The craft of silver
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon when Stanhoe and Barwick WI members gathered in their summer clothes for their September meeting to see Claire Howard show her sparkling silver jewellery, and hear about the processes involved in its creation.
photo: Rosemary Brown
Claire grew up in a “crafty” family, but only came to silversmithing just before her son was born, when she was given a jewellery kit to keep her busy. Soon she was hooked on making jewellery and began to learn silversmithing techniques from an elderly craftsman, making as her first real piece of silver work a pair of cuff links for her husband.
As her skills have increased she has created necklaces (many based on natural objects such as shells), bangles, and earrings, some on commission and some for sale at craft fairs. She explained the basic methods of silversmithing and polishing items, and we watched a demonstration of making a tiny earring with amazing dexterity.
The examples of her work on show were very special. Claire says she is a perfectionist. Properly so!
The vote of thanks from a member, Penelope, was something else! It included a funny ditty about a nervous lady acquiring ear rings for pierced ears. It had the members and the speaker laughing, and made a happy ending to the proceedings.