The Magpie's Jewel Box

A treasure trove of sparkly bits and pieces


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Historical jewellery finds: The Esrick Ring

I’m fascinated by the treasures that metal detectorists  (if that’s a proper word) have found in recent years around the UK (see my previous post about the Staffordshire Hoard). So, I was interested to read the latest post on my sister-in-law’s blog about the Escrick Ring, a gold and sapphire ring found in a field near the Yorkshire village of Escrick in 2009. Experts now believe that the ring is older than first thought, dating it to the 5th or 6th century, and they also think it may have been belonged to royalty.

Read the full article by Saesferd.

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Getting creative for Spring!

Well, it’s been way too long since my last post due to two main factors: first I’ve recently started a new job so I’ve been quite braindead during weekday evenings; secondly, I’m in the final stages of editing a book which is due to be submitted to the publishers on 25 March so all my spare time has been spent on that.

I am missing the Jewel Box so thought I would quickly share news of a couple of jewellery projects that I have coming up after the Easter holidays when, hopefully, life will have quietened down a bit.  I’m quite excited about them and will share news of my progress in future posts.

Silver Jewellery Beginners Evening class

All of the jewellery I have made over the last couple of years has been bead-based and while I love working with beads, I’m also keen to start learning about metalwork, specifically silver. At this stage, I’m just looking for an introduction to the subject. As I live close to Birmingham and its wonderful Jewellery Quarter, this seemed a good place to start looking for evening courses.  I came across this 5-week Silver Jewellery Beginners Evening class which is taking place in a workshop right in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.

It’s being run by designer Victoria Delany who I haven’t come across before but she looks to be very well qualified and I like the fact that she doesn’t just design jewellery (check out her cutlery!).

Jewellery Photography

As I’ve been researching various articles for this blog, I have come across some fantastic jewellery photography. I love the detail and craftmanship that can be seen in even the tiniest piece of jewellery and I would love to be able to capture this in my own photography.

Most of the images I use for The Jewel Box have been bought and paid for, the others are my own. The difference in quality is a little embarrassing! I quickly realised that there’s a limit to how well you can photograph jewellery in close up (especially small items) with a point and shoot and I reached it a while ago.

As I didn’t have the budget to invest in a new camera, I have been making do as best I can. However, I was lucky enough to receive a new camera as a gift recently. It’s a FujiFilm Finepix HS30 EXR which I’m told has a great macro lens and should enable me to take good close ups.

My workload being what it is, I haven’t had a proper play with the camera yet. It’s sitting in its box, powered up and ready to go. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with it and will post up some images once I’ve got myself up and running. Watch this space …