The first Art House products are here!

After what seems like an eternity, I am excited to share that the first of my Art House products are now on my website! I have chosen 4 of my nature photos to be the launch products, and am right in the middle of getting together proofs, samples, labels, packaging, suppliers etc to bring all the products online.

The 4 designs I have chosen to lead the way are; umbellifera, wild garlic, water lily and seed pod. These are now available as lovely greeting cards, available in my Fine Art Nature Cards Collection.

fine art nature photography


Here they are in person, so to speak:

photography greeting cards


I offer each design to be ordered in quantities of 1-4 (with a cheeky price saving for buying more, of course!) as well as an assorted pack of 4, which includes one of each design.

{Umbellifera card}

{Wild Garlic card}

{Water Lily card}

{Seed Pod card}

{4 assorted cards, 1 of each design}

I also have a new jewellery collection! Called ‘Fontaine’ and featuring designs you may have seen in some of my photo shoots, I am now able to offer these designs for sale. The collection itself is not yet up and running, but you can see the first two products.

Firstly there is the Verdant necklace, which is online now, soon to be followed by the earrings. They are based on my ‘Louise’ designs, but featuring these gorgeous khaki baroque pearls. As you can see I am literally shooting products and listing them as we speak!

green pearl and spinel necklace

green pearl and spinel necklace on model


The second is these Levkar earrings, made with sumptuous rolled gold which contrasts so nicely with the plum pearls. They are pretty long, at 80mm, and they are gorgeous!

plum pearl and gold earrings

There is more to come as quickly as time will allow! I hope you enjoy the new products as much as I have developing and designing them :)

Rachel x

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Name: Danielle

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Torch Enamelling – Experimenting With Sgraffito

To continue my current tiny obsession with torch enamelling and decorative things you can do with your enamelled jewellery, I thought I’d experiment with sgraffito. The word sgraffito means “scratched” in Italian and according the the Encyclopedia Britannica is “a technique used in painting, pottery and glass which consists of putting down a preliminary surface, covering it with another, then scratching the superficial layer in such a way that the pattern or shape that emerges is of the lower colour”
A friend sent me a copy of a bracelet tutorial {thanks Debs!} by Angela Gerhard who creates the most beautiful enamel jewellery decorated using sgraffito. I’d love to post a couple of photos of it here but I remember doing an enamel treasury on Etsy a while ago and seeing a little note on her shop page about her photos being copyrighted so I will respect that – although if you Google her you’ll see lots of her jewellery photos everywhere!
I decided to have a go at sgraffito this week. I cut several pieces of 24g/0.5mm copper to practice on. Some of them are bigger pieces than I normally use but I wanted a bit of space to play. I counter enamelled them then enamelled the front – two in black, two in purple and three in cream.
In the Angela Gerhard tutorial the next step is to apply a layer of liquid enamel but as I don’t have any yet I used Klyre Fire which I applied liberally with a brush.

I hope you can tear your eyes away from the ripped out magazine page featuring a step-by-step wirework necklace project I used to sift onto. I don’t think I could have picked a brighter, more distracting background for this photo if I tried… 
The next step in the tutorial was to sift a layer of powder enamel on top of the liquid enamel. I sifted a layer of enamel onto the Klyre Fire and pressed it down gently with my finger.
I then used a variety of tools – an engineer’s scribe, a fine brush and rubber tipped “things” I acquired a while ago to create the lines. The layer of enamel on this piece was too thick which results in a lot of the enamel powder piling up at the sides of the lines {a bit like snow when a snow plough has been through}. You then need to remove these little piles of enamel by using a bulb syringe {as in the tutorial} to gently blow them away or you can use a dampened brush. Otherwise they create thicker areas of enamel that take longer to fire.
I had another go using a cream base and a thinner layer of three greens. I left a gap between the different greens too then used a small brush to create the lines. It definitely helps to have a pot of water handy to clean the brush and a piece of kitchen towel to blot the brush on to keep it clean between doing each line. The damp brush picks up the particles of enamel too giving you a neater finish to the lines if that’s the look you’re aiming for.

I fired each piece then lined them up on my shed windowsill to photograph {top photo}. I then decided to etch them as I love the matt finish it gives. Here are the results…

 What I’ve learned….
1.The first is I need to apply two layers of counter enamel if I want to make larger pieces. The counter enamel on a couple of the pieces took a bit of a battering but that could be due to the enamel on the front being too thick and taking longer than normal to fully fire.
2. A thinner top layer of powder enamel is better for achieving thinner lines.
3. I found drawing straight lines was easier with a brush than anything else.
4. I need a finer brush! The {cheap} brushes I buy seem to swell a bit when they get wet which doesn’t make it easy to achieve neat lines. 
5. Although I like bright colours I’m drawn more to the cream background than the black. I’m also trying hard to ignore the purple and green colour combo I created, it’s hideous!
6. I need to let go of my inner neat-freak and just go with it. I learned that the more precise you try to be with some enamelling techniques the worse the end result looks.
7.The matt look is very cool. Very.
8. I need to practice more.
 A lot more

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Creating A Matt Finish On Torch Enamel Jewellery

Being a jewellery maker I love watching jewellery making videos, and especially learning new tricks that I can use on a technique I’m familiar with. A video I watched recently was Further Explorations In Jewelry Enameling: Kiln Fired Liquid Enamel And Sgraffito With Susan Lenart Kazmer. I don’t enamel with a kiln but the techniques covered are still relevent for torch enamelling. It’s a great video full of new ideas and Susan Lenart Kazmer is a likeable teacher.

One of the techniques covered was giving enamel a matt finish using Etchall etching cream. I’ve seen how lovely enamel jewellery looks with a matt finish and have always been intrigued with it and have thought of trying it myself in the past. The video showed how easy it was to achieve so I went on the cyber hunt for Etchall cream. I found some on ebay for £34 and another etching cream called Armour Etch. I really wanted the Etchall brand so started Googling it until I found some at a much more sensible price of £15.54 plus £2.95 postage from MDP Supplies.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to have a go……..
I dug out some old enamelled bits I’d “tidied” into a plastic bag and forgot about. Some of them are pieces I started then decided for whatever reason {no idea!} to abandon and a couple were colour test pieces for a customer.

I cleaned the enamel by wiping over with kitchen towel to remove any dust or grease then applied the Etchall cream with a brush. I wore latex gloves as the cream will irritate skin.

The Etchall cream has the consistency of yoghurt and needs to be applied thickly and as evenly as possible. I went over any patchy areas with some more of the cream if it was needed.

After 15 minutes I used the brush to remove the etching cream and scraped it back into the pot as it is reusable, although for small pieces it’s probably not worth bothering. I washed the rest of the cream off in water and dried the enamelled piece.

The result was a smooth egg-shell texture which I think looks great. It’s very tactile and feels like smooth stone to touch.

I applied the cream to one side of this piece so the difference with the normal shiny finish can be compared. This piece had a layer of turquoise transparent over the opaque enamels before it was etched.

The green and pink flowers were half-finished abandoned pieces that had been enamelled with just one coat of opaque enamel so are a bit patchy but the etching cream worked well on them. I like the matt effect on the black enamel too.

In conclusion, the etching cream is a definite hit with me and something I will be using to give a variation in the finish of my enamel jewellery. It’s so quick and easy to use. One of the advantages of using it is there’s no light reflection on the matt finish which can be a nuisance when you photograph enamel stuff.
Now I just wish I’d tried it sooner :D

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Aegean agenda

I must confess that my Aegean necklace and earrings are pieces I designed a while ago. I love them and sold quite a few sets last year at the Country Living Fair in Harrogate, but never actually got them online.

So I have had these pieces on my list a little while, but I’ve been struggling with lighting some of my pieces to take the kinds of pictures I want – the kind that make them look as lovely as they do when they are in my hand, but I think I am finally getting there.

So, here is the Aegean necklace. I have used these gorgeous tear drop shaped chrysoprase beads which come in an amazing range of greeny-turquoisy shades. For this reason, I make each necklace have a graduation from the paler greens to the stronger turquoises, to ensure that you will receive a necklace that looks pretty much like this one.

turquoise handmade necklace


The matching Aegean earrings are long, but also dainty, and I have used a seed pearl to contrast with the turquoise shades. Because of the variance on the stones, I can guarantee a closely matched pair, but their shade may be at the darker or lighter end. If you have a preference, you can just let me know when ordering which shade you would prefer.

turquoise handmade earrings

turquoise handmade jewellery


I’m really pleased with this design, I hope you like it!

contemporary chrysoprase necklace


Rachel x

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Explore the World of Holistic Aura of Chakra Jewelry

The Chakra jewellery and even buying Chakra crystals is becoming immensely popular with the growing awareness among people about the significance of such ornaments on the health and mind. Chakra yoga art is widely practiced by people worldwide to generate an aura of positive energy. Over the past few years, there has been an inclination of the masses towards the chakra yoga practices to raise the power of the chakras in the body to generate a flow of positive energy in the mind and the body. The most exquisite factor why people are getting more inclined to the Chakra jewellery pieces is the brilliance of the designs on this contemporary ornament piece. Designers are constantly experimenting with various forms of jewellery designing that can raise the power of these pieces in the wardrobe to bring energy and fortune to your life so that you get the fruits of all the hard work leveraged in your field of activity.

The jewellery designers for quite a long time have been designing Chakra ornaments like pendants, bangles, earrings and much more. The astrologers and spiritual preachers of the opinion that wearing these jewellery items increase the power of the mind and the body manifold that helps you to get the optimum benefits out of your Chakra yoga and lifestyle practices. Wearing a Chakra band on your hand is not only beautiful to look at but carries the vibes of healing power that soothes the mind and the body. In this age of hasty lifestyle and immense stressful condition of the mind, these holistic pieces of jewellery and the path of Chakra yoga has emerged as a major savior for the mankind.

Many astrologers even suggest the use of gemstones on Chakra jewellery. Hence, you can have rubies, diamonds, pearls, emeralds and what not designed on your favorite jewellery pieces. Gemstones for long have been believed to bring fortunes back to the life not only by the astrologers in countries like India, but it is now becoming a practice in many countries. When everything around is going wrong, the gemstones are said to attract the positivistic elements and goodness around with the lives setting things right. This is more a matter of belief that boosts confidence to the person energizing him to face the challenges of life. However, before using these powerful gemstones, it is very important to consult an astrologer to get the right set of stones as these stones are very powerful and subject to suitability factors.

Now you can get Chakra jewellery online with loads of cool collections at unbelievable prices. This is even easier for the customers seeking to buy fabulous Chakra bangles, wristlets, pendants, earrings and other pieces. Many companies offer free shipping so you save the money on traveling expenses for visiting a far off shop and getting your products. Simply take out time to search for the designs you desire to buy and place the order. Your Chakra jewellery will be dropped on the doorstep. So relax, take a fresh breath and of course, keep shopping for your Chakra jewellery