Welcome to the Glasswing Jewellery blog, a (fairly!) regularly updated page with photos, details of techniques, new work, and my recent commissions. I am also on Blogger here: Glasswing Jewellery blog

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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Ethical, eco friendly handmade wedding and engagement rings from this busy 2016 wedding season. They were all customer commissions, so they have been hand made to my cutomer's specific requirements in terms of the size and quality of the stone, the colour and carat of gold and type of setting, finish and textures.

 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Emerald green sea glass ring

I think an important part of the Glasswing service is offering a 're-design' for my customers if for any reason they'd like their jewellery tweeked...it hasn't happened much I have to say.....
So adding diamonds to her sea glass ring for a customer actually involved re-building the entire piece...sea glass won't tolerate any heating whatsoever so it had to be removed, but that's OK - love a challenge. 
This ring is all 14ct recycled white gold, and the little recycled diamonds are a lovely quality VSI just under 3mm diameter either side of the glass.
I'm pleased I decided to leave the back open, love the way the light comes through.




 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

So many rings, so much love






Friday, 4 March 2016

Cornish sea glass ring, set in white gold and yellow gold.

I was very pleased with the way this duo of engagement rings turned out: a new delicate commission - I set a tiny, hand shaped deep aqua Cornish sea glass piece in yellow gold, on a smooth, high polish recycled 9ct white gold shank, and a chunkier, organic hammered simple sea glass solitaire. Congratulations to the happy couple! 




Friday, 20 February 2015

Lovely customer feedback to boost the morale..




We've been very busy here at Glasswing, catching up after a horrid dose of staff flu. What lovely feedback to find in my overflowing inbox!.....

"Hi Kate,

We're just back from South Africa, newly engaged. I wanted to belatedly thank you warmly for rushing the ring through for me in January - I really appreciate it. The ring fitted perfectly (my worries were unfounded!) and my fiancee absolutely loves it. She's also very impressed with your ethical production methods and sourcing of materials. The quality is fantastic and it has drawn a lot of comments from admirers - I've passed your website address on to a few people!

So thanks again for all your help. I won't hesitate to recommend you to my friends.

I've also attached a pic of my fiance holding a very friendly gecko which she rescued from the shower in our treehouse in KwaZulu-Natal, which shows the ring off nicely! Thought you might appreciate it.

Best,
Will (London) "

Gorgeous! We do appreciate it, thanks Will, and many congratulations

Friday 23rd January 2015

Who said eco-friendly sea glass can't be bling?

Who said eco-friendly sea glass jewellery can't be bling?

These beautiful ocean-worn nuggets of glass were sent to me by my customer, collected from #beaches on the Isle of Wight and New Zealand.

My customer commissioned me to make her an
other set of two charm bangles, this time for her daughter (she kept the first set for herself).

All the sterling silver is 100% recycled, the upcycled sea glass is hand cut or drilled by me, and the bangles were then tumble polished for a deep shine.



 


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sea glass ashes pendant in recycled silver

This sea glass pendant is a little different from my usual pieces. I have made a couple of these before, see earlier post here . I think they are a wonderful way to keep the memory of a loved one near.

It is a piece of precious remembrance jewellery, in the true sense of the word.

I constructed the pendant charm to have a little secret chamber inside, and I put a tiny amount of ashes into it, a silver cover on top and then I set the sea glass on top of that.

The ring is stamped with the words "FREE AS A BIRD NOW" in Cornish.

".... The pendant has arrived Kate, worth waiting for, it's beautiful, thank you so much. I have posted it on my Facebook site, you may possibly hear from others who would like something from Glasswing, I know that other women who have suffered bereavement are always looking for new ways to remember their loved one.
...... I hope you have a great Christmas, and thank you again for your work. Best Wishes, Julie C"

You are very welcome Julie, and warmest wishes to you x


Friday, 20 June 2014

Raised blue sea glass nugget ring commission

I thought it was time to write a post detailing the process of setting a small piece or 'cabochon' of sea glass into a ring, not least the painstaking hand shaping involved. Sea glass is nowhere near as strong as the majority of gemstones, glass is obviously easily breakable, and despite having rolled around in the ocean for unknown lengths of time, sometimes decades, gaining its gorgeous texture and frosted exterior, one small slip of my tool or drill renders my hard gained beach treasure nothing more than a splinter of sharp, unusable coloured glass. 

So, much of the shaping I do is by hand, taking great care not to touch the lovely surface of the sea glass which will be showing once the ring is finished. Whilst many processes are quicker using a pendant drill, I prefer to take my time and stay in control of the situation rather than remove more material than I intended, and then have to waste any hard-won sea glass pieces!   I use a grinding stone flat on my bench, soaked in water, and I keep the work liberally sprinkled with water whilst I work. This stops any glass dust from flying around, and keeps the piece cool too.  The glass is carefully dragged up and down the stone, turning as I go, the aim being to make a rounded edge to my cabochon. The bottom is easily smoothed to make setting more straight forward, and eliminates the rocking that sometimes happens when setting irregular shaped stones or other materials. 

 

It can sometimes take a good hour or so to get the little 'gem' of sea glass to the right shape and thickness, and in the meantime, my hands have taken quite a hammering!  It's not unusual to find the tips of my fingers are somewhat smoother than they were at the beginning!  I find microporous tape wrapped around the fingers quite useful at times like these. And lashings of hand cream!

setting sea glass seaglass into ring glasswing jewellerysetting sea glass seaglass into ring glasswing jewellery
Once the sea glass is the required shape, all that remains is to set it into the ring.  I make sure that the rest of the ring is completely finished.  The last thing you need to be doing is filing or cleaning up once the glass is in situ, one false move with the file and I'd have a lovely scratch right across my precious, and at this point now, totally unique sea glass cacbochon.  This particular piece of blue sea glass is SO RARE, it is in fact the only one of this shade of blue I have ever found, in this particular shape. 
So the glass I have carefully shaped to fit, is popped into the fine silver bezel, which I made to fit the ring band - and the silver bezel edge is gently pushed over the glass wth a pusher tool to hold it in the bezel securely.  It is smoothed down using a polished burnisher, taking care not to slip and scratch the glass.

blue sea glass ring seaglass glasswing jewellery

I find the glass will easily withstand a short spin in the tumber with stainless steel shot, but not too long about 15 mins is probably enough, I don't want to loosen the setting, or lose any of the frosted texture of the glass.  Once the ring is totally dry, a little polish with wire wool gives me the final warm polish I really like, and it won't harm the glass.  To protect it though, I usually place my thumb over it whilst I do any last minute polishing.

 

 

blue sea glass ring seaglass glasswing jewellery
 Simple 5x2.5mm sterling silver band, with rare mid-blue sea glass cabochon. All recycled materials.

I love the way the light catches the sea glass, it appears to glow from within - but then that's why we all love sea glass isn't it?!

 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Eco friendly handmade wedding set - 2 stackers and a chunky D-shaped band

Big congratulations to John and Danielle, on their upcoming wedding day this July.  They commissioned this series of satin finished personalised rings.  I rarely get asked to make the stamped stacker ring (the thinner ones) in satin, so I thought I'd take a photo or two - I think they look lovely.
personalised silver rings handmade
    personalised recycled silver rings handmade
 high polished silver rings
 
 Glasswing stacker rings are also available in a high polish finish, as are all Glasswing rings.


The 6mm D-shaped chunky band here also looks lovely in the satin finish, and has personal messages stamped inside.  It is available in recycled silver, recycled white gold and yellow gold too.  

Friday, 28 March 2014

Trio of sea glass engagement ring


This ring is a bit of a departure for me, the commission brief was to design and make a ring and incorporate three pieces of Cornish Sea Glass in different shades of blue / blue green.

 

sea glass seaglass blues for ring


Not one to shy away from a challenge, I chose three pieces of suitable sea glass from my collection.  I liked the combination of the the darker blue with the lighter aquamarine, and the more turquoise piece. The different colours of sea glass that wash up on our shores never ceases to amaze me.
The next stage was to create some drawings, liaise with the customer (the groom) about the design, and finalise together the width, and the overall look and feel of the ring, and OK the sea glass colours.

 


I then ground the glass gently using an abrasive wheel.  I have since discovered a much easier (and safer!) way to shape the glass, which I will discuss in a later post - but this worked just fine!
Once shaped, I made the bezels around the pieces of glass, then set about creating the ring itself around the settings.  It was fun soldering the settings.

 

setting for sea glass trio ring seaglasssetting for sea glass trio ring seaglass
The finished ring was sent off to New Zealand to catch up with the travelling couple!  The bride-to-be was delighted, and phoned from their travels to let me know how pleased she was with her ring. :-)

Monday, 17 February 2014

18ct white gold eco wedding rings for Valentines weekend


ethical 18ct white gold wedding rings
This set of personalised 6mm and 7mm 18ct recycled white gold wedding rings were commissioned at the very last minute by a lovely couple tying the knot in Cornwall just after this Valentines weekend.

Personalised ethical 18ct white gold wedding rings
 I hand forged them from 100% white gold bullion refined and milled here in the UK.

Personalised ethical 18ct white gold wedding rings

stamping the gold

 

 ethical 18ct white gold wedding rings
forming the rings using a hide hammer (veggie options are available,but I'm afraid they are just aren't as good.

 

ethical 18ct white gold wedding rings

after soldering, forming the edges for a low dome half round profile

The finished rings

Despite the storms, the flood, 48 hour power cuts, and the Post Office's best efforts to stop them, these beauties arrived at their destination, with three hours to go before the wedding ceremony.  One relieved jeweller!  The happy couple were delighted, and I was absolutely thrilled to make these rings for them.

 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

 

Fair ruby engagement ring

There are so many gorgeous coloured stone rings around this year, I've been really inspired!  I've got around to setting this lovely vibrant fair trade 0.2ct ruby from Ruby Fair, UK ethical gemstone supplier (find out more at: http://www.rubyfair.com/)  

Also my first time using recycled 14K gold tapered bezel setting - a great way to ensure rings sit beautifully together - great for stacking up.


  3mm comfort fit recycled silver ring, with fair trade ruby 

Fair trade ruby engagement with oxidised hammered 8mm comfort fit flat band, recycled silver
at 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Blue beauty!

Fairtrade spinel ring I've finally had a chance to start setting some of the gorgeous ethically sourced gems from Ruby Fair, and I'm really pleased with the results! 
Fairtrade spinel ring

This sweet engagement ring has a deep blue faceted spinel, bezel set in a recycled 14K yellow gold tube, with an oxidised twisted recycled silver band.  I really think the yellow gold sets off the stone beautifully, and the contrast with the darkened silver band is very pleasing.


Fairtrade spinel ring
 I am looking forward to making this design again with different gemstones,  I think it would look great with a deep red ruby or ethical garnet.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

More wedding ring finishes - recycled white gold

I've finally got around to photographing some gold rings as they are ready to send out - so I can upload some more pictures to show the different finishes I do.   Here are two chunky 6mm x 2mm flat section hand forged 14K recycled white gold bands that I was commissioned to make recently - the first has a satin brushed finish, the other is hammered with a light soft brush polish finish.


14ct recycle white gold ring ethical wedding

satin finish

 


14ct recycle white gold ring ethical wedding

hammered soft polish finish

 

Below is an adjustable recycled white gold wedding band, 5mm x 2mm flat section (I make this in a range of widths, stamped and unstamped) which is great for people who need a little flexibility in their ring due to swollen joints, (or just uniquely shaped joints!).  This has a high polish finish, but with some marks of the forging process left which gives it a unique organic texture and look.

ethical adjustable wedding ring

Friday, 16 August 2013

Gently does it heating these!

Never one to make life easy for myself, I have found I absolutely love these sea glass bangles.   I make them by threading the sea glass charms directly on to a chunky 3mm hammered bangle, and soldering it shut - being uber careful not to break the sea glass. 

This is a new design incorporating little soldered closed rings on to the bangle too, with two pieces of sea glass - pale aqua and white.  Prices for these heavy recycled sterling silver bangles start at £125, and they are available on a made to order basis through my site.  The trio of aqua, white and green glass (above)  has been proving very popular this summer.

 

sea glass bangle

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Teaching again!

It's been great fun teaching the after-school club at the local primary school this year. It's been a long time since I did any kind of teaching, and it's been really refreshing to do.
The children made some lovely things!

necklaces
recycled paper bead necklaces
earrings 2
beaded earrings
earrings

beaded earrings

 



Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The different ethical fair trade gemstones available in Glasswing Jewellery rings

Customers are always asking what gemstones I can get that are ethically sourced, so I have just updated my website to include a list and I thought I'd post it here too for information.
For more information about Glasswing ethical gemstone rings customers can visit my website.
I can now source more gemstones than ever from ethical suppliers here in the UK and abroad. More and more are becoming available as suppliers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to be socially and environmentally responsible in the the way they do business.

If customers would like to commission a ring, or other piece of jewellery and wish to incorporate a particular stone, there is a chance I will be able to source it for them.
 
So, below is a list of the stones available at the moment. If you don't see what you want, it is always worth dropping me a line through the contact page so I can see if it has become available.



3mm recycled 18K white gold recycled diamond solitaire





Ethical Gemstones 

Recycled "Harmony" Diamonds
Round cut diamonds
Rose cut diamonds (round flat bottom)
Cushion cut diamonds (rounded square)
Lab grown
Moissanite (Alternative
to diamond)
Ethical Rubies
Ruby Cabachons
Ruby faceted stones
Emerald cabachons
Emerald faceted
Opal
Ethical Sapphires
(various)
Blue Sapphire
Pink Sapphire
Yellow Sapphire
White Sapphire
Orange Sapphire
Lavender Sapphire
(Treated and untreated)
Teal tourmaline
Green tourmaline
Black tourmaline
Amethyst
Citrine
Peridot
Blue Zircon
Rhodolite
Tourmaline
Seafoam tourmaline
Diopside
Aquamarine
Moon stone
Blue moonstone
Ethical Spinel
Red Spinel
Blue Spinel
Purple Spinel
Black Spinel
White Spinel
(various)
Jadeite
Willow creek jasper
Golden desert jasper
Rhodonite
Smoky quartz
Iolite
Cortez Pearls
Purple sage chalcedony
Garnet
Rose quartz
Green quartz

 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What will you have on yours?



recycled silver stamped stacking rings

side stamped broad stackers. 

 

Over half term I got busy taking photos of more patterns and inspiring forms in nature! We were lucky enough to get away with family and friends this half term, for a heavenly walking break somewhere really spectacular in the South West of England. 

 

The weather was absolutely awesome all week, (with more sunshine to come now we're back, fingers crossed!).  Everything was bursting with life and colour, and I had a brilliant time capturing these natural shapes and textures as we hiked.

 


 But where were we?....

Here's the fun bit!  For a chance to have an ethical 100% recycled sterling silver Glasswing broad stacker ring made especially for you, and with the hand stamped personalisation of your choice, tell me know where you think I took these photos - the more accurate your answer the greater the chance you will win! Glasswing Stackers are a really personal and stylish way to have your special words, names, and dates close to you always.  They make a gorgeous alternative to a single wedding ring, and I can stamp them on the side, inside or around the outside.  The best thing is, they can be added to as life events happen...

Here's a couple of BIG clues........

 





     


EASY! Send an email to info@glasswingjewellery.com with your answer, putting 'Half Term Stacker'  in the subject line.  The winning name will be picked out of my bobble hat  (it might have been sunny, but the wind was chilly!!)  at the end of June.   Good luck! 

 

outside stamped broad stackers

 

 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Clearing the bench for half term.....personalised wedding rings

Hand stamped textured forged wedding and anniversary rings

 



Glasswing Jewellery personalised wedding bands of all shapes and sizes are really popular this year!  This is just a selection of those going out this week. Lots to finish off before half term R&R can begin!
See more personalised jewellery on my website.

 

Friday, 24 May 2013

More pictures from the Downs - ideas from nature

Spring ferns starting to unfurl

 


These busy days I mostly end up designing my work at the bench, or on loose pieces of paper (shopping lists, back of envelopes... drawing ideas ) whilst in the midst of family chores...

Surrounded here by the dense forest and great areas of near wilderness - there are so many fantastic structures in nature that give inspiration for my work - I think I will definitely have to find the time to get my sketch book out again! 


love the coconutty smell of gorse too

 



Thursday, 23 May 2013

Got spring in the air, and in our step

Bit blowy, but took a lovely brisk walk this morning, up our back alleyway - shown here in glorious morning sun.  Long may this gorgeous weather continue!
The difference in where the sun is at different times of the day compared with earlier in the year,  is really noticeable living here on the edge of the forest (as opposed to living in a seaside terraced townhouse surrounded by other buildings where it was hard to notice these things!). 

 

View up the field, facing north (not very pretty but effective new saw horse in the foreground!)

 

The sun has started to move to its summer position further to the north.  So now the workshop can often be fully drenched in sunshine in the early evening,  (not brilliant for soldering, but great for making paperwork more bearable!).  Another surprise is that without the sea breezes, evenings here can get pretty balmy, and our north facing back garden is quite often sunny for alfresco tea times, fantastic!

 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Catherine Luck Taylor's beautiful Raku work made in West Cornwall

Coil built ceramic vessels by Catherine Luck Taylor

Artist Catherine Luck Taylor lives and works West Cornwall. The beautiful Cornish landscape, rugged cliffs and wild sea are a great influence on Catherine's gorgeous and unique ceramic work. Her vessels and bowls embody reflection of the beauty and power of the elemental forces inherent in the Cornish landscape.
She makes her beautiful vessels using hand building techniques such as pinching and coiling. Some surfaces are burnished to a smooth sheen using a pebble.
Picture
Picture
The vessels are raku fired giving them a distinctive look which exudes the essence of the wild Cornish landscape.
Her work is sold through selected art galleries and direct from her website.  For more about Catherine, and a place to buy her stunning work visit her website.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Monday, 22 April 2013

Happy Earth Day! Keeping it Green..

re-thinking. Thought I'd include some of Glasswing Jewellery's green pieces in honour of the day
- all in recycled silver (apart from the chain - unfortunately I still can't find recycled silver chains).

Stack of Glasswing rings, with bezel set emerald, recycled silver

 

Trio sea glass bangle

 

Green sea glass bezel set ring pendant, recycled silver

 

Pale aqua green sea glass cufflinks

 

Two tone green sea glass stacker earrings, recycled silver

 

 

 

 

Earlier in the year...........


 I think that's what inspired these beauties - Oxidised sterling silver rings, 
 looking for all the world like bashed up steel.
 
 
If you head over to the site,  you'll find it a little strange.....the updating is a grinding affair, and may take some time.  It's all there, it's just a matter of finding it....if in doubt at all, contact me here, or me email: info@glasswingjewellery.com.

 


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

It might be January but we're looking forward to lovely Summer Weddings!

WOW! I  absolutely love receiving customers' photos!  This wedding looks like so much fun, looking at them just makes me think of summer - lets hope we get one this year!

These lovely photos were sent to me by EJ and David, 
who chose Glasswing recycled wedding rings to help seal their commitment.






 


Monday, 7 January 2013

January blues!

 

Something blue.....

 

 Glasswing recycled silver and blue sapphire engagement ring (commission)

 This 5mm wide, 2.5mm deep D-shape engagement band in recycled silver, commissioned just before the Christmas break,  is just the right weight and width to show off this gorgeous mid-blue clear sapphire.  The setting is a smooth rubover bezel setting, and the silver has a lovely warm organic hammered finish.

Glasswing 17" rare storm mid-blue sea glass necklace.   

With satin brushed silver beads, threaded on stranded sterling wire.

Glasswing recycled silver organic hammered celtic and blue sea glass earrings.

I loved these 'upside down' earrings so much, I made a pair for myself, and they have had lots of positive comments!  The rare little pieces of blue sea glass is from a collector in the States. 

 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Glasswing sea glass ring

Aqua Cornish sea glass set in a hand made sterling silver bezel,
with 8mm x 2mm D shape, hand forged band

This is my first sea glass, bezel set ring, for a lovely customer here in Cornwall.The sea glass really glows in the light, (which I've found it hard to capture in these photos).It's a fairly chunky ring, bit of a statement, and the sea glass is a lovely greeny aqua!

 


Friday, 20 May 2011


Glasswing stamped stilt sea glass earrings

Aqua and white Cornish sea glass stilt earrings, hand stamped in recycled silver.


 

 



Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Precious memories in Cornish sea glass

Smile. Love. Live on

I was really honoured to be asked recently by a customer if I would incorporate some of her mother's ashes into a personalised ring pendant. I thought it was such a lovley idea, and I knew it was something I wanted to do the moment I got the commission.

I had to think long and hard about how to create a tiny space within the piece in which to place the ashes, somewhere where they would be safe and secure for years to come, and close to my customer whenever she wears the pendant.

My customer and I worked together, and decided on a bezel setting, the first one I have hung within one of my personalised pendants. The ashes needed to be placed within the bezel, with the glass in front, so I created a deep bezel, with a little chamber at the back for the ashes, along with a fairly thin piece of Cornish sea glass that I luckily had already, in the right colour, which was placed at the front.


I made life slightly easier for myself by hand sanding the glass at the edges with a piece of course aluminium abrasive, so it was more rounded than it had been when it was washed up on shore, and so easier to set within the hand shaped bezel. I used small pieces of silver inside the bezel, to create little 'brackets' on which to place a second 'shelf' layer of thin .3mm silver. Between the two layers of silver is where the ashes are carefully stored.




The second 'floor' was put in, and sealed with an almost indestructable, glass like jewellery adhesive. The aqua sea glass was then fitted on top of this, and the silver bezel pushed over it and finished by hand.


I'm so pleased with the pendant, with it's lovely Cornish stamping on it:
"Minhwarth. Kar. Bew a-rag" - Smile. Love. Live on.


 

 


 

 April 18th 2011

Simple recycled silver bangles for Spring



Lovely simple, heavy gauge recycled silver bangles are what I've been producing in my precious snatched 5 minutes here and there. I've invested in an impossibly large piece of kit (for me at least, and the size of my workshop) - a bangle mandrel, and it really does the business! I love the little blue sea glass charm, and want to look at incorporated more sea glass, and stamping some bangles too.


 


 

March 6th 2011

New for 2011, Glasswing recycled silver bezel set rings

 

 

 

I made this moostone ring as a special order for a customer, using lovely deep section (2.5mm) D section recycled  sterling silver, hand forged into a simple lightly hammered band,.  A very pretty high grade 5mm diameter moonstone looks lovely in the simple bezel cup setting.  The stone catches the light beautifully, and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I am looking forward to setting other gemstones, and have been experiementing with using gold bezel cups, which look lovely with certain stones, like labradorite, and rubies.  I am particularly interested now in using ethically sourced,  traceable gems, and fair trade stones.  Not an easy mission at present it seems, however rumblings within the mainstream jewelley industry are growing, thanks to the work of campaigners within the industry, and growing interest about fairtrade and ethical jewellery from consumers.  So watch this space...............

 


December 5th 2010 

 

Glasswing featured in Cornwall Life magazine, Christmas Issue.

 
 


Monday, 12 July 2010

 

Glasswing - "Negys a'n Mis" the MAGA business of the month!



I'm really pleased that Glasswing Jewellery has been chosen as "Business of the Month" for July, by MAGA the Cornish Language Partnership, which was set up in 2005 to oversee the implementation of the Cornish Language Development Strategy. This is in recognition for my use and promotion of the Cornish language in my work.


Stamped sea glass pendant with Cornish stamping -

"Kowethes Kerra - Best Friend"

I've been using the MAGA partnership for translations for stampings on my jewellery now for some time, - it's a free service, and the translations are checked and double checked by the  Cornish Language experts in the partnership. It's great because I know I have the best translation possible for my work - and for my customers the assurance that their jewellery has just the right words, in terms of gender and tense, for their heartfelt messages to loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 


 


May 2010

May 2010 : Glasswing in the press

The Cornish Green Revolution

 

 Glasswing shows up in May's issue of Cornish World, which is doing a lovely Green issue.

  

 

 


10 September 2009

Recycled silver wedding rings

Recycled silver wedding rings

 

The silver arrived!

 It finally happened! After much searching I found the US bullion dealer Hoover and Strong, whose Harmony metals range includes 100% recycled silver! Just the small matter of putting up with extraordinarily good customer service, swift DHL delivery and general fantasticness and friendliness that the Americans seem so good at, and my first order of recycled silver lay on my workbench.

 

 It was no different to work than conventional  sterling silver, and the section was particularly nice, having a slightly different profile to my usual bullion. The rings looked lovely once they were made, hand forged using simple tools and elbow grease, and having the trademark Glasswing Jewellery hammered texture and warm soft polish.

 

 

 

My customers were over the moon with their rings, and by the look of the fabulous photos of their big day, with each other and the way the whole thing went.

The bride looked absolutely lovely, and she wore a pair ofGlasswing stacker sea glass earrings

 

I was honoured to have made their wedding rings for them, and to be able to offer them environmentally responsible jewellery in line with their desire to have an eco wedding extraordinaire!

Being keen photographers, they were both particularly pleased to know that as a lot of recycled silver comes from the photographic industry, the metal in their rings may have once been involved in the production of photographic images - from who knows where?

 

Friday, 12th June 2009


Evening sun over the bay

Wow, has it been that long? With summer weddings, spring sunshine and Mother's Day, work has been hectic, and blogging seems to have taken a back seat . It's a cruel irony that the return of the summer sun has heralded an upturn in jewellery orders for me, so instead of basking in the rays, I'm nose to the anvil, in my thankfully cool, but rather shady subterranean workshop. But I'm not complaining, not one bit of it...what an honour to be doing what I love as my living.....


Green sea glass hoop earrings


So anyway, what's been going on? The latest and most exciting development is a move to start using recycled silver in my designs. One of my lovley customers is planning a summer wedding with the fabulous remit of having the smallest carbon footprint possible - an eco-wedding with all the trimmings....using vintage charity shop bought, re-donateable crockery (with a price tag of a mere hundred pounds or so...compared with hiring boring old wedding crocks at way above that...)... to sourcing local beef from the farm down the road....and trying to source vintage wedding clobber...and of course, ordering bespoke, locally hand-made wedding rings of 100% recycled silver, from Glasswing Jewellery.

Cube sea glass earrings

I have offered recycled silver jewellery for a while now, on the Glasswing website tentatively I have to say. The will has very much been there, as the mining of precious materials for the manufacture of jewellery, certainly leaves a lot to be desired....what industry doesn't in this day and age? I would eventually like to turn over completely to recycled metals, to fit comfortably with my policy of sourcing recycled/fair trade and ethically produced beads and materials wherever possible. Glasswing Jewellery strives to be an ethical and environmentally responsible company as far as possible. The main component of my work, is sea glass, - beautiful, magical, tumbled glass from the ocean - the product of yesteryear's litterbugs essentially! It's hand picked, local, resourceful and fun.

 

 

Satin finish 8mm band


Frankly though, I had little idea where to source 100% recycled precious metals, particularly in all the shapes and sizes I'd need .


So anyway, nothing ventured.... I figured once an order came in I would have no choice but to find some, and quick! It did - a set of recycled silver wedding rings by July? The hunt was on and my mission began, to fulfil my customers brief, and to learn a lot more about these issues in the process.


First stop - my usual bullion dealer, but I drew a blank there... although of course all milled silver contains a certain percentage of recycled material from the scrap returned by jewellers and collectors alike, they were unable to say how much (I guess it fluctuates), and certainly didn't know where to suggest I look for a reliable source of 100% recycled silver.



Deep oxidised heavy sterling silver ring set (6mm and 10mm)


Thankfully, there is a growing awareness and concern amongst a small number of metal smiths, jewellers, suppliers and consumers worldwide, striving to establish a more equitable and sustainable supply chain of everything jewellery related - gems, beads, tools, metals and findings for our industry.


I have to say though, there is a serious lack of resources and information, particularly in the UK. There are no companies here (at least none that I have found) supplying 100% recycled silver stock for example. My hunt will continue, and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

 

 



Thursday, 11 June 2009

Rings for summer weddings

4mm hammered sterling silver band, left work oxidised and lightly brushed.

I am honoured when customers come to Glasswing for their wedding rings. I love to think that the rings I make, often as a pair, will be so significant, so lasting and precious. I have met some wonderful people too, through making those special rings.


Satin finish sterling silver wedding ring set.
4mm D-section band, and a 6mm D section band
.

 


Friday, 27 March 2009

 

 Around and Around

 Forged sterling silver wrapped vine earrings.


I absolutely love the wrought iron look of these.

I forged the wrapping wire really flat and soldered it to the hoops,

then wound it round fairly randomly, listening to the Rolling stones

in my workshop....Around and Around....

 



Deep red copper patina czech beads, and recycled turquoise glass beads

hang in the centre of sterling silver oval hoops on roomy earwires.


I've left the heat patina on the sterling silver, as it's a delicate
oxidisation, (rather than a chemical oxidisation), and
then tumble polished them for hours for a deep shine.


March 20th 2009

 

 Signs of (summer?) life

 

 

Stamped sterling silver ring pendant with freshwater pearl

Coming up from the workshop last week, after much activity (including installing proper spotlights - Hooray!) down there, I was greeted by weather that looks suspiciously spring like. Since then we've even ventured down to the beach WITH WETSUITS a couple of times, and with the kids back in their favourite rockpools we have been able to sit back for a minute or two and reflect on the glory and the promise of Cornwall in the sunshine.

This week though with Mother's Day fast approaching, there have been lots of orders to complete so I've been back in the workshop again. The orders are bound for Mums all over the world, including two in New York. I love thinking about my jewellery being made by me here in Penzance, and then being worn by lovely customers in far flung places.



This influx of orders, and the onset of spring has left my blog (and website) decidedly neglected, so here's just a quick update on new work and special orders.


 

 


 

 

 January 31st 2009

 New year, new creations

New for 2009 Stackable Sterling silver rings

 

I love these simple Glasswing stackable, personalised rings at the moment! They can be hand stamped with names, sentiments, dates, or left plain in glorious forged textured sterling silver.

January has been marked by a definite creative flurry in my jewellery workshop.  Orders for Valentines and summer weddings, and the arrival of my long coveted, new stainless steel shot (tiny stainless spaceships, sausages and ballbearings made from lovely smooth stainless) means I am busier than ever, and I can now offer  a wider choice of finishes.  These rings are available in a high polished finish, as well as the  oxidised and natural brushed finishes.

With the stainless shot, after soldering and shaping the jewellery,  I can polish pieces to perfection in little more than 6 hours of tumbling.  This is done by placing the jewellery and the shot in a tumbling barrel that then rotates and burnishes the silver. It's noisy, but worth it :)

The wonderful feedback that has been coming in from my Christmas customers has really given me a big boost, and it's been quite an exciting time at Glasswing HQ.

Glasswing Jewellery has been getting a lot of interest recently, especially from those planning a wedding in Cornwall. Wedding jewellery made by local artists and craftspeople is always special, in Cornwall our artisan jewellery tradition like the many other design and crafts is strong and vibrant. Bespoke jewellery, custom made adds a wonderful personal touch for the special day, and for the years to come.

 

Glasswing Jewellery uses Cornish materials as far as possible, and I always use local suppliers for my business whenever I can.  There has been an amazing upsurge in the trend for ethical jewellery, recycled jewellery and green jewellery, and eco jewellery.  Cornish jewellery in hand crafted sterling silver by Glasswing and sea glass pieces incorporating recycled materials found on local Cornish beaches is an lovely choice for a Cornish wedding, or as reminder of a fabulous holiday.

I love the soft right angled edges created by the forging of round wire, and the way the rings look stacked together. You can hide the words on these rings,  or display them.... and these messages can be added to as time and events move on...a wedding, the birth of a child, a 21st birthday... the possibilities are endless, and the result is a gorgeous and unique collection of very personal jewellery.


November 27th 2008

Love Cornwall x


'Gwedren an Mor' literally means glass from the sea in Cornish, a language which has had a recent revival in Cornwall. This is a lovely chunky forged sterling silver circle hung with a purest white rounded nugget of sea glass. Available with 18 or 16 inch sterling silver smooth snake chain. 

 




November 19th 2008

Winter sea gems - new designs

 

Sterling silver forged and stamped ring pendant. "Marazion" - beautiful beach, beautiful name,  where I found this sweet, perfect nugget of green sea glass.



Like the Mermaid earrings, only shorter.

Photographed in some bonus winter sunshine.



Sea glass drops (teeth?). Drilled and wrapped in thin sterling siver wire.

 


October 30th 2008

Autumn Greens

 

As I was packing these up to post out to a lovely (returning) customer,  I thought I'd take a few pictures, because I just really love these. The different shades of greens are great, and they catch the last of the garden's autumn sun so well.

 


 

Press release

Latest News

Going green, and gorgeous.

24/10/2008

Glasswing's designer maker, Kate Laity is continuing to develop her range of simple forged sterling silver jewellery using sea glass she has combed from the beautiful beaches of Cornwall in the UK where she lives. This season is all about sustainable luxury - and Glasswing's collection of glowing glass gems from the sea, some of them more than 100 years old, salvaged, polished then lovingly drilled, hung and set in 925 sterling silver certainly fit the bill. Look out for Glasswing's new collection of pendants and cufflinks, due to go on sale in time for Christmas. If you are looking for something unique, why not contact Kate who would be delighted to work on a special commission.

 


 

October 1st 2008

Autumn Blues

 

Sail Boat in Penzance Bay


Aqua sea glass necklace


 

Feature:Alternative Lifestyle

Friday, August 29, 2008

glasswing jewellery - seaglass meets butterflies

by Maureen @ 9:56 am 1 comment »

I don't know if you've ever touched seaglass but its smooth surface feels quite soothing.

sgj1.jpg

rings.jpgCheck out Cornwall UK-based artist, Kate Laity's beautiful, handmade sterling silver jewelry made from two recycled materials - seaglass and silver, as well as her beaded butterflies and forged silver rings.  The designer's cool collections are flavored by a fusion of the windblown natural beauty of her native West Cornwall, and her background and family heritage as a blacksmith.

glasswingjewellery.com

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There is 1 comment.

  1. commentsGail Rhyno Aug 30, 2008

    I really like her lightly textured rings! And the sea glass, of course.
    Gail

 


July 17th 2008

Sea Glass Jewellery

There's nothing quite like the gentle glow of a piece of sea glass.  It is the chemical changes that occur whilst the glass is tumbled against rocks, sand and seashells in the salty ocean that make the glass glow in that unique way.

These earrings combine sea glass and recycled glass, the latter I have salvaged myself from bottles and jars we have used at home.  I have tumbled them in my trusty rock tumbler, a giant piece of engineering that I imagine was the height of technology at the time (? 1970's) for the serious lapidary hobbyist.  The contrast is noticable between the sea glass and the recycled glass.


 


Seaglass and recycled glass sterling silver stack earrings
( seaglass found on St Ives Harbour beach)




Seaglass and silver spiral hoops
(seaglass found on Pentewan beach)


Mermaid's seaglass earrings

 

(Seaglass found on St Ives Harbour beach)

As sea glass becomes ever rarer, and the interest in upcycling and found objects means that its use in jewellery becomes more popular, some companies are 'manufacturing' sea glass, and passing it off as such, using tumbling techniques.  Recycled glass is obviously beautiful in it's own right, however if you are keen to own a genuine piece of sea glass, it is important when buying to determine that you are buying the real thing.  Many of the really special pieces can be over a hundred years old, discarded during another era,   and painstakingly combed from the beaches  after decades of smoothing in the deep, with all its history and magic evident in the sea glass glow.