Getting my hands dirty for once.
As one of the designers here at Dytham’s I am in a fantastic position to create some beautiful pieces for each and every customer who comes through our door. Whether it is creating a new piece or working on a redesign with sentimental jewellery, each creation is a new challenge (which I love about my job) as each person is completely individual. Once I have had a consultation with the customer and designed something they love enough, the prototype has been approved, the making of the item is out of my hands and passed on to the goldsmiths.
To improve our skills as designers, we have training in the workshop to gain experience on the processes of making a piece of jewellery. I believe this helps me when it comes to designing in the future, as I am more aware of what’s possible and what’s not. Gaining knowledge of how pieces are manufactured, I put this into practice when designing so I avoid awkward and potential alterations having to be done while the piece is being made.
We decided it would be best to start off with making a hammered sterling silver ring, which I could wear myself. Just a few things I learnt in my first lesson were about milling out the metal to make it the width and depth I wanted. Cutting the metal and soldering it together to be an actual ring. Then filing up the inside, sizing it to my finger size, adding a hammered finish and finally polishing the ring up.
It was a great experience in the workshop and I look forward to learning more in the future. There is so much more that goes into making jewellery (even something as simple as a plain band) that you never think about when you put it on. Every time I wear my ring I am proud of what I achieved in the short space of time I have had so far, and be more conscious when coming up with future designs.
Not to go overly girly here but my only set back to this task was my nails, I didn't think they would last the experience! Doing this made me realise how hands on it is in the workshop and how practise and experience is important. I had just had them painted, meaning I was careful not to ruin them. So next time I have a go in the workshop I will make sure I am more prepared.
I’m looking forward to the challenges 2019 brings to my designing skills and what stunning pieces we can create as a team. Always looking forward to what comes next… For now though here is a few pictures of my first attempt.