Part 2 of 2 – Sterling Silver Keyring – As always with any of my pieces, the bulk of the work comes in the finishing process. I have always enjoyed filing (yes, I know that’s odd) but it’s the technique whereby something scratched and rough becomes shiny and smooth. I like using small 25mm 3M radial discs for removing fire scale and polishing. I have five different grades, which I find do the job really well. Of course, it takes a lot of time and patience to get it right. My magnifying spectacles see every tiny scratch and for me, if it’s not supposed to be there then it has to be polished out.

I decided to create a textured bale for hanging, which would be more substantial and secure for a keyring. It was important to look at the usage and how the piece might bend to make sure that I placed the bale securely in exactly the right place, which is where it would have less stress when it was carried around in someone’s pocket!

I’m not a natural stamper / engraver. It’s a challenge that I will take on but it has it’s risks. Stamp a letter or number upside down and there will be a lot of polishing required to remove it. Nevertheless, the words SHELLS 2020 look really good and in a way, they are slightly wonky and natural-looking, which is how I want them to look on such a wild and naturally textured piece.

Now, like many makers, I’ll admit to being a perfectionist. I know when something is right. I know what good looks like, which is why even after I’d wrapped and packaged it up to be posted, I knew I hadn’t taken the piece far enough.

Commissions are like mini challenges and I can work out where I’m going to start and the journey then begins. Where it ends is my choice. Having slept on the problem and not being entirely happy, I unwrapped the piece, worked on it some more until I was 100% happy.

I’m so proud of this piece. It’s a statement keyring, weighs around 46g and is hallmarked with my own mark as well as those of The Assay Office in London.

My client, Jo, said;

A huge thank you for the two most beautiful pieces that have safely arrived! Such a treat to unwrap all the layers and they are both absolutely wonderful…. we love everything about the shell, its weight, size, all the textures and the contrast with the smoothest areas….Thank you again so much for all your wonderful work and attention to detail and for completing this piece with perfect timing before Thomas goes off to school. 
And I can’t wait to wear my poppy too!

Jo and Adrian

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