You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2012.

The dull, drizzly weather has been with us for too long but now little shoots are finally poking up through the earth and the hedges have a twinkling of new green growth on them but I need more,  I need luscious, juicy and vibrant colours to cheer me up and help me look towards the spring. Last year I began to develop a new collection. Using recycled sterling silver I began casting rings, clasp, and long thin forms in lovely organic shapes. See more about the process here. Recently they have so reminded me of the bare winter branches and silvery winter weather I wanted to see how they would look contrasted with something a little bit more colourful. The ideas behind the Sticks and Stones collection are all based around natural forms and materials and I wanted to continue this so on a recent trip to London I visited one of my favourite bead shops and bought some strings of stone beads. So far I have strung up a few bracelets but I love this combination of rough cast silver and smooth, cold polished stone so I think I will definitely be doing some more.

You can see more images of the Sticks & Stones collection here and there are even a few pieces available to buy online.

This is the second in my mini series about my tools. The tools I use shape my designs and my creativity so this string of posts will help you see into the studio and find out what I work with. If you are thinking of taking up jewellery making it should give you a good idea of what you will need too. You can read the first in this series here.

Top: Piercing saw

Bottom: Tin snips

When it comes to cutting metal these are really my only two weapons of choice. A piercing saw is absolutely essential for any kind of small scale metal smithing. For those who don’t know, it has two clamps at either end into which you fasten a thin, serrated metal blade, I usually use a 2.0 grade blade. Mine has a third nut at the top which adjusts the tension and means you can use different length blades. I have had this saw for almost ten years – one of the first tools I bought when I started getting into jewellery. It is brilliant for cutting through thicker sections of metal, working around intricate shapes or getting into tight spots. It will also cut wood & plastic. I am hankering after one of these but this one should last me another ten years.

The tin snips are basically just a pair of seriously heavy duty scissors. I have a few different pairs but I have had this pair for about ten years as well. They are battered and in need of a sharpen but it’s funny how fond you can get of the items you use frequently. I use them every single day, for cutting sheet metal into nice, almost straight lines. You can get curved ones for cutting rounded shapes but I have always managed fine with the straight edged ones.

Hello and welcome to the design blog for Alys Power Design. I am a jewellery designer/maker specialising in original and unique pieces hand crafted from vintage and precious materials. My work explores the challenges of forgotten and discarded articles into objects of beauty and value. I work from my home studio in Nottingham, England and sell work through local and national shops and galleries and at regional craft fairs and arts market. More info and online shop can be found on my website www.alyspower.co.uk. xx

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