The same day that the previous commission was collected from the studio we received excited texts from Freemantle in Western Australia – two more commissions were collected at the post office, there. Tuesday, Jun 9 2015 

1) Barbara’s © Bar and Ring clasp is such a successful solution to stringing pearls and beads . . . worn to the front as a statement. Susan’s favourite oval moonstone set in an Argentium rub over setting and her Mother’s Akoya pearl strand reduced to a choker length, knotted and restrung.

2) Little finger signet ring set with a single old cut diamond from Susan’s Great-Grandfather. Design has the diamond set low, in an oval textured cartouche on a new style reeded band in 18ct palladium white gold.

Wendy’s two rings + Nigel’s interlocking set © Bh 2015 + two older style links Saturday, Jun 6 2015 

Platinum wedding band, double leaf lattice with Rubies.

Interlocking squares & circles, newer low version.

Visitors to the studio wishing to commission have two resources to use at the brief stage – our viewable records of makes and styles are all on the blog which are used night and day by people all over the world, the two below which were precursors for the rings above. The other resource we use are the three boxes full of silver models that show bands, settings and styles. These are used by Wendy George & Nigel Wilson during their meetings with Barbara to envisage their wedding ring commission. I hadn’t met them until the handover ceremony, I sit behind a wall (unseen) and listen intently as objects are viewed, tried on and I hear all the accompanying excited reactions by folk as they receive their loaded jewels. Wendy & Nigel were just so thrilled I have to add, especially as he isn’t a ring wearer, he says . . .

Barbara’s next Tasmanian show will open June 26, 2015 at Handmark Gallery in Hobart Monday, May 25 2015 

Just an advanced notice and the last June date we want you to drop into your diary. The studio is on track to finish all the makes by this Friday, then I have some time to complete all the imaging, pricing and documentation. The entire series of rings, pendants, necklaces and brooches are all featuring ‘porcelain shards’ found on and around our property in Tunbridge, Tasmania. This should not come as a surprise as Barbara has used found elements as the set “gems” in works since the mid – nineteen eighties. Buttons, beads, glass, wood, steel, other jewellery have all been recycled and incorporated but this show is purely Tasmanian based with antique relics which the earth has given up to us.

Elements from our range of high carat and unique gem stone jewellery from numerous © Bh ‘styles’ are also showing in our cabinets at Hobart and Evandale and via the Handmark web.

Commission via a phone call from out of the blue Tuesday, May 5 2015 

It is always a delight when old “Maker’s Mark” clients from Melbourne resurface, we did numerous commissions and sold from our range over a twenty six year period but never held their client’s names and addresses. Rosemary’s phone call led to an email which led to this remake of her husband’s interlocking ring set, this time in 9ct rose gold. They are chuffed, I’m chuffed to have their contact details now and another commissioner back into the fold.

Melt this 24ct gold, 1 ounce coin and make me a solid gold ring like my oval turquoise cabochon one Thursday, Apr 23 2015 

. . . and I want a large oval polished onyx piece set into the top!

Our favourite ‘Francophile’ commissioned this for her Ruby and Barbara responded with a nod to her favourite French designer – Jean Fouquet Wednesday, Apr 22 2015 

Her own gold melted and reused, the band cast in studio and the two top components constructed and attached. The rub over setting for oval faceted Ruby was recessed and the flat topped band finished with polished and matt surfaces. On reading the brief notes, Barbara has written (assymmetry, off-beat, off-set gem, bar across and angled). No further design dialogue, our client said “just make it”. Having made so many things for her, we knew the size and her aesthetic.

Another new commissioned ring and one older one back for a re-jig – we love repeat clients Thursday, Apr 16 2015 

Commissioned ring for Kerry Blinco – © Bh 2015 10 x 12mm oval faceted Amethyst (supplied) in a tapered rub-over setting, held in an interlocked swirling, round wire construction. Three round brilliant cut Diamonds set to one side in chenier settings in 18ct palladium White Gold. Polished finish with rhodium plate. Three more shots here and here and here.

Re-fit loop wire design to upper layer of © Bh Sapphire and White Gold ring and then rhodium plate. More images here, here and here.

Commissioned in 1996, worn until lost and remade in 2006, misplaced and remade in 2015 Thursday, Apr 2 2015 

Other clients have seen the master pattern and we have made different versions . . . this 925 sterling silver oval slotted band has a (heated to blue) titanium strip. We keep every commission sheet with the recipe and make details so clients are always covered, we supply replacement insurance valuations also.

Handmade 18ct yellow gold ring © Bh with reticulated surface and integrated setting Thursday, Mar 26 2015 

Just a simple request, that Barbara do this herself – add a Queensland blue sapphire and don’t publish a name. 60th birthday ring – low profile band wider at top narrowing to back, has organic form with surface texture. Set with single round faceted sapphire 1=0.12ct 18ct yellow gold, size 0.

A family affair – studio commissions rather than random finds while Christmas browsing Saturday, Dec 20 2014 

Lyn Taylor’s brief sheet starts with the date 1/10/2014 and notes delivery in time for Christmas wrapping . . . something for daughter Kate and two things for Lyn. Her large lace dish earrings with x10 of her old cut diamonds, her rubies and recycle her three family rings, white enamel fusion in 18ct yellow gold with those easy-to-wear hooks that Barbara and Juan-luis do so well.

The studio buys back the gold, unsets the stones, weighs and notes the gem details and uses refined gold for its purity. The rings were possibly from early 1900s but the diamonds were from much earlier times, being old rose cuts probably recycled when the rings were made. The diamonds were lovely and clear as were the rubies. We sourced more 2.5mm rubies to get the symmetry right. A large .pdf is here.

Lyn’s wide ‘saddle style’ ring (detail below) with her gold filigree removed from old ring and reapplied to a new © Bh ring with oxidised silver finish.

Kates new ring below using her Amethyst, (11.5mm x 7mm scissor cut 1=3.00ct) set into a tapered rectangular box setting, fitted low for protection and held with x4 claws. Setting is fitted to © Bh ‘cheapside style’ band with each shoulder junction having a cluster of beads as detail in organic style – set with yellow Sapphires and Tzavorite Garnets. 9ct palladium white gold with burnished finish.

I’m busy scanning and preparing posts while the two jewellers slog away on the final makes for the year. A few dedicated commissioners have opted to wait until the new year. More studio visitors who have returned to family here have visited and picked up gifts – most work is reconsigned to our three retailers but we keep studio favourites here for the next five days, right up to Christmas eve.

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