New necklace clasps

Just so you know, I’ve recently started using hinged sterling silver clasps for all of my necklaces rather than the handmade shepherd hook clasps I was previously using.

Lobster clasp on a pendant chain.   handmade-chain-clasp

The lobster clasp on the left is now used for all regular pendants and chains in the shop. And the bolt clasp on the right is used for all handmade chains, including bracelets.

Both of these clasp designs are sterling silver and provide extra security for your handmade jewellery. And no longer making clasp findings myself means I will have more time for working on finished jewellery pieces. Yay!

Festive season bestsellers

Here are my best selling pieces of handmade jewellery (and more!) so far this festive season:

Christmas pudding coins - pure silver.   Victorian leaves open locket with ruby.

Left: Christmas pudding coins – pure silver
Right: Victorian leaves open locket – sterling silver and ruby gemstone

Handmade chain in sterling silver.   Sterling silver stacking rings.

Handmade chain – sterling silver
Stacking rings – set of 3 – sterling silver

Rose pendant with ruby gemstone.   Rose post earrings in sterling silver.

Shapely rose pendant – sterling silver and ruby gemstone
Rose post earrings – sterling silver.

Blossom earrings in sterling silver.   Japanese etched pendant on silk necklace.

Blossom earrings – sterling silver
Japanese etched pendant – sterling silver and natural silk thread.

Tulip earrings in sterling silver and copper.   Tulip pendant in sterling silver and copper.

Double tulip earrings – sterling silver and copper
Double tulip pendant – sterling silver and copper.

Come and see me in Adelaide this weekend!

Bowerbird Bazaar: Adelaide's design market.Just a reminder that I’ll be at the wonderful Bowerbird Bazaar designers’ market at the Adelaide Showgrounds this weekend – 22 to 24 November.

You’ll be able to check out lots of my handmade jewellery designs in person, along with some market-only pieces and my nifty new market display set up.

Apart from me and my wares, you’ll find all sorts of great indie design companies and some very nice food as well.

So come along and say hello!

PS. Next market I’m taking part in is Finders Keepers in Sydney, 6-7 December.

Be a Christmas earlybird!

Christmas for me always gets increasingly hectic as we get closer to the big day, especially as a lot of customers leave their Christmas shopping until the last possible moment.

So to encourage you to shop early this year here’s a super special 15% discount code: earlybird13.

But be quick – the code expires this Sunday, 17 November!

Visit the handmade jewellery shop.

Handmade jewellery designs by Simone Walsh.

Mini-range sneak peek

Over the last week or so I’ve been making some new fun and simple jewellery designs using iconic shapes. Partly this was just to give myself something different to work on in the studio, but I’ve decided I’ll be releasing these pieces as a mini-range in the lead up to Christmas.

Handmade jewellery designs in sterling silver.

It’s not a great photo, but here is a sneak peek of some of the jewellery designs I’ve been working on.

I’ll keep you posted as things develop.

See you in Melbourne next week!

I’ve been absolutely flat out making enormous quantities of jewellery for the Finders Keepers design market in Melbourne next weekend.

Partially completed handmade jewellery designs.
Partially completed jewellery pieces for the market fresh out of the tumbler.

I’ve been working very long, hard hours in recent weeks to make sure I have enough jewellery made for the market – I was so unwell in September that I ended up very behind schedule.

But I have just a few more pieces to make to reach my target. Then there’s a whole lot of other organising work to do! Hopefully I’ll manage to get it all done in time – and with my worn out fingers still intact!

The market is at the Royal Exhibition Centre in Carlton on this coming Friday 19 October (6pm to 10pm) and Saturday 20 October (10am to 5pm). I hope to see you there!

PS. If you’re in Adelaide I’ll also be at the next Bowerbird Bazaar design market at the Adelaide Showgrounds on 9-11 November. More information coming soon!

My jewellery making history (part two)

Hand that Feeds cutlery in sterling silver by Simone Walsh (circa 1999)
The Hand that Feeds cutlery in sterling silver – not jewellery of course, but a set of cutlery I made while a jewellery and metal student.

Here is part two of my jewellery making journey over the past 20 years.

You can also check out part one and how you can benefit from the 20th anniversary celebrations with 20% off 20 pieces, a $100 voucher to be won and more!

More study

In 1997 I returned to Australia and moved Sydney so that I could study full time at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

There I completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with a Jewellery and Metal major, graduating in 2000.

After studying I continued making jewellery while living and working in Sydney and sold my work in a few retail outlets around Australia.

Selling jewellery online

In 2006 I decided to experiment with selling my jewellery designs online. I wasn’t convinced at all that jewellery could be sold successfully via the web, but within a short time of launching a shop on Etsy I realised I was wrong!

After being featured on a few key indie design blogs, my sales took off and soon enough became a major part of my income. This allowed me to change to part time employment while running an often more than full time business.

Within a couple of years I became disillusioned with Etsy and needing to rely upon it so heavily in my business, so set up my own independent online shop at shop.simonewalsh.com, which is now the primary outlet for my handmade jewellery.

After a few years of selling online I finally took the plunge to become entirely creatively self-employed in 2009.

The end (so far!)

And here I am, a whole 20 years after spotting the necklace which first made me curious, still making jewellery and I’m now privileged to be making something vaguely resembling a living from it!

* * *

Read part one of my jewellery making history.

Don’t forget to check out my 20 years, 20 jewellery pieces, 20% off range for this month only, as well as the other celebrations for the 20th anniversary.

Want to win this handmade pendant?

Medieval arabesque pendant - pin and win! All you need to do is repin this Medieval arabesque pendant pin on Pinterest and you’ll be entered into the draw to win it!

The pendant is handmade in sterling silver and is worth AU$79.

The winner of the pendant will be randomly drawn on 1 October and announced in the comments – so get pinning!

PS. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

My jewellery making history (part one)

Fish pendant in sterling silver and titanium by Simone Walsh (circa 1994).
The first piece of metalwork jewellery I designed and made – a fish pendant in sterling silver and anodised titanium (1994).

It was way back in 1992 that I spotted a piece of jewellery in a shop which really intrigued me in terms of its construction.

It was a necklace which was eye-catching (but fairly ‘chunky and clunky’ as things were back then!) and made from wire which wrapped discs of coloured glass.

When I got home I kept thinking about how it was made.

Soon after I bought some wire, pliers and glass and started experimenting with ways to put the materials together and turn them into something wearable.

Soon enough I became hooked on the idea of making contemporary jewellery and was very keen to learn more!

Making a start

Initially I made very simple pieces using wire wrapping, beads and manufactured components. I made mostly for my own enjoyment, but also started selling pieces at markets in Adelaide, South Australia.

Back then I was working in the music industry, but was unhappy and looking for a new direction. After making very simple jewellery for a year or so I made a decision to pursue this work more seriously and learn to make ‘real’ jewellery.

Getting an education

I resigned from my job and started full time study in 1994, when I began a Visual Arts diploma with a Jewellery major at a technical college in Adelaide.

During my first year of study I learnt an incredible amount in terms of the core technical skills I use to this day. At the end of that year I was very proud to be presented with The Most Outstanding Jewellery Student award at my college.

Leaving the country

After another period of full time study the following year, I decided to go to London, where I lived for a couple of years.

While there I was only able to do a minimal amount of jewellery making with a few tools, but I was able to soak up a lot of ideas and inspiration.

Eventually I returned to Australia with the intention of continuing my studies.

* * *

Read part two of my jewellery making history.

In the interim don’t forget to check out my 20 years, 20 pieces, 20% off jewellery range which is on sale for September only.

Learn more about the 20th anniversary celebrations and how you can get involved!

Celebrating 20 years of jewellery making!

V and A insignia pendant in sterling silver.Amazingly enough 2012 marks a whopping 20 years since I first began making jewellery!

This partly makes me feel old and partly makes me feel very pleased to have reached such a milestone – and to find myself doing this work for a living all this time later.

Join in the celebrations!

Throughout September I’ll be celebrating this 20th anniversary with my lovely customers.

Here’s how you can take part:

  • 20 years, 20 jewellery pieces, 20% off!

    Enjoy 20% off some of my most popular jewellery designs for this month only. I can’t guarantee they’ll all be in stock for the month, so get in quick!
    View the 20% off range.

  • Win a $100 voucher!

    Every customer in September will go into the draw to win a voucher to spend in my shop.

  • Get a free mini polishing cloth!

    Spend $35 or more in my handmade jewellery shop in September and you’ll get a mini precious metal polishing cloth as a gift (first 25 customers only so be quick!).

Visit the handmade jewellery shop.

Be social and win good stuff!

Keep your eyes out for a competition I’ll be running on Twitter.

Plus you can take part in a ‘pin and win’ competition on Pinterest where you can win a handmade jewellery design.

More details to come!

Making, making, making

It’s been a very busy week in my jewellery studio as I ramp up my making work to get ready for markets and the busy season in general!

Handmade jewellery pieces in sterling silver and gemstones.

Above are some finished and partly finished pieces which spent last night in the tumbler to become bright and shiny. This is just a portion of the jewellery I worked on last week.

And this coming week will be more of the same!

Market update: Finders Keepers in Melbourne

The Finders Keepers indie design market.Just giving you some advance notice that I’ll be selling my handmade jewellery at the rather nifty Finders Keepers design market in Melbourne later this year!

The market will be held on Friday 19 October (evening) and Saturday 20 October (all day) at The Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton.

So if you’re going to be in Melbourne at the time, be sure to come by and say hello!

Stay tuned for more design market information and I’ll provide a summary later in the year.