I am delighted to announce Manor House Designs will be hitting the high-street this Friday, as several local artists (who specialise in a variety of crafts whether using paint, stained-glass, felt, paper and silver) will be displaying their work at the fantastic Anne Reeves Jewellery in Shrewsbury (Shropshire).
This excellent initiative is in association with our good friends at Buy-From-Shropshire who actively encourage customers to buy handcrafted and locally-sourced products from a wealth of skilled Shropshire artisans. Please support this worthwhile endeavour and join us for the BIG LAUNCH on Friday 23rd June 2017 @ 18:30 at Anne Reeves Jewellery (127a Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8JU). You may even meet a "celebrity"? Ooh.
Each of the artists will be "manning the shop" a few days a month, so once we've sorted out our rota, and worked out how to use the till (but mostly the kettle for a nice cuppa), I'll post further details so you can meet us all. We'd love to see you.
Thank you for your support of local business.
As the final part of this month's blog about June's gemstone of the month - pearls - here's a helpful list of my do's and don't's for looking after your pearl jewellery.
Top Tips: Caring for your Pearls:
I love making jewellery using pearls, if you'd like to see some exmaples, simply click on this link - pearls - or visit my studio and try on something special.
Enjoy your pearls
Guess what I got for my birthday? It's a kit for enamelling. I've recently done some training in the skills of enamelling and have been itching to get started on some pieces in my own workshop. First things first, though. There's not a great deal of space left in my workshop (below left)... and I love the way my studio is (below centre).
So, in a subtle bid to take over the entire building and extend my silversmithing kingdom, I've moved the gym into the packing area! I now have a brilliant and bright space for drawing and enamelling. Can't wait to get started now. I've got lots of design ideas and have been scribbling away for weeks.
Eventually I want to enamel this piece. It's a work in progress. Made up of two parts, a pendant featuring Japanese ladies and a wisteria design brooch the two can be attached together to form a large and striking brooch. The sterling silver has been etched to highlight the design and I'm planning to apply some gorgeous enamel colour to really bring it to life.
I'll keep you updated
Thanks to Lana Crabb at Cooksongold and Denise McGowan (evanji.co.uk) for their tuition and inspiration.
As promised, here's the second part of my blog for June's gemstone of the month, -pearls - focusing on its many colours, shapes and interesting facts about this natural gemstone.
Pearls; their glorious colours and fantastic shape: Nearly all pearls sold today are cultured pearls and range in colour from white, ivory, lavender, black, purple, peach, pink and even gold. They get their colour from the inner elements of the oyster shell. Each one is unique and stunningly beautiful. The world's largest pearl (the Pearl of Lao Tzu) was found in 1934 in the Philippines. It is naturally occurring from a giant clam! Some pearls have fantastic shapes. Craftsmen and jewellers have created wonderful objects from pearls throughout the centuries.
Pearls: interesting things you probably didn't know?
Next week: Part three of Gemstone of the Month - Pearls, featuring my top tips on how to look after your pearl jewellery. And if you enjoy wearing pearls as much as I enjoy making pearl jewellery, take a peek at these pieces I have made.
Enjoy your pearls
Don't forget, that Father's Day is on Sunday 18th June, so if you're still trying to work out what to get your beloved dad for Father's Day, take a sneaky peek at these gorgeous treats I've hand made, which are quirky, unique and I hope you'll like.
Scroll left and right to browse a few of my items, or visit my Shop
Whether cufflinks, tie-pins or keyrings, each piece is unique, made from Sterling Silver by myself - Kate Buchanan-Dunne - in my lovely Shropshire workshop, and if you order now, I can dispatch it today, in time for Father's Day. If you'd like, I can even giftwrap it for you.
Unfortunately, with barely two weeks to go until Father's Day, that wouldn't leave enough time to design and handcraft a tailor-made silver gift, but if you have a relative who has a birthday coming up, why not get in touch? I'd love to talk to you.
Kate Buchanan-Dunne is an artist, designer and silversmith based in Shropshire.