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Making silver jewellery – a little time to shine!

September 8, 2021
September 8, 2021 - Making silver jewellery – a little time to shine!

Have you ever had a go at hand crafting silver jewellery? Rebecca Green is the artisan designer-maker with a studio workshop called Rock Paper Silver based at Caudwell's Mill in Rowsley.

Always on the lookout for interesting activities and being a little creative myself I enrolled in one of her one day jewellery making workshops “An introduction to silver clay class”

Silver jewellery making at Rock Paper Silver

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but Rebecca explained the whole process, so we knew what lay ahead for the day. As a small group we discussed our initial design ideas, then created detailed sketches on paper, before moving on to produce a practice prototype in fimo clay.

Rebecca demonstrated various tools and techniques to achieve different textures to enhance our designs.

With my passion for riding I had quickly sketched out a horse’s head as a pendent but decided that it was probably too ambitious and beyond my capabilities. However, Rebecca thought that it was not too complicated and would work well. So with her encouragement I boldly set about crafting my idea into a 3D design in fimo clay. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought and seemed to go well so I bravely opened the precious silver clay packet.

Using silver clay to make jewellery

I rolled and worked the clay before breaking off small pieces for the ears and mane. Splitting the precious clay was quite fiddly, and somehow I managed to drop the small pieces on the floor. Luckily I found all the bits and brushed off the dirt - no harm done!

Time flew by and before lunch we had all crafted our final jewellery from a 7g piece of silver clay. Some of the other participants had been on previous workshops and had brought along precious gems to incorporate into their designs. One person was adventurous enough to craft a ring with 3 gemstones.

Once completed the designs were fired in an oven whilst we had a delicious lunch at the Hlaf vegetarian café in the mill yard.

The clay had hardened off in the kiln but still looked pale in colour and not very attractive. At this point we could refine, and file the pieces to get the perfect finish. However the next process was where the magic really happened!

firing silver clay

The clay is made up of extremely fine particles of pure silver, almost like dust, mixed up with a non-toxic organic binder. Once heated to high temperature for a couple of minutes the binder burns out leaving you with a piece of pure metal.  A little polish with a stiff brush and a tumble with small ball bearings in a soap solution and the transformation is stunning!

Are you inspired to give silver jewellery making a go?

I thoroughly enjoyed the day – it was very therapeutic and I had a great sense of achievement going home with a unique piece of silver jewellery, totally designed and created by myself!  It was also fascinating to see what everyone else had designed and made.

Even with no previous experience I was able to craft a unique piece with a little guidance from Rebecca. All tools and materials, including the silver clay, were provided at a cost of £75. You can choose an adjustable leather cord if you are making a necklace like mine, or buy a silver chain. No need to be nervous as Rebecca also explains everything clearly and provides a helping hand if needed. I hope this inspires you to have a go!

About the artist

Rebecca Green has an eye for beautiful designs inspired by nature. As well as running workshops Rebecca handcrafts delicate designs of wearable sculpture in solid silver, including hares, hedgehogs, horses and harvest mice, as well as flowers, leaves and acorns.

Rebecca Green of Rock Paper Silver

Rebecca completed an MA in Sequential Illustration and Design at Brighton University. Since then she has worked in traditional bookbinding and illustration, cutting edge 3D animation and interactive digital design, before becoming a silver smith in 2012. Our stunning Peak District countryside provides much of the inspiration for her beautiful designs.

Rebecca says “I find it a thrilling and rewarding way to express my ideas and my creativity. I especially like that the result is something that is decorative, functional and tactile, as well as being formed from precious materials. I am inspired by nature, the seasons, mythology and primitive cultures”.

silver pendent

All her Jewellery is designed, hand crafted and finished in her workshop at Caudwell's Mill, Rowsley. Some pieces are distinctly one-off items, others are created in a small batches. Rebecca also offers bespoke services for those special pieces of jewellery for a loved one or maybe for yourself to mark a special occasion.

Caudwell's Mill

Rock Paper Silver is situated at Caudwell's Mill with several other artisan businesses including  Greenhalgh Glass Gallery, a mill forge, Jenny McKenzie Art Gallery  and florist Arbutus and Ivy

Caudwell's Mill is a unique, Grade II listed historic roller flour mill, situated in Rowsley, near Bakewell, in the Derbyshire Peak District. Powered by the fast-flowing River Wye, one or more mills have stood on the site for at over 400 years.

The current mill was built in 1874 by John Caudwell and run as a family business for over a century, before closing in 1978. The mill was fortunately purchased by a charitable trust which means that we are still able to see today how flour was produced using traditional methods and machines.

Caudwell's Mill at Rowsley

The mill was originally powered by two water wheels which drove 8 pairs of millstones in the flour mill and 3 pairs in the provender (animal feed) mill. The water wheels did not provide enough power, so they were later replaced by water turbines.

Most of the machinery is pre 1914 and is still driven by leather belts and pulleys from line shafts. Elevators and Archimedean screws abound throughout the four floors.

If you have tasted our delicious granary bread in your welcome pack, you’ll be pleased to know that the malted flake flour used comes from Caudwell's Mill. Not only are you tasting a delicious locally produced product, you are also supporting the charitable trust to preserve this historic building for future generations.

Entrance to the mill is FREE and definitely worth a visit - it's a great rainy day option and you can also buy some flour to take home from the shop!


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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  • star rating  We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    August 17, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    October 25, 2019

    star rating  Felicity and David made us feel very welcome right from our booking. The pods are well equipped and spotlessly clean. The area is very peaceful with great views and we... read more

    January 30, 2020
  • star rating  For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    June 25, 2019

    star rating  We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    July 11, 2019

    star rating  What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    June 18, 2019
  • star rating  Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    July 4, 2019

    star rating  A beautiful place to stay! Amazingly run family business! Everyone were very welcoming, friendly and cozy! The skylark pod we stayed in was very clean, cozy and well equipped! The... read more

    January 2, 2020

    star rating  Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    July 16, 2019
  • star rating  We stayed in Skylark, one of the two glamping pods available at Hoe Grange in February 2020.

    Felicity & David welcomed us when we arrived to show us around... read more

    February 6, 2020

    star rating  What a wonderful find. As our first experience of needing accessible accommodation we could not have wished for better. Beautiful well equipped lodges in lovely surroundings. We stayed in both... read more

    April 3, 2020

    star rating  We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    September 17, 2019
  • star rating  What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    June 13, 2019

    star rating  Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    October 4, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    October 25, 2019
  • star rating  Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    August 3, 2019

    star rating  We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    June 7, 2019

    star rating  We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    June 4, 2019
  • star rating  Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    October 25, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    September 15, 2019

    star rating  We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more

    February 3, 2020
  • star rating  Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    August 7, 2019

    star rating  Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    July 28, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    November 5, 2019
  • star rating  On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    June 25, 2019

    star rating  It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    September 21, 2019

    star rating  We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    July 16, 2019
  • star rating  Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    September 14, 2019

    star rating  lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    July 28, 2019

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