Saturday 31 December 2011

2012 Challenges!

It is the last day of 2011 so it is time to tell you about my challenges for 2012.

I know from the emails and comments I get that a lot of people have enjoyed the Bird a Week challenge, me included!,  so I have decided to carry this forward and make it into a......

I would love as many people as possible to join me in this challenge.

It does not matter whether creating is your living or your hobby or even if you have never done anything creative before. It can be in any medium (I may experiment a bit myself!), just create one bird every month and post it into the Bird a Month flickr album I have started. Pop over there now and join the group. I do hope you will join me for the year.

I have also signed up for a second challenge for 2012. Lora Hart has started a Four a Month challenge which I think sounds great fun.

The wonderful thing about challenges is that they are personal to you. There are no prizes, it is just for the pleasure of saying, yes, why not, I can stretch myself a bit and do that. The satisfaction of finishing is immense, believe me. You can combine challenges together, make things that you are going to sell or give away, or just for your own pleasure.  There are no real rules.

So make that decision today and please join me. You never know where it will lead to! ;-)

Happy New Year
Joy xx

PS The two photos are things I made as presents before Christmas, I just thought I would sneak an extra bird into the year and I hope you like the cute guinea pig earrings!

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Bird a week 52/52 - Dead as a Dodo!

This is it! Bird number 52 of 52. I have made it through the whole year on the Bird a Week Challenge. This little Dodo seemed to sum it all up for me as the last bird of the year.

He is made out of fine silver using Art Clay Silver. He is quite heavy weighing in at about 18g.

I have so enjoyed this challenge. During the year I have learnt a lot, tried new techniques and surprised myself at times!

I am so grateful to everyone who has followed or taken part in this challenge. Don't worry I will be doing more challenges in 2012. Later this week I will tell you all about what I have planned but there will definitely be a few more birds to come :)

Here is the final Haiku

52 birds made
The challenge is over
Dead as a Dodo! :)

Thank you ;-)

Friday 23 December 2011

Bird a week 51/52 - Resplendent Robin

This week it just had to be a robin didn't it:) This fine silver pendant made using Art Clay Silver has enamel, Enamelled Accents, 2mm lab ruby cabochons, and 24k gold Keum Boo.

A lovely festive little bird. Interestingly (well it was to me anyway!) this is the first bird I have used brown on all through the year. Now isn't that just a useless little fact!

The reverse is set with a 3mm lab ruby.

Here is the Haiku

Red berries, holly green
Resplendent little robin
Happy Christmas All

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.

I am still being indecisive about my final bird next week so watch this space!!.....

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Bird a Week 50/52 - Swanning Around

Week 50 of the Bird a Week Challenge. Here is a tiny fine silver swan I sculpted using Art Clay Silver. He is sitting on a steel bolt (don't try this at home - could be painful!!!) and my plan is to add him onto a box lid soon. I just have to make the box first!! ;-)

Here are some more photos of him.

And the Haiku.....

Elegant silvery swan
Head high, alert and watching
Will you throw me food?

Only two more until the end of the year!!! :)

Monday 12 December 2011

Bird a Week 49/52 - Perky Penguins

Week 49 - only three more after this one! So, here we have two cute little penguins. Joyful Jewellery. These are fine silver earrings with Enamelled Accents. Below is the reverse of the earrings. These will be up in my website shop and on Etsy tomorrow :)

Here is the Haiku for the penguins

Black and White Birdies
Great swimmers but flightless
Perky Penguins

When I started on this challenge back in January it never occurred to me that come December time would be short and keeping up to date would be hard. I know I have erred a little in the last few weeks but bird number 50 is already half made and will be here in a day or two! Bear with me :))))

 I am also having a hard time making my decisions on the final two offerings!

Too many birds, too little time.

Watch this space..... ;-)

Monday 5 December 2011

Bird a Week 48/52 - Scarlet Macaw

If you have been on a workshop with me in the last couple of months then you will know this parrot has been a while in the making! He has been sitting half made by my hot plate for a while so I decided it really was time to finish him off. He is a fine silver bead made using Art Clay Silver paste over cork clay. He is also a bit of an experiment.

Having fired him I decided to try using Prismacolor pencils instead of enamel for the colour. I brought these pencils a couple of years ago but have never tried using them. I worked on the colours and deliberately took them back to show the silver as well, with the colours being much fainter on the front of the bird (the back of the pendant).

I am not too sure if I will leave him like this or whether in fact you will see a mark 2 version in due time when I enamel him instead!

I would love to know what you think ;-)

Here is his Haiku

Multicoloured bird
Intelligent, majestic
Sitting in a ring

Sunday 27 November 2011

Bird a Week 47/52 - Northern Cardinal

Only 5 more birds to go after this one until the end of the year! Wow it seems to have gone fast.

47/52 a lovely Northern Cardinal sitting in spring blossom. This is a fine silver pendant with enamel.

The reverse is decorated with a texture and 2mm and 3mm CZs.

Not too seasonal, I know, but with so few birds left till the end of the year I just have to choose the ones I like!! ;-)

Here is the Haiku

Pink and white blossom

Red and black bird betwixt
Northern Cardinal

Thursday 24 November 2011

Bird a Week 46/52 - Autumn Bird

Bird number 46. Autumnal Bird. The colours on all the trees have been lovely in recent weeks and they inspired to make this brooch. Made of fine silver using silver clay, it is enamelled in a mix of reds, oranges and yellows with flecks of 24k gold fused into the enamel.

What sort of bird is it? Well it could be a black bird......

or maybe a blue bird .......

or even an orange bird!

It just depends what you wear him on!!!  ;-)

Here is his Haiku

Orange, red and gold
Autumnal colours abound
Silhouetted bird

This, of course, is technically last weeks bird as, yet again, I am behind!

I have been doing a lot of Christmas Fairs. Tomorrow and Saturday I shall be at the Cooden Beach Hotel near Bexhill in East Sussex. This is a lovely craft fair so do pop in if you are in the area.

I am off to enamel bird number 47 now :)

Monday 14 November 2011

Bird a Week 45/52 - Pavone di Venezia

This week is something a little different. This is the fourth in my venetian mask series which is inspired by the bird a week so I hope you will forgive artistic licence:) I know she is a little late again but I am into the Christmas Fairs now so my schedule gets a little pushed around!

I have called her Pavone di Venezia meaning the peacock of Venice. She is fine silver and set with 2mm lab sapphire cabochons and 2mm citrine czs. Her earrings dangle and move around as she is worn.

The reverse is decorated as well and set with 3 x 3mm stones.

I am going to list her for sale in on my website and also in my new Etsy shop that I recently opened. You can see the link to the shop on the right of my blog.

Here is her Haiku

Peacock Blue and Green
Plumage framing mask serene
Venetian wonder

Sunday 6 November 2011

Bird a Week 44/52 - Appealing Pair of Puffins

Yay - I have finished the puffins at last. This turned into such a labour of love that I nearly called them Huffin and Puffin! :)

I had this mad idea for a reversible puffin pendant as I found two nice photos of puffins that I wanted to base it on. It was one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" things.

Anyway to cut a long story short this one took me quite a long time to make it and enamel both sides! Still I am happy with the end result. I hope you like it.

And the Haiku

Appealing Puffins
With bright orange feet and beaks
Reversible fun

Friday 4 November 2011

Bird a Week 43/52 - Rainbow Birds

Week 43 of 52. Gosh this year is going fast. So this is actually last weeks bird as I am on catch up again. Just to confuse my regular readers this is not a puffin!! :)

The puffin is still puffing along. Actually it should be up on Sunday morning once I have finished enamelling it. It has all gotten a bit complicated... all will be revealed soon!

Back to these birds, lovely brightly coloured Rainbow Birds sitting on golden blossom. It is a fine silver lentil bead made using Art Clay Silver and the reverse has a nice silver texture.

Here is my Haiku

Pretty Rainbow Birds
Golden blossom all around
Sweet sounding songs

Sunday 30 October 2011


 Next March, I am delighted to tell you, I will be teaching two masterclasses at Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery (MCSJ).

The first one is on the 19th & 20th March and we will be making Discoidal Rings. Fun rings with lovely enamelled areas and wires added using my Enamelled Accents technique.

The second workshop is the 21st & 22nd March and is called Joyful Jewellery. We will have great fun on this one creating amusing pieces like the cheerful lot below which will again be enamelled using my Enamelled Accents techniques.

 These workshops will each cover lots of different construction techniques in silver and different enamelling techniques so if you could do both and learn loads of things!!! :)

Why not sign up and come along. I would really love to see you there.

I am back to catch up again on my Bird a Week so you can expect two birds in the coming week. I am puffing around getting there on the first one (now would that be a clue?) :)

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Bird a Week 42/52 - Avian Thimble

Somebody asked me recently if I ever made silver thimbles and you know I never have, so I decided to see if I could make one. This was my second attempt, the first never got as far as being fired so will be reconstituted back to silver clay.
I will not be going into mass production of them as they are a bit fiddly but if this one sells once it is hallmarked I think I will make a few more as it was quite fun to do and it is nice to make something that is not jewellery occasionally.
Here is the Haiku

Sitting on the round
Silhouette with spring blossoms
Avian Thimble

I have been busy fixing dates for next year for some Masterclasses I have been asked to teach in the UK. I will tell you more about them in my next blog post but if you can't wait then pop over to Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery where I will be teaching two brand new workshops next March :)

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Bird a Week 41/52 - Two Hoots

We are still on fun pieces this week, more Joyful Jewellery.

These two cute owl earrings are made of fine silver using Art Clay Silver and have enamelled faces.

Here is the Haiku

You looking at me?
No, you are looking at me
Who gives two hoots!

Monday 10 October 2011

Zingyness and a Sheep!

Well, these two could not be much more different could they?

Firstly, above is a new Discoidal Ring. I have called this one Zingyness, for obvious reasons!

The second one is another piece of Joyful Jewellery with a cute sheep on it. The piece is called - wait for it - A Bit Sheepish. How original is that! :))

I will be teaching both of these are styles as workshops soon so watch this space for details ......

Friday 7 October 2011

Bird a Week 40/52 - Having a Hoot!

As promised here is the second bird for this week so I am now totally back up to date with my Bird a Week Challenge.

I am in a bit of a comical mode at the moment and I really enjoyed making this one. As I played around with the wires for the owl I could get all kinds of comical faces and was sitting giggling away. Lovely to be enjoying my work so much!!

The back is a geometric design so the piece can be worn wither way round.


Wide eyed little owl
With your cute expression
I'm having a hoot!

Monday 3 October 2011

Bird a week 39/52 - Wot... No Fish?

Yay, now I am almost back up to date again. Today I made this fine silver brooch with enamel.

This one is back in the more humorous vein! I think it is also one of my favourites of the year so far. Living in a seaside town we see a LOT of seagulls!

We have a beach fishing fleet where the boats are launched off the beach and hauled back up again each day so there are always loads of gulls around the Old Town of Hastings. 

It is quite small measuring 24mm x 42mm.

Here is the Haiku
Sitting by the sea
Waiting for returning boats
Wot.. no fish today?

Sunday 2 October 2011

Wot... No Bird? and Discoidal Rings!

Where is the bird then Joy? I know I can hear you saying it. Sorry my regular bird watchers but last week got a bit busy and I got a bit side tracked!

I was making a new design of ring. I don't make many enamelled rings and for a good reason. Rings can be bashed about a bit in wearing and enamel does not like being bashed. My new Discoidal rings have enamel in a recessed area to help protect it and they have pretty fired in place stones and lovely textured ring bands.

So far I have completed two with more to come.

This one I have called Creative Mists......

 ...... and this one is called Shimmering Hot.

So the BAD news is that I did not finish my Bird a Week for last week, but the GOOD news is....

This week I will be making TWO birds so I am caught up again (and no, not one pair of earrings - no cheating here!).

Watch this space for two birdie blog posts before the end of this week. ;-)

Thursday 22 September 2011

Bird a Week 38/52 - Flying Round in Circles

This week I am back on the more generic style of birds. Flying birds circle all around this ring fine silver ring made using Art Clay Silver and it set set all round with zircon blue and orange 2mm CZs. I was thinking of the blue sky and the orange sunsets with these.

Here is the Haiku

Flying little birds
Sky blue and sunset orange
Circling all around

Sunday 18 September 2011

Bird a Week 37/52 - Decoy Mini

Week 37! This week I was running a bit short on time, hence I am a day late with this bird. Anyway, I eventually settled on a little mini decoy duck. I think he is quite sweet. Made of fine silver using Art Clay Silver you can see from the photo below he is tiny.

And is that a tear in his eye?....

Little decoy duck
Mimicking feathered friends
Maybe you are sad

Friday 9 September 2011

Bird a Week 36/52 - Pretty Flamingos

I gone a bit more exotic this week for my bird a week:)

A pair of pretty flamingos. They are actually a bit pinker than this but I am struggling to photograph the colour.

Fine silver made using Art Clay Silver they have Enamelled Accent Flamingos on.

Definitely statement earrings I think!

I shall be putting them into my website shop which is going to have a major update this week with more birds! I have been getting lots of things hallmarked ready for sale.

Still loving making these birds! ;-)

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