Found Stone Jewellery – Bespoke Commissions:
Making your found stones in to jewellery:
Having previously launched my Keepsake Jewellery service, I have been so honoured to undertake some lovely bespoke commissions with clients found stone finds.
I wanted to share a commission that I undertook in the studio with a beautiful piece of layered, turquoise coloured iron slag that my client had dug up from the garden in the heart of Ironbridge. Her idea was to have pieces of the rock made into pendants as a treasured keepsake for their wedding day. Natural found materials from where their home was, made to give to each other, as an alternative to wedding bands to mark their special day.
What is Iron Ore Slag:
Slag is the glass-like by-product left over after a desired metal has been separated from its raw ore. Slag is usually a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide.
The particular slag I had were from the Ironbridge Gorge area, in Shropshire. An area which became a World Heritage site in 1987 and made a big contribution to the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. The area itself contained all the elements that fueled the Industrial Revolution. Mines for the iron, coke for the blast furnaces, sand for moulding cast iron, limestone to flux the slag in the blast-furnaces. Also a great amount of clay to make tiles and bricks, railways and rivers for transport. Plus men with ideas, and the ability to push those ideas to fruition.
Honouring history in pendants:
What a privilege for me to make not only with a piece of material that represents so much history but also for this to mark such a special occasion. So the pieces of jewellery that I made were three silver pendants with claw settings.
As with many minerals taken from the ground, the pieces needed a good clean upon arrival. The stones themselves also needed a lot of work. Being a found material of unknown make up, it was some what of an unknown working with them. Starting off as a glass like material, they were tumbled in a barrel for 24 hours a day for over a week, to get them to a smooth and workable medium.
Creating the found stone pendants:
When the stones were created, it was then a process for me to sit at the bench and work organically with the stones themselves. Each one so unique that there was no manual for this one. Each stone had a setting made for it with claws, individual to the shape that had been created through tumbling. I created a his and hers version, beautifully cut from the same piece of found stone. Then a third pendant created for the daughter of the bride. A smaller piece which could be used as a charm on a bracelet or pendant.
For his pendant, I created the bail large enough to be strung on an already existing chain. For the ladies, a smaller pendant, matched with new hallmarked silver snake chains. All with a hammered finished to complement the earthy, natural feeling of the stones.
Lets create yours:
Your own piece of found stone jewellery:
If this transformation has inspired you and like me, you have stashed away some lovely, sentimental finds from that holiday by the sea, why not get in touch? I’d love to capture that special moment or memory for you in a handmade piece of found stone jewellery.