Understanding Carats: The Seed of Value in Jewellery

This spring time many of us are struggling to get seeds into the sodden ground. Our connection with seeds is deeply ingrained (sorry!). These familiar things have been used by us humans for more than growing food and useful building materials – they have underpinned our assessment of the things around us and been the... Read more »
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A Jeweller’s Journey Through Tool-Making and Tradition

The Tradition of Tool-Making in Jewellery Traditionally, jewellers start their career by making their own tools. I’m not sure if this is now the case, the digital and technological revolution has enabled a tool for every occasion. In the past, the making of your own set of tools served several different functions: 1. Tailor each... Read more »
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The Moonstone Necklet

Things often happen in clusters don’t they? Here in the world of Erica Sharpe it has been the week of necklets. Two in particular have captivated me with their stories.  As well as making jewellery to commission, I also take on repairs and restorations. These are very often time consuming labours of love. If I... Read more »
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Remaking Rings

One of the most universal pieces of jewellery around has got to be the wedding ring – there are very few of us who have never seen one and most have worn one. They are probably so commonly worn that they go unnoticed. In my workshop, there is always a wedding ring or two in... Read more »
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The Cheddar Brooch

You may well have heard about the Cheddar Brooch now on display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. This rare Anglo-Saxon silver disc brooch dates from 800- 900 AD and is certainly a show-stopper.  It was found in a field near Cheddar by metal detectorist Iain Sansome. Although it was covered in mud, Iain... Read more »
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Milestones

Over the course of the summer I had the pleasure of working with many lovely couples to create jewellery to celebrate land-mark points in their relationships. It was unusual to have such a cluster of work that covers all the ongoing stages of one theme.   First, an engagement ring. That was an absolute beauty,... Read more »
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The Jug Man

At the end of May, I took up a challenge, responding to an invitation from The Wells and Mendip Museum to local people to ‘Get to know your museum’, asking the question, ‘Have you ever walked past the museum on Cathedral Green and wondered what’s inside?’ …. How could I resist! With the opportunity to... Read more »
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Crystals

What is a Crystal? The word ‘crystal’ derives from the Ancient Greek word krustallos, meaning both “ice” and “rock crystal“. Rock crystal is a clear, pure version of quartz and commonly used in jewellery as a gem. Quartz is the most common crystal on earth and appears in many forms. As well as rock crystal we... Read more »
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Cameos

Introduction Cameos have been created for thousands of years. The cameos in jewellery that most of us have seen are carved sea-shells. They feature a figure, portrait or scene that is usually white on the upper surface, and is carved and sculpted in three dimensions towards a different coloured background layer. Shells are ideal because... Read more »
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Diamonds

  A (very) brief history of Diamonds Diamonds were first discovered in India and were treasured just as they were, uncut and loose. In the 11th century, diamonds began to appear in jewellery pieces, which were also uncut and just as they appeared from the earth. In the 1500’s, it was discovered that the diamond... Read more »
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