Kim Styles talks us through what she made with her winnings from our big Gold Ticket giveaway!
I was lucky enough to win a Cooksongold ‘Gold Ticket Giveaway’ in one of my several purchases last May. I wanted to take the opportunity to make something special with the shopping spree I had won, as I would not normally be able to justify buying that amount of material to simply ‘play with’. I have been making jewellery for many years and I used all the skills I have accumulated in that time to make this necklace. It was a challenge!
As I particularly enjoy making flowers I decided to make a spectacular Spring necklace incorporating my favourite Dog Roses, as well as other traditional English Spring flowers. I went out with my camera photographing a selection of flowers I found blooming wild in my area of Devon. Buttercups, Bluebells, the Dog Rose, Fruitillaries and Forget-me-Nots.
I looked at the structure of the flowers and worked out how best to bring the feel of the flower to life in metal. I was not trying to recreate exactly, but to get a flavour of the original flower. I then sketched my ideas for the piece. Once I had the design worked out in my mind I estimated what metal I would need. What size and what thickness or form, whether it be sheet or wire. For this necklace I wanted some 18ct yellow gold details as well as the basic silver, so I used gold sheet for the rose bud base and .5 wire for the stamens.
I started with the bluebells as they are a shape I am unfamiliar with and I find it works best for me if I get the difficult bits out of the way first, then the rest (hopefully) is plain sailing.
Next Fruitillaries, following a similar method to the Bluebells. These were much larger, I was aiming for half lifesize. On closer inspection the shape of the flowers differs quite a bit from a Bluebell so I spent some time working out how to get the shape right.
The chain I hand made from 1mm round wire, the hook clasp from 2mm wire and then got down to my favourite bit: the rose. The flower was pierced out of .7 sheet, then the texture was hammered and the shape formed. The leaf was pierced out and the veins engraved, soldering onto the back of the rose with the completed bud. I made a sturdy hidden connection for each section with small jump rings and started to put it all together.
Next came buttercups with gold details, a tiny butterfly and bee and the Forget-me-Nots.
And finally….it’s all together and polished. And it is the statement piece I envisioned.
So a very big THANK YOU to Cooksongold for enabling me to let my creativity run free!
Now to design the next in the series, the Summer Extravaganza Necklace, to be followed by Autumn and then Winter pieces. Camera and sketchbook at the ready.