About three years ago I took a jewellery night class course with Eastleigh College. I absolutely loved it. There’s nothing more satisfying that creating a beautiful bit of silver jewellery from a flat sheet of silver or a strip of silver wire.
The course ran for 12 weeks and taught me a lot of really good basic skills. I spent quite a lot of money (as did Santa!) on some tools that you need to make some basic items.
Then I moved. We bought a beautiful solid oak dining table for our new house… and there was no way that I was going to be allowed to attach my vice or bench clamp to that!
So I stopped making jewellery completely as I had nowhere to do it. So all my tools and things were put in my shed and forgotten about.
Until my birthday when Tom bought me a private jewellery lesson with my old teacher, Joanna Tinley. What a lovely boy. Although my birthday is in June, there weren’t any free classes until October. He also bought me a specially made jewellery desk, which we’ve put in my study (which is now the study/craft room. A blog on the makeover of this room will be up as soon as the room is actually finished!). So now I have a place to make my jewellery and a chance to brush up on my skills.
Joanna has a lovely studio in Eastleigh – it’s in an old post office sorting house which has been converted into a creative hub. It’s amazing! It’s the kind of place that makes me want to jack in my 9-5 and become a full time creative artist. She said it’s a brilliant place to work – everyone gets on so well with each other and they all work with different materials to create such a wide range of art, clothing, jewellery, textiles and other fabulous bits.
Joanna’s studio is great – everything you need in one little crafty room. She’s not got an open area like some of the other residents – mainly because of the noise she makes hammering jewellery!
I had some old jewellery projects which I wanted to finish as well as a couple of new ones. I recently saw some earrings made with some sea glass, which were just lovely. I was planning to go to our local beach to find some sea glass… but eventually just bought some off Etsy! I’m not lazy, I’m supporting local businesses ya know?!
So I brought some stones which I planned on making into drop earrings. I also had some turquoise beads which I also wanted to make into earrings, but we ran out of time. But it wasn’t an issue as I just came home and finished them off myself with my new-found skills and confidence.
Here’s a couple of pictures of me making my earrings and the finished pieces:
I had such a good day. It really was brilliant to be able to brush up on my basic skills again. It had been so long since I’d done any soldering or sawing, and I had lost a bit of my confidence. Joanna was very patient and taught me a lot of new things as well as giving life to the old skills I had. If you’re interested in jewellery making then I’d recommend taking a private lesson. She offers classes for one or two people (so you can bring a mate) as well as focused group classes for things like stone setting and bangle making. You can also buy some of her jewellery from her website.
What do you think? You like the earrings I made?