Things I’m Liking – Silver Stud Earrings

Today in ‘Things I’m Liking’ are three styles that are very representative of my own aesthetic leanings.

I love the Art Deco period. It’s very interesting to me because it spans such a long period of time: Started in the 1920s. Was strong through the 1930s and early 1940s and although it’s decline could be seen post WW2, you can still see it’s influence in design of the 50s… and again today with a lot of geometric design being so popular right now.

deco shell upper metal class

Art Deco Shell Earring Studs by Upper Metal Class

These Tulip earrings by Ginny Reynders are evocative of her Dutch heritage, but speak to a larger Folk art aesthetic.


Tulip Earrings by Ginny Reynders Jewellery

These are particularly interesting to me as a long time digital designer of icons and interfaces, but they also have a bit of a Kawaii aspect, like my own work at Paper Ivy.

weather forecast huili tan

Weather Forecast Stud Set by Huiyi Tan

Jewellery Tool Collection

I’ve enjoyed my silver smithing class so much that I think I’m going to have to arrange a permanent setup for it at home. I’m thinking a little spot at the end of our tiny garage, but there will need to be some serious organisation/ebay-ing going on in there before that happens. I’ll let you know how it goes, maybe a before and after of the setup?

My tool collection is growing…


Current stash of tools

  1. Set of needle files (for filing in tricky places)
  2. Rawhide hammer (for shaping rings around a mandrel)
  3. Micro torch (for light soldering work)
  4. Insulated cross lock tweezers (for holding pieces while soldering)
  5. Jewellers saw (for… sawing things)
  6. Saw lubricant (better for the saw, better for the result)
  7. Chasing hammer (Can be used for flattening, riveting and texturing)
  8. Two half round files: a 0 and a 2 cut (we all know what files do right?)
  9. A beautiful, Italian made ring mandrel that I justified buying because the cheaper option had no ring size markings
  10. Round nose pliers for bending things, usually wire, into a rounded shape.
  11. Sanding sticks… actually they are paint stirrers from a hardware store, but they have that great little ergonomic dip on either side which makes them great to use. Each stick is covered in a different grade of wet and dry. When I wear it down, I just rip off that side and I have a fresh strip of it!
  12. Bench pin: This is what I use to stabilise my pieces when I’m working on them

Y’know, there are few more pieces of equipment that are not in this pic. Some pretty crucial ones actually! So I’ll mention them now, but maybe they’ll make an appearance in my before and after setup post? They are:

  1. A ceramic tile
  2. Magnesia soldering block
  3. Cutting compound
  4. Polishing compound for giving things a nice buffed finished
  5. Polishing cloth
  6. A Dremel drill! I can’t wait to polish up Ivy’s ring (with it’s tiny, hard to get at spots) using this , but I’ll need to go and buy a few new bits for it first. (Must do a WIP post for that!)

I’ll let you know how the setup goes!

Silver Smithing Progress

A while ago I mentioned that I was going to start a silver smithing class. Now I only have one class left and I’ve really loved it.

So far I have made three rings: One for Shawn, one for Ivy and one for myself.
3 rings

Mine is a plain, half-round ring in 100% recycled sterling silver. Shawn’s ring is made from the same wire as mine, but it has been hammered to give it texture (although his is hard to see at the back of this picture).

Ivy's ring WIP

Ivy’s Ring – A Work in Progress… and in the background a pendant I’m working on too.

Ivy’s ring is plain like mine, but it isn’t finished yet. Above you’ll see a little flower resting against her ring. I sawed this from some sheet sterling silver, but I need to perfect the edges and finish this weekend. On Monday night I’ll anneal it (heat it, which will strengthen it), dome it so that the petals curve up slightly, then inside I’m going to put a small silver ball that I’ll make by fusing some of my scrap silver together. (When you heat up your scraps they ball up. It’s very cool to watch.) Once that’s done I’ll solder the ball on, then solder the flower to the ring. It’s going to be so freaking adorable I might need one for myself when I’m finished.

I just hope it goes according to plan. Wish me luck!