Kick Starting the Creative Process

By Jo Varney For me personally, inspiration comes very easily on days like today. It is a sunny winter morning and I have just walked my children to school, looking out onto the most beautiful view as the sun breaks through the mist which had settled just below the Clent Hills. I found myself looking at shapes cast by shadows created as the sun shines through the branches of … [Read more...]

Colour Trends in 2018

By Jo Varney As we welcome in the New Year, we also welcome a new colour of the year for 2018, which happily for me is purple, or Ultra Violet to give it its official name. I say ‘happily’ for me as purple has been a constant presence in my life since my teenage years, and I daresay I am not alone in this. Purple has always been a colour which is just that little bit edgy; a … [Read more...]

Material Focus: Copper

Copper tones have been enjoying enormous popularity for some time now in fashion, accessories and interiors, but in the run up to Christmas how can it compete with the more traditional colour schemes of silver and gold? The overwhelming draw of copper is its intense warmth, and with temperatures dropping below zero outside, warmth is what we are all craving – so it’s a great … [Read more...]

Fabulous and Under a Fiver 2017

We are all aware that generally speaking, finding inexpensive Christmas gifts may have become that little bit more challenging. However, I do enjoy a challenge and have searched extra hard this year to find you a selection of great items which won’t disappoint, yet still cost under a fiver. Take a look through the selection below… Sterling Silver Christmas tree Enamel Stud … [Read more...]

Top Christmas Gift Ideas 2017

Cooksongold is an ideal destination for those searching for a special luxury gift this year. We have some fabulous tools and kits for jewellery makers as you would expect, but also some more unexpected items to delight those who are a little more difficult to buy for. Take a look through some of these top picks to see what ‘gems’ you can discover… Gold Pro Max Barreling … [Read more...]

Winter Selling Exhibitions 2017

By Jo Varney With Christmas rapidly approaching, here are some of my top picks of the designer/maker selling exhibitions in the run up to the big day this year. Hopefully they will encourage you to invest in some handmade pieces for loved ones, or inspire you to make some of your own. Etsy Made Local: Birmingham Originals Winter Makers Market When: 2nd – 3rd December … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Fancy Sapphires

All gem-quality corundum which isn’t red is classified as Sapphire. However, the term Fancy Sapphire is used to describe stones which are neither red, blue nor colourless, so there are four different types of Sapphire in theory. But to complicate matters further, you will also find other coloured Sapphires with specific names (such as Padparadscha and Pink Sapphire), so the … [Read more...]

Poppies for Remembrance Sunday

This year Remembrance Sunday falls on the 12th of November, and it is on this day the nation falls silent at the eleventh hour to take a moment to honour and remember our war dead. Armistice Day is always the 11th of November, as this is the anniversary of the day in 1918 when Germany surrendered to the Allies and peace was declared, bringing an end to a long and bloody … [Read more...]

The Princess Cut

In layman’s terms a princess cut stone is a square cut stone with exceptional sparkle, and they are almost as popular as the enduring round brilliant cut, but not quite! They can be easily identified by their crisp, sharp corners and the sheer number of facets visible on the underside or pavilion. This is quite different to its similar counterparts such as the emerald cut and … [Read more...]

How Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter Has Evolved

the-history-of-the-jewellery-quarter

The rich history of the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter still runs through the streets of Hockley today. As an area renowned for its jewellery manufacturing and trade, what better way to pay it tribute than with a look back at where it all began, and how it has evolved over time to become the ‘workshop of the world’. Learn 10 fascinating facts about the Jewellery Quarter’s … [Read more...]