Silversmithing alchemy at The Makers Shed for Minerama

I recently hosted Glen Innes Highlands tourism and events coordinator Rhonda Bombell at one of my silversmithing workshops, and she kindly wrote about the experience…

“A life changing experience. I left with skills I thought I would never be able to attain.”

With the annual Minerama Gem, Jewellery and Fossicking Show fast approaching it was crucial that I get to the heart of some of the workshops taking place beyond the Glen Innes Showgrounds. One of these offerings supporting Minerama is from The Maker’s Shed, so I took myself along for a half-day workshop with resident silversmith Richard Moon.

The Makers Shed, 123 Grey Street Glen Innes

Just behind the striking red doors of this creative destination on Grey Street, you will find a very unassuming space. A welcoming lounge area surrounded by books and artwork, glass cabinets filled with edgy designs, pristine pottery and artwork highlighting the never-ending resource of astounding artists from The New England.

Minerama is held at Glen Innes on the second weekend every March. Traders in gems and jewellery, fossickers and fossil buffs flock here each year from all over Australia. It is one of the biggest shows of its kind in NSW and no doubt will be teeming with visitors ready to purchase that special piece they have been longing to find.

Visitors to Minerama can spend time perusing the many stalls inside and outside the showground pavilions for a cabochon stone (flat-backed) then take it to the many pre-booked workshops on site or to their pre-booked silversmithing workshop at The Makers Shed, located just a few minutes away at 123 Grey Street Glen Innes.

This is a place where local artisans gather, a hub of creativity and mentorship in our community. Michael Burge and Richard Moon are the creators behind The Makers Shed. In just over two years they have successfully held countless exhibitions, supported local artisans by showcasing their work, facilitated markets and events – most recently the highly successful High Country Writers Festival, which is destined to become a most sought after gathering.

The Makers Shed is an engine room of craftsmanship. Masterfully pumping out handmade jewellery from behind the counter, resident silversmith Richard Moon also curates workshops in a professional space conducive to flow and creativity. Each student has their own cocoon to meld with, clean spacious workbenches and comfortable chairs. You look around and see the stylish one offs and quirky creative jewellery and art around you, which is another degree of inspiration workshop participants can bounce off.

Richard Moon bezel-setting a stone.

Richard Moon’s teaching technique is one of calm encouragement. He has that sixth sense to know when to step in and when to step back. A silversmithing process that may cause one to feel totally out of their depth is soon dispelled as suddenly things start to make sense – the use of Pi, what silver can do, the alchemy of it all.

After you begin to cut the sheets of sterling silver, the mystery of form and process begins to unfurl. While we design, cut, bend, hammer, solder, cold connect and polish with methodical steps, time just melts away.

The Makers Shed half-day silversmithing course was a life changing experience. I left with skills I thought I would never be able to attain, the finished product cherished as the first of many that I will make and that my teacher’s energy will forever be held inside. What more inspiration do you need? A full-day silversmithing workshop is also available. You can book your place online.

For more information contact The Makers Shed on 0450 039 320. Minerama Gem, Jewellery and Fossicking Show is held at the Glen Innes Showgrounds March 13, 14, 15 2020.


Upcycle, for fork’s sake!

THERE are plenty of buzzwords around the social media these days, and one of the most commonly used in handmade circles is ‘upcycled‘, but what does it really mean?

Defined as the process of re-using ‘useless’ or ‘redundant’ materials in the manufacture of items with greater value, particularly environmental, upcycling is as old as the hills.

Perhaps the best way is to illustrate the point for you. This post contains three images of three separate pieces of jewellery, all made from the one source item.

Before I ripped it apart, it was a fork. A rather nice, hallmarked silver-plated fork that once belonged to a whole set of cutlery it was long since separated from.

If you want to get technical, it was made some time ago with EPNS, or ‘Electro Plated Nickel Silver’. Nickel is the base metal onto which silver can be plated.

The little elephant brooch (above) formed from the fork’s tines is a design you see at a lot of silver jewellery stalls.

I am sure it was invented centuries ago by great lateral thinker whose name we’ll never know!

The pendant (left) is crafted from the fork handle, capitalising on the embossed design created by skilled craftspeople that came before me.

I think you’ll agree this is a much better context for their work than the bottom of a forgotten tray of cutlery at Vinnies!

The third piece is a bit of fun – it’s a spinning top (right) made from the remaining tines, and as the action shot (below) proves, it actually works!

As I am often heard to say, about the unique wearable art that can be upcycled from perfectly good materials that you’ll find in abundance at the average op-shop: ‘Find me another one!’

Check out my complete range at one of my market stalls, or go to my Facebook page for other purchasing options, such as my online store.

You’ll find glass bottle stoppers, sink plugs, Cuisenaire rods, game tokens and plenty more upcycled materials transformed into unique wearable art!


Wedding rings

The design and creation of original wedding rings is something that inspires and delights me, and I’ve been honoured to manufacture wedding pieces for a number of couples, both local and living at a distance.

Working with sterling-silver or gold, I can create unique wedding bands incorporating your design elements and semi-precious stones or gems into your vision.

Couples are more than welcome to be part of the process by co-creating their rings with me at a one-day workshop at my Deepwater studio; but if you can’t come here, I am experienced at creating rings at a distance. You’ll just need to have your ring size measured by a professional jeweller before I start work.

Get in touch via my contact page to organise a quote.


Silver Jewellery

IMG_0753Every piece of my silver jewellery and silverware is stamped with my moon symbol and ‘925’.

925 is the stamp by which real silver is identified, meaning a piece is 92.5 per cent pure silver and 7.5pc alloy.

Without that 7.5pc alloy, silver is too soft to be crafted into pieces that last, although some of the settings I create are from pure or ‘fine’ silver, and I often fuse metals together, like copper, silver and steel.

Bubbles & Bling for Birthing Kits

13428578_10153755425137712_5644660622861489298_nMy first pop-up jewellery event took place in June and was a great success, a chance to share my handmade designs with a whole new group of jewellery enthusiasts in a low-pressure, private setting over a drink and a nibble.

It was also a great opportunity to bring people together in aid of a cause that needs support, and host Jenny Bray selected a charity to be the day’s focus, recipient of 10 per cent of all jewellery sales.

The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) is an organisation dedicated to providing a clean and safe birthing environment for women in developing countries to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality.

According to its website, “every hour 33 women die of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 385,000 women die annually in childbirth, many from preventable infections.  Most women we assist for reasons of isolation, cultural choice or poor transport have little or no assistance during childbirth. By providing a clean birthing kit these mothers will have the resources to reduce infection”.

“To promote sustainable change we also fund midwifery training programs to educate Traditional Birth Attendants and complement kit distribution, and to empower these women through education.”

Jenny’s efforts are part of Brisbane’s St Paul’s School Interact Club, which will hold its annual Birthing Kit Assembly Day in conjunction with The Zonta Club of Pine Rivers on October 8, 2016.

Together, Bubbles & Bling for Birthing Kits raised enough funds for forty birthing kits, but there’s still plenty of time if you’d like to make a donation to Jenny’s group’s fundraising effort, just click through to their page.

Pictured is Jenny Bray wearing my handmade sterling silver earrings and stingray leather pendant. Many thanks to Jenny and her family for their enthusiasm and support. If you would like me to bring this initiative your way, check out the Bubbles & Bling event page and get in touch.

Smelting Moments: VIDEO

Screen shot 2016-06-12 at 10.46.10 AMI’m very excited to announce a partnership with Oh My Giddy Aunt, an Australian company creating beautiful keepsakes and jewellery that tell the stories of your life.

Do you have little bits of sentimental jewellery in the bottom of the jewel box; perhaps no longer worn because it’s broken or too small, but it’s still cherished, tells a story and represents precious moments in life?

Your sterling silver pieces can be smelted into a stunning nugget ring or pendant to continue telling the story in a unique and distinctive way. Melding the memories and moments into a single piece to wear or pass on to someone you love.

Your nugget piece will be hand-crafted and no two nuggets will be the same. I’ll retain organic features, lumps, bumps and little ‘road-maps’ unique to your ring or pendant and the stories it has to tell.

Upon ordering directly with them, you will be sent a Reply Paid Packaging Kit with instructions to safely send your sterling silver to Oh My Giddy Aunt.

Click through to watch a video on the process.

Repurposed and recycled

IMG_0108All the silver and other metals that I use started its life as something else, in such products as x-rays and other photographic film.

Processed by A&E Metals in Australia, the silver is of the highest workable quality.

Wherever possible, I use repurposed materials, such as stingray skin handbags and wallets, and vintage linoleum, or natural materials such as driftwood, in my work.

Stingray skin is an incredibly lustrous, durable and beautiful material and I enjoy working with it immensely, for brooches, rings, cufflinks and pendants.


IMG_1139I love creating flatware – utensils, olive picks, tapas forks and one-off pieces for serving food and beverages.

Handmade flatware is incredibly rare these days, and people often wonder what these pieces should be used for.

I say don’t limit your imagination, and have a cocktail party!

My silverware has been purchased for wedding and christening gifts, and for other special occasions.