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  1. As a silversmithing wife and mum, the environment is important to me and I try to be as 'green' as possible in both my day to day living and in my metal working. This can be quite a challenge with all the non-recyclable packaging still on the majority of our supermarket shelves. I am a firm believer that even a little change to the way we live can improve our environment hugely over time. 

    The eco-conscious metalsmith is thankfully on the rise. 

    I only purchase metals and semi-precious gemstones from reputable companies that are striving to be green in their practices, by wherever possible working ethically and ensuring fair trade standards are met in their sourcing of products.

    The question is, can precious metals and gemstone jewellery ever be truly green?

    All metals and gemstones have been mined from the earth at some point, so to that extent some damage to the environment has already occurred.

    That is why I work with Ecosilver as much as possible. Ecosilver is a greener alternative to newly mined Sterling silver.

    ECOSILVER WIRE AND METAL SHEET

    Simply put :- Ecosilver is the end product of the recycling process of Sterling silver.

    As with Sterling silver, Ecosilver comes in the form of wire, sheet metal, grain and solder. It is made from 100% recycled unwanted scrap from items such as medical equipment, electronics, jewellery and unused silver objects.

    As with all green, eco-friendly products Ecosilver is currently more expensive than Sterling silver due to the cost of the recycling process.

    Ecosilver comes fully certificated for authenticity.

    Ecosilver is in no way inferior to Sterling silver.

    Ecosilver just as Sterling silver, once crafted into an object to sell, requires by law to be sent for assaying and in turn hallmarking when over a certain weight threshold, (7.78g), though I get all my jewellery assayed and hallmarked regardless of its weight.

    I send all my unusable bench scraps to be recycled. This is a fantastic service offered by Cooksongold, a leading wholesaler of precious metals including Ecosilver, precious and semi-precious gemstones and tools.

    So while precious metal and gemstone jewellery can never be 100% green, by recycling metals and gemstones and by reducing the use of harmful chemicals in the workshop/studio, and by opting for more environmentally safe options, greener choices can be made and metalworkers can do their bit to improve the environment in which they work.

     

    ECO JEWELRY HANDBOOK BY CHRISTINE DHEIN

    The 'ECO JEWELRY HANDBOOK' by Christine Dhein and published by Brynmorgen Press is a fantastic little gem, packed with information and advice for a safer and more sustainable working environment. A must have on the shelf for any eco-concious aspiring metalsmith.

     

    Thanks for reading, see you again soon, Vicky x

  2. It's lovely to see you here. 

    I have been handcrafting jewellery out of silver for a few years now, but I have only recently built and launched my website.

    I am a Graduate of Fine Art, studying at De Montfort University in Leicester in the 1990's and specialising in the subject of painting in oils.

    After I completed my degree I was in a situation where I could not afford to further my study, so I went to work in cafés and then spent a number of years working in retail and customer service roles. I had a baby, got married and life, or rather family life took over.

    So why am I now here making silver jewellery?

    Another piece of background is needed...

    My lovely Mum had a dear friend who handcrafted silver, gold and precious gemstone jewellery from her home studio. I fell in love with her work and the craft. Mum sadly passed away in 1995 and I never got to see her silversmithing friend again as her family moved away, as did I.

    Flash forward to now, and at last I am able to fulfil my wish to use my hands to make things! It's long been an itch that at last I can get rid of.

    I love the challenge of working with precious metals. Metal is strong, yet when heated and worked it becomes so malleable.

    Working with precious metals and gemstones is a journey of constant learning. Every day is different. Just like life, things I touch fall apart one day and then on others everything works out just fine.

    I sometimes use my silversmithing journey as an example to my young daughter. Life, I tell her, is about accepting that we will make mistakes, and it is only through making these mistakes that we learn how to avoid them. My daughter sees me punch the air with my jewellery successes, and then watches me throw a wobbly at my melted bezel cups.

    Anyway, I am waffling, if you stuck with me this far I am really chuffed, thank you.

    I will try to blog on a regular basis, (promising not to go on as much as I have here) giving you an insight into the ups and downs,  the rare triumphs and occasional disasters of the working life of a full-time silversmithing mum!

    I will be updating The Sylverling Workshop website regularly, and from time to time I will introduce 'one off' silver items that will be available to purchase. These items will be announced on my Instagram and Facebook pages when available. You can link to these pages through my website by clicking on the relevant icons at the footer of the site.

    See you soon, Vicky x