Tag Archives: jewellery

Looking to buy a diamond?

Perfect Brides & Weddings premiere edition.

Perfect Brides & Weddings premiere edition.

Sitting with a well-earned coffee in the studio the other day, I was flicking through some old jewellery magazines, as I often do, looking for design inspiration and checking out how styles have changed, or in some cases, stayed the same.

I came across this copy of Perfect Brides & Weddings and remembered that I had actually been asked to write an article on purchasing a diamond for this premiere issue.

Rereading it, I realised that although it was published some years ago, the information is still very relevant today, so I thought I’d share it with you.

So grab a coffee and enjoy.

White Fire

It’s so romantic…. you and your true love have decided to make it official and travel life’s journey together and it starts with that perfect symbol of love…..a diamond.

Diamonds

www.tkjewellery.com

Nature’s own creation, a symbol of your commitment and love for each other, not always flawless, but always shining brightly for the world to see and admire.

Unfortunately, for many couples this image is far from reality and the process of choosing and purchasing a diamond becomes something of a nightmare, certainly not the ideal start to this period of romance and elation. For many brides, a less than satisfactory diamond buying experience can leave them with such a negative image of their diamond that they lose the emotional connection with their engagement ringand the pleasure of wearing it is diminished.

The simple fact of the matter is you can avoid complication and disillusionment by arming yourself with some basic knowledge. It is indeed a shame that the jewellery industry has fast become one soured by misrepresentation and secrecy. With the emergence in popularity and dependence on the internet, consumers are now self-educating themselves to a certain degree, but with such an influx of information, it is easy to become confused. So who should you trust…. and why? Continue reading

Remodelling Your Old Jewellery

Times change, trends come and go, and sometimes our tastes just change over time. All good reasons to remodel your old jewellery. I’m sure every one of you reading this now has something tucked away in a drawer that is valuable enough to keepbut not quite what you want to wear. Remodelling your old jewellery is a great way to keep the sentimental value without breaking the bank. Most of the time, that’s exactly why people come to me to have something remodelled…..but not always.

Regardless of where you buy or the price you pay, jewellery will always suffer wear and tear. Metal may seem hard, but really, it is not and it will wear down over time. Depending on how often you wear your jewellery and how well (or not) you treat it, as well as the original quality of the ring, you may find you need repairs done at some stage.

Jewellery Remodelling

Rings with worn claws and a missing diamond.

Jewellery, especially rings, that have claw-set gemstones are especially prone to damage, either by the claws catching on something and breaking off, or just wearing down. As you can see here (ring on the left), a diamond has been lost due to the claws on the ring wearing away. The ring has not been mistreated, it just happens over time, in this case, quite a long time, which is a good thing.

So, sure, I could have just replaced the diamond and re-tipped the claws…. The problem is, once we start working on something like this, it is never quite the same. While it looks nice and new, there is still weakness. The re-tipping and restoration will give a few more years of wear to the client but then what? Restoring this ring was going to be costly and would only give maybe two to three years worth of wear. After that, the best option would be to remake the ring entirely. So, my advice was to do that right away…..why spend money twice, right?

My client really liked her original design and didn’t want to completely change it. However, I wanted to ensure that the ring was durable as she wears it all the time. Now, I’m not a big fan of claw settings on any rings that will be worn every day. They look great, but they do wear down as mentioned above so I designed the new ring with this in mind. The semi-bezels in the centre of the rings protect the diamonds and create a very secure setting. Being white gold, they highlight the diamonds and give extra brightness, making them appear larger and setting the smaller diamonds into the band helps protect them. My client also had another diamond ring that she didn’t wear any more, but that had sentimental value, so we added that in to the design (ring on the right).

Diamond Ring Design

The design sketch and finished ring.

I also added a white gold wave through the centre to give the ring a more modern look and to compliment the white gold settings.

Diamond Ring RemodelI am very happy with the outcome of this design. The ring looks amazing and is now ready for many, many more years of every-day wear. So, if you are looking at a costly restoration or repair job, consider remodelling. From a practical point of view, in the long run, it is a lot more cost effective. From a sentimental point of view, your original gold and gemstones are incorporated into the design, so you will still have that personal attachment to the jewellery.

If you have some old jewellery that you are considering having remodelled, you can take a photo and send me an email or make an appointment for a design consultation. There is a popular trend right now to cash in old gold, you’ve all seen those gold-buying booths, I’m sure. But why not use it and treat yourself to something special? I am also finding that remodelling inherited jewellery is now gaining popularity, especially as a gift. As a Mum, you may have Grandma’s rings tucked away with the intention of giving them to your daughter for her 18th or 21st birthday, but what will she do with them as they are? Will she wear them? Are they in good condition? Probably not. Why not consider remodelling them into a modern, secure and wearable piece of jewellery that she will love (and actually wear!).

And don’t forget, it isn’t only rings that can be remodelled. I can remodel a ring into a pendant, a pendant into earrings, earrings into a ring…..you get the picture.

One more thing…. If you like my blog, you might like to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll be the first to hear about new classes and new blog posts. Just click the link at the end of the post.

 

Remodelling

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Studio News….

I feel like a kid at Christmas right now. New studio, new website, a bunch of new designs on the bench and the smell of fresh coffee from my new coffee machine….. I am sitting here now, looking out at the kookaburras sitting in the trees and feeling very content.

So, what do you think of the new website? I decided to jump in and build it myself, so it is still a work in progress, but I am really happy with it so far. I’m working on adding a lot more to the site, including an online store. I am also going to Princess Cut Diamond Ringrelaunch my Snake Jewellery Range in the near future. I am putting the finishing touches on a couple of new jewellery collections tooand I have some gorgeous engagement ring designs in the works.

This is a beautiful engagement ring I recently made in white gold with three princess cut diamonds.

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Just recently, I exhibited at the East Kurrajong School of Arts Community Hall Hobby Show. I just love these local events and I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of new people. The weather held out for us and the event was a great success for the hall, which relies on community funding.
I have a few new jewellery-making classes scheduled, so this was also a great way for me to promote those.

Speaking of jewellery-making classes, here is a listing of upcoming workshops.

Don’t forget, one of my most popular services is the remodelling of old jewellery. I have a few remodels on the go at the moment and will post before and after photos as they are completed. We all have a couple of pieces of old or broken jewellery tucked away, too precious or sentimental to get rid of but just not quite what we want to wear, right? You can make an appointment for a design consultation with me here at my studio or, send me a photo via email and I will work on some design ideas for you.

Well, that bench really is calling……

 

A Popular Question

Well, the studio is finally ready and in preparation for the move, I have been clearing out drawers and cupboards and sorting through a stack of old stuff that I had mostly forgotten about. I came across a particular piece a few weeks ago and felt that I should share it with you. But first, let me tell you why…

One of the questions I am asked a lot is “What was the first thing you ever made?”

I started my apprenticeship in the late 80s, when I was still a teenager (uh-oh did I just give away my age?) but before that, I did some work experience in a jewellery workshop, firstly through a school program and after that, in school holidays. Mostly during this time I was stuck in the polishing room, you guessed it, polishing. All day. Every day. The little workshop had no running water, we had to get buckets from the bathroom down the hall and only cold water was available there. Those of you that have done any jewellery polishing would know that Tripoli and Rouge do not come off with cold water, so I would go home on the bus every afternoon with a black face and fingers. Not how a seventeen year old girl really wants to be looking….. But, I enjoyed the work and at the end of my first school holiday whitesnake coverstint, I was allowed to make something for myself.

My favourite band at the time was Whitesnake and I was just crazy about them. My newest Whitesnake album was this one so I stole the “WS” from the cover and made myself a pendant.

I wore this thing everywhere, well at least for a while.
It’s a bit rough and I could neaten it up, but I like to see where I began. 20130416_133719Since I found it again, I keep it on my bench so I can reflect on all the 20130416_133606years and everything I’ve learned since then. And every once in a while, I still throw that Whitesnake album on, although now I have it on CD and I have a much better stereo.

I still love saw-piercing and, luckily for me, my technique has improved. Maybe you’d like to give it a go…..

Just a quick note on the studio. I’m hoping to set some dates for the Stacking Rings workshop very soon, I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting for that one. It won’t be long now, I promise. I’m also making plans for some longer term classes, three hour sessions, once a week over 6-8 weeks. At this stage I am looking at having a weekday, a weeknight and a weekend option available. If you are interested in these classes, please let me know your preferred day or evening and I will do my best to schedule them at the most popular times.
Bench snapshot
Well, it’s back to the bench for me……

Some New Jewellery-making Classes

I have a couple of great classes scheduled for March and April. These are a little more advanced than previous classes, but are still ideal for beginners. Don’t be scared, you can do it!!

Here’s what you can make in my March workshop:

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Yes, this cute ring can be made in just one day. Choose your gemstone and come up with a design that pleases you, then get stuck in and make this little beauty!
This is a full-day class which runs from 9am to 4pm. There are two dates to choose from: Saturday 16th March or Monday 18th March.

Looks like fun huh?

I’m also taking bookings now for my April workshop where you will make these.

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Five rings in one day…..yes, FIVE.
Make a pile of stacking rings that you can wear individually or all together. As always, you can customise your designs to suit your own style and with this class, I have added the option of adding gold. Your gold, not mine…. If you have an odd gold earring or other small item tucked away in a drawer or jewellery box, bring it with you and recycle it to add as an accent to your rings.

This class is also suitable for beginners, although if you have some experience it will be helpful.

The Stacking Rings Class runs for a full day, 9am to 4pm with two dates available: Saturday 20th April and Monday 22nd April.

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Limited numbers of students ensure you get a lot of personal assistance in these fun and creative workshops.

Price of each class is $185 which includes all materials and use of tools. Please feel free to email me for more information or, of course, to book your place or head over to my Facebook page.

I’m looking forward to my February workshop coming up this weekend and hope to have some great photos to post next week.

Thanks for stopping by……..

A Quick Update

Hello again. Just a quick update on what’s happening in my world of jewellery making.

Firstly, the thing everyone is asking about…..classes!

I was hoping to get another class or two in before Christmas, but I just can’t do it. Wait…..don’t go away. There is good news. I am working on a number of classes starting early next year. I’m designing and making samples. Details will be coming soon.

Just as a teaser, here is a photo of one of the class projects I have planned – Stacking Rings.

In this class, you will make up to five rings in one day that stack neatly together on your finger. There’s also an option to bring in some of your old gold, melt it and add it to your rings. Sounds like fun, huh?

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The studio is still progressing nicely. We have running water and electricity now (woohoo) and it’s now time to start building benches.

I now have a Facebook store with some lovely earrings now available. I’ll be adding some of my custom designs soon as well as some of my exclusive Snake Jewellery pieces. I just have to get some time with my camera at the photo box. Photographing jewellery is hard!

Here are a couple of items listed on Facebook.

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ImageIf you’re not on Facebook and you’d like some more information on these earrings, please email me.

I’m also working on some really nice custom made items at the moment and I’ll bring you photos as soon as they’re done.

Have a great weekend !

Welcome !

Well, I made it over here to WordPress. If you’ve come from my other blog, thanks for following me. If you’ve stumbled upon this blog another way, welcome! I hope you like what you see.

For the new followers, let me tell you a little about myself (those that know me can skip ahead). I’m a qualified jeweller – that’s a REAL jeweller, not a beader. Not that I have anything against beaders, not at all. It’s just that so many times I’m doing the whole “so, what do you do?” thing at a party or gathering, I say “I’m a jeweller” and the response is something along the lines of….. “Oh, that beading is getting very popular these days”. Why? I don’t know, but I like to get that out of the way early.

I specialise in custom made designing. Engagement rings, wedding rings and remodelling of old jewellery. Let’s face it, some of those rings you bought in the seventies could really do with a revamp. Or perhaps you have something that you have just worn to death. That’s right, jewellery does not last forever……but most gemstones do. It’s no good to you sitting in the back of the drawer, gemsĀ  were made for fingers!

Speaking of beaders (we were a minute ago)…. Are you a beader that wants to move on to more challenging jewellery making? Well, I can help. I love to teach jewellery making to hobbyists. Maybe you’ve just always wondered how jewellery was made. Even if you’ve never picked up a pair of pliers, there will be a class to suit you. I’m currently building a studio that is purpose-built for jewellery making classes but in the meantime, I have a great venue at East Kurrajong NSW where I’m holding a few classes. For upcoming projects, you can visit my Facebook page, sign up for my newsletter, or check back here.

Please be patient while I get used to the new blog format. As a web-tech, I make a great jeweller.