add 2 jump rings to the other end and then solder them all shut as the chain is so delicate it can’t slip through the gap if the jump ring isn’t closed properly. Now I’ve added the clasp and the jump rings the chain is 18 inches long. So it’s nearly done now it just needs a quick polish and then the letter is oxidised (which is a solution that basically extremely tarnishes the silver leaving it black) and then the excess is washed off and that’s it finished!
For people who aspire to also make jewellery, what are your tips?
Practice makes perfect when I started out I was so worried about breaking things and melting them that I was overly delicate but it’s metal and it doesn’t break that easily and yes I do still melt the odd thing but silver is really a lovely metal to work with.
Oh and wear the things you make that way you know how it sits and if it hangs nicely.
For a day at the office, what could we find in your handbag?
My diary/planner is always in there with a handful of pencils (I don’t really like writing in pen!) A pair of pliers, a lipstick and some dog treats for my 2 four legged assistants Hugo and Phoebe.
Random: do you like Pizza?
YES!! My favourite pizza is a vegetarian hot one I’m not a vegetarian I just love this pizza.
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