Top Tips For Using The Ring Carving Kit

Top Tips For Using The Ring Carving Kit

Here at Silver Works, as ‘The Experience Creators’, we’ve put together our first-ever virtual experience and packaged it up so that you can enjoy creating your own ring from the comfort of your own home. The Ring Carving Kit is designed by our top jewellers and goldsmiths to supply you with all of the tools and knowledge necessary to create your own ring. 

The Ring Carving Kit is designed to be a fun, creative experience, a chance to explore a new skill, embrace creativity or even introduce a new career pathway to carry on outside of just the kit. The best part is you need zero experience in jewellery making or wax carving to enjoy it.

Once you have your kit and start your tutorial, our incredible Tutor will teach you, using different techniques, how to carve and file your design into the piece of wax. The wax is smoother and much nicer to work with rather than silver, the buttery material of the wax allows you to create textures and designs that you can’t create with metal. The wax is more sculptural and organic and this is why this technique is often used within the industry.

Have a look at a before and after example from one of our customers

Silverworks - Irish Jewellery Classes - Ring carving Kit 1      Silverworks - Irish Jewellery Classes - Ring carving Kit 3

 

Here are our top tips for using your Ring Carving Kit:

Take your time

Wax is a really easy medium to shape and design on but in the same regard, it’s very easy to get carried away and take too much off. Take your time and make every mark on that wax an intentional wax. It will be worth it in the end.

Take breaks

The blue wax can be difficult to look at for long periods of time and intense focus is tiring. Set yourself a time limit of 30-45 minutes of work time with a 15 minute break. Go outside, let your eyes focus on something else for a bit and then come back to it. It really helps!

Aim to file in one direction

When filing, its very tempting to move the file back and forth to just remove all that wax quickly. But in doing this, we tend to rock out files. On the wax this translates as a curved surface of a surface full of unintentional facets. To keep a surface flat, always aim to file in one direction. So place your file on the wax, file forwards, lift and reset before repeating. You will get a more consistent action and you’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve done with each stroke. Control is key!

Keep your index finger on the top of the file

For extra control with a file, always keep your index finger on the top of the file as you use it. It will keep it balanced and make for a nice clean filing action.

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)

 

The Benefits of Cultivating New Creative Skills

The Benefits of Cultivating New Creative Skills

The Benefits of Cultivating New Creative Skills 

 

By definition, creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to bring something new to life. When we were kids we were always encouraged to be creative whether it was through make believe games, finger painting or playing with toys like PlayDoh. For kids, creativity is a chance to try new ideas, explore new ways of thinking and helps us to discover and celebrate our uniqueness and diversity when we’re young. It encourages children to express themselves openly without judgment. 

As we get older, we often find ourselves censoring our creativity as we start to conform to social expectations, often as a means of survival and fitting in with those around us. We avoid expressing ourselves freely in order to avoid judgement from others, making decisions based on what we think those around us will approve of and as a result, end up minimising and quashing a lot of our creativity. 

However, over the last year, many of us have turned to creativity as a means of distraction or coping with lockdown and Covid-19 life. It’s been a means of escapism and opportunity to embrace something new in our lives and with more time at home on our hands, we’ve taken the time to develop or return to creative passions we’d long forgotten about. 

If you find yourself feeling stuck or in a rut, embracing creativity within your life can be a positive, small step in the right direction. It’s a chance to shake things up a little by challenging yourself to a new skill and as it turns out, there are many positive benefits to embracing creativity.

 

Freedom

There’s no manual to being creative and there’s no right or wrong way to be creative. It’s a very personal experience that differs for every person. Being creative is an opportunity for us to engage with the world without judging ourselves. Through creativity, we’re able to return to that feeling of freedom that we experienced in childhood, free from pressures to be an expert. It’s this liberating permission slip to take risks, to try new things and to strip away inhibitions.

 

Stress Relief

There’s an incredibly meditative element associated with creativity, that sense of being totally ‘in the zone’, where you’re concentrating so much on the task at hand that everything around you ceases to exist or at least minimises its importance and impact on you. Creativity is about fun and doing things that bring you joy, often for no other reason than that – you enjoy yourself when doing them. Furthermore, doing things that bring us joy in life reduces our stress levels overall and improves our quality of life.

 

Self-awareness and expression

Following on from the meditative element of creativity, through regular creativity we begin to unlock a different kind of access to our self-awareness. We begin to access our true thoughts, feelings and beliefs and take time to develop our own ideas. We learn a lot about ourselves and with that learning, we’re able to express ourselves better and more fully in all aspects of life. Plus, there’s nothing like taking on new challenges – such as a creative skill – and smashing them to make you feel like a real hero. So what do you know, your self-esteem will thank you too for embracing creativity. When we make creativity a habit, we continue to learn new, resourceful ways of solving problems through these creative skills.

Invitation to explore

If you’re on the hunt for a new creative skill yourself, we’d love to invite you along to one of our virtual classes. This week (Thursday 15th April, 6pm) we’re running a Virtual Wax Carving Class where, via Zoom, you can make your own pendant from the comfort of your own home.  We’ll send you a package with everything you need ahead of the virtual class and you’ll receive the Zoom link upon purchase of your ticket.

Then, once your package has arrived safely with you, through the virtual class our tutor will teach you all the techniques to carve your pendant design into a piece of wax. The wax is much smoother and nicer to work with the buttery texture allowing you to create textures and designs that you can’t do with metal. Once you’ve finished with your wax carving, you can decide if you’d like your creation to be cast (additional prices listed on the event listing)

 

Secure your place on our virtual class here

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)

 

The History of Silversmithing in Ireland

The History of Silversmithing in Ireland

The History of Silversmithing in Ireland

The history of silversmithing in Ireland is one that is steeped in anciency, and embroiled in conflict. For centuries, Irish silversmiths have created beautiful designs out of silver. As time went on, through the 17th century all the way through to the Celtic Revival, Ireland’s silversmiths have reinterpreted and innovated European trends to create our own distinct visual identity. Jewellery and silverware from across cities in Ireland even bore their own stamps, and featured their own unique individual style. 

For centuries our historical art remained hidden, kept safe during the plundering of Vikings and eventually forgotten in time. Their all-too-recent rediscovery has restored a fragment of our history integral to our artistic roots, and indeed, a key to understanding the true history of Ireland. 

The survival of Irish silver through the centuries forms the basis of inspiration for much of our contemporary jewellery, and also of the Silver Works jewellery making courses – sharing our expertise in our workshops allows us to keep this ancient craft alive, not just amongst our silversmiths but for anyone with a love for all things shiny and an itch to work with their hands! 

With our silversmiths leading the way, we want to keep this tradition alive and share an ancient Irish craft with locals and explorers alike. Whether you’re an aspiring silversmith looking to take our jewellery making courses, a bride-to-be looking for an eclectic Hens Night or simply a romantic soul who wants to make an engagement ring with your loved one, we truly have something for everyone. 

It’s truly something special, knowing that centuries on from the original master silversmiths establishing their trades, we have the opportunity to gather and spread the joy of our craft- And how beautiful, to think that a ring you have forged with your own hands, will survive through generations? 

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)

 

Oh Mother! A gift guide for an unconventional Mother’s Day

Oh Mother! A gift guide for an unconventional Mother’s Day

 

Oh Mother! A gift guide for an unconventional Mother’s Day

 

 

 

There’s no getting around it, folks. This Mother’s Day will be an unconventional one. With many of us away from the exceptional ladies in our lives, it’s going to be tough not to spend the day together. There are those of us who have returned to the nest, taken under our mothers’ wings in a time of crisis. And it’s vital to remember the amazing women who are navigating motherhood during the pandemic. 

 

It’s when times are toughest that the mothers in our lives roll up their sleeves and make things work.  So now is the time to show our appreciation with something special- Because now more than ever, we all need a reminder of our beauty and our resilience. 

 

That’s where The Collective comes in. We have picked our most unique pieces of Irish jewellery from our artisan designers, ranging from handmade jewellery to custom and bespoke pieces. We’re also excited to share our range of unique gifts from craft designers across Ireland. 

Silverworks - Jewellery Makiing Classes - Pendant

The Mini Moon & Moon Silver Pendant from Cosmic Boulevard

Oh my stars! This pendant from Cosmic Boulevard is an example of Irish independent art, created by Sinead Murphy from her Dublin workshop. The moon is our universally understood symbol for motherhood-  the divine feminine strength that brings the tide and captures our hearts. Sinead’s work is primarily made from recycled metals, making this necklace the perfect gift for that super-resourceful lady in your life!

Silverworks - Jewellery Makiing Classes - Bath Bombs

I AM…Bath Bombs from Dublin Herbalist

Listen. It’s been a hard year. We know! And we’ve got you. This is one for the new mammies, the mamas to be, and the mothers working from home and making it work. 

These six vegan, artisan bath bombs from Dublin Herbalist are self-care in a box, during a year when ‘me time’ has become a precious commodity. This gorgeous box from Dublin Herbalist is the perfect excuse for the hardworking lady in your life to engage in some hardcore pampering.

Silverworks - Jewellery Makiing Classes - voltaire

Voltaire Print by Ali P

This print from Ali P is one for the ladies with resilience! Ali P is an artist living in Lisburn in beautiful Northern Ireland. Their artwork is joyful and imbued with inspirational, positive messages. The Voltaire print carries this delight not only through its well-timed words, but through its vibrancy! 

These are just a few picks from our extensive Jewellery, Home and Art & Print ranges. Come explore a bit more and find the perfect gift for what will truly be an unconventional Mother’s Day! And don’t forget to pick up a card too!

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)