Entwined Rings Pendant
by Jacqueline Grant.
I run a small on-line jewellery business in the UK. I first became interested in jewellery making when I couldn’t find a necklace to go with an outfit for a girls night out. I spotted a magazine about jewellery making, sent off for some beads and made a (very bad) bead necklace. But I was proud of it!
I then dabbled in metal clay for a while but found it quite frustrating as I like to sit and think when I try out new ideas and metal clay dries very quickly! So I had to make a decision – stick with metal clay or try sterling silver sheet and wire. Sterling silver won.
I’m still learning as I’m self taught. I don’t think even the most experienced jewellery maker can say they know everything. I sign up to courses for new techniques and the internet is a great source of information when I want to try a new idea. As, of course, is Jewelry Making Journal! I enjoy looking at the tutorials and seeing if I can adapt the idea to sterling silver.
I began my business three years ago when, having spent a few years making gifts for friends, someone asked why I didn’t try selling to the public. So, nothing ventured -nothing gained, Jacqueline Grant Designs was launched the day before our son’s 9th birthday (yes, I do like to give myself hard work – organising a birthday party and launching on Etsy – why not?!)
My favourite pieces to make are my Russian wedding ring (or entwined ring) pendants.
I use 1.5mm (about 15 gauge) sterling silver wire, a jewellers saw, paste solder and a hammer. Every ring on the pendant is unique as I can’t repeat the strike pattern and I like that.
I enjoy the feeling of excitement, combined with a little trepidation, when I begin to cut coils of sterling silver wire into rings – if the cut isn’t sharp, the gap won’t close and the ring won’t solder. There’s a real sense of satisfaction when I get a mound of rings, all connecting properly together (I think I should get out more really…)
My favourite part of making these is using a hammer to add texture. Soldering the rings, pickling them and sanding them leaves the silver dull. But as soon as the hammer begins to strike you start seeing tiny flecks of brightness shining through. And there’s something very comforting about the sound of hammer on metal – if you’ve ever been drawn to a blacksmith’s forge simply by the sound you’ll know what I mean.
And once they’ve had their time in the tumbler my little rings of sparkle are done! Definitely the item I most enjoy making.