A customer approached me at the end of last year in the hope of commissioning me to create a few pieces of jewellery for her from some heirloom antique silverware she had.
She had seen my work during Round the Horn, an open studio event I do with other artists in Kinghorn every November, where we open our doors to the public for a unique creative trail around our village.
Out of all the pieces she showed me, two were definitely sterling silver, whereas the others were a mix of EPNS or silver plate. She wanted one of the spoons to be transformed into jewellery for her sister and the other spoon into something special for herself. So I set about working on the pieces for her sister first as these were to be a Christmas present.
The spoon I was given had a beautifully shaped bowl and the stem of the spoon had a design I was familiar with and I showed her the rings I’d made from spoons in my collection with the same design.
We settled on making a ring and a pendant out of this spoon:
Here’s the finished pendant with a glass bead detail:
Here’s the finished ring:
You can find out more about this commission and the pieces I created, as well as see the process from start to finish here.
The other spoon she gave me was amazing. A large dessert or serving spoon that was intricately engraved on the bowl and the stem. Here it is:
You can see the engraving detail better in this image though after I’d split the spoon in two.
My idea was to pierce the silver and cut around the design to accentuate the details and take the ‘spoon’ shape away.
I also flattened it a little and spent some time grinding away the area where the stem was origiginally attached to the bowl. You can see this clearly in the image above on the right of the bowl.
This is the finished brooch:
With it’s lovely double pronged brooch pin:
With the brooch completed, I moved onto working on the pendant. Originally we had discussed doing a simple bend over of the silver at the top of the spoon stem to create a loop through which to thread a chain, but as I was working on tapering the stem I couldn’t get over the fact that was a bit boring and also a rather safe option.
So I went off to water my greenhouse plants and ponder. Here I came across my cucumber plant stretching out and climbing up string I’d put in place for it to do so. The curling tendrils of the plant were the inspiration to how I completed the pendant…
In more detail…
The two completed pieces:
Although I got the first spoon transformed quickly in time for Christmas last year, its taken me a while to get the second set of pieces completed. I’ve had a really busy year concentrating on my Next Steps programme as well as a few bouts of ill health and injury – thankfully my customer has been very understanding throughout.
She’s thrilled with the final pieces and along with her jewellery, as a way of thanking her for being so patient, I also created a small book of photographs showing her the whole working process from start to finish and you can see this for yourself here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these pieces and have had a look at the individual commission pages I’ve linked to. If you have antique silverware lying forgotten in a drawer somehwere, why not dig it out, get in touch and commission me to make something special from it?
These kind of pieces make perfect gifts at Christmas or for birthdays and anniversaries and I’d be happy to talk things through with you over the phone or via email – simply get in touch to start the ball rolling…