Just a quick update on what we are up to. This month we are busy doing wedding stuff!! Making lots of pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings. A real favourite with everyone – timeless!. Also making a few wire-work pieces. (pics to follow) when I can find the camera!! Put away in a safe place - again! Keep watching this space, hopefully our blogs will become a little more frequent. Anyway the sun is shining – maybe go for a walk, and get some inspiration.
A question we often get asked is what materials do we use? Primarily we work with Art Clay Silver, Freshwater Pearls and Semi-Precious Stones such as Agates.
Here is a little information to help you better understand these wonderful materials.
Art Clay Silver
When Art Clay Silver is taken out of the package, it is a slightly moist lump of clay. The clay is composed of 1-20 micron sized silver particles, organic binders, and water. The clay is then moulded into its desired generic shape, and dried. Once the clay is completely dry it can then be filed, carved, and sanded; after which it is fired with a kiln.
During the firing process, the organic binders burn away and the resulting silver particles called ‘sinter’, becoming denser and stronger. The burning away of binders and ‘sintering’ of metal causes the piece to shrink 8-10% in overall size while retaining the original form. Once completely fired, the remaining piece is composed of 99.9% pure silver. This means that it is more expensive than 925 Sterling Silver.
(Picture ©Gillybean Jewels 2012)
Freshwater Pearls (Courtesy of http://www.pearl-guide.com)
Although the traditional source of pearls has been saltwater mollusks, freshwater mussels, which live in ponds, lakes and rivers, can also produce pearls. China has harvested freshwater pearls in the form of mabe since the 13th century, and has now become the world’s undisputed leader in freshwater pearl production. The first record mentioning pearls in China was from 2206 BC. The United States was also a major source of natural freshwater pearls, from the discovery of the New World, through the 19th century, until over-harvesting and increasing pollution significantly reduced the number of available pearl-forming mussels in the US.
Also freshwater pearls are solid in nature, which means they are also quite durable, resist chipping, wear, and degeneration.
(Pic ©Gillybean Jewels 2012)
Just getting the finishing touches added to the new shop and we should be ready to go!
Inspired to make some chunky necklaces and some funky freshwater pearl designs. Right get that kettle on, grab the biccies and away we go!
The team at Gillybean Jewels don’t just sell heirlooms of the future. We can also:
- Knot pearls on silk cord
- Repair and re-string bracelets & necklaces**
- Colour match jewellery to outfits for that special occasion
- Change clasps & closures on products to suit needs**
- Resize necklaces & bracelets**
Commissions for Weddings, Birthdays and other events can also be catered for.
When you purchase items, from the shop or on our stall at a craft event, they will be gift wrapped in either a bag or box.
With all purchases over £10 you will receive a limited edition mini cotton shopping bag.
**Items will be examined to decide whether changes can be made. If so a no obligation quote for costs will be offered.
So we are almost there with the online shop. It has taken a lot of work initially to get the site up and running. Taking pictures, writing descriptions and working out prices. This would have incurred quite a high expenditure on our part if we had a specialist company preparing this. However, we have mastered it ourselves and when you get going it is very enjoyable not to mention very satisfying to see all your hard work come into the fore.
Some of you may wonder why we didn’t have an online shop before. Well the simple reason is that we are a small outfit who mainly sells at local Craft events around the Scottish Borders. We rely on word of mouth advertising which has seemed to have worked well so far. So why now? We get asked by customers all the time if we have a shop online so it’s about time we gave the people what they want! Supply and demand and all that…
For any small business or ‘hobby business’ as I like to call it you have to move with the times in order to prevent your business ‘petering out’.
So in the next few days we will be GOING LIVE PEOPLE! You will be able to shop all the unique handmade products on our site with the click of a mouse. We accept Paypal so its safe, fast and easy to shop.
Online Shop, Blog, Facebook….next stop the World!
**Watch this space**
Ok it is only October but we all know that Christmas is just around the corner. Before we know it we will be decking the halls with holly and over doing it on the mulled wine. So why not get those gifts early so you can kick back and relax when December comes. The team will be at The Crafters Art & Design event in Kelso in Novemeber. Come and support a local family business and know that you are getting a unique, handmade item that would make an excellent Christmas gift.
The Crafters Art & Design Fair
Springwood Park, Kelso
17th & 18th Novemeber 2012
There will also be an exhibition at the fair, and refreshments will be provided by Macmillan Cancer Support. The venue is wheelchair-friendly, with easy access. Admission is just £1, and children go free, so why not come along for an excellent Christmas shopping opportunity – and a great day out!
Just sitting around today, jotting down ideas for new jewellery designs. Maybe get around to actually creating something later on today.!!
During May we had a guest spot in the Crafters Shop in Melrose, what a super shop- well worth a visit if you want something different. Thanks to all who purchased from us. At the minute we are designing new earrings with hand hammered ear wires.
As you know we just love pearls. So naturally all of the Gillybean jewel girls were wearing a pearl creation at the family wedding we all attended at the weekend .Speak to you soon.
Above is a gorgeous grey agate and shell pearl necklace and bracelet set, perfect for a wedding or just perfect for any other occasion.
From 1st May for one month we will have some of our jewellery in The Crafters Shop in Melrose, as we have a guest spot in their shop. Really exciting, The Crafters Shop is in the Market Square in Melrose, and is open every weekday and on Saturdays too. So if you would like to see some of our new designs just pop along to the shop or send an email to email@example.com, and make an arrangement to view some items at our workshop!! (The Kitchen Table)