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Keepsake Jewellery - Shpangle Jewellery



Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Memorial Jewellery Ideas for Men - Jewellery for Ashes or Hair

I am often asked about what types of jewellery or other gifts incorporating cremated ashes or hair are available for a male. Hopefully the following will provide some options and inspiration for men’s memorial jewellery incorporating ashes or hair.

Men’s Pendants for Ashes or Hair

My sterling silver pendants for ashes or hair can be made in many shapes and sizes, I am confident that I could provide something suitable for a man. From basic pendant shapes such as oblong, circular or square, the ashes or lock of hair are encased within resin against a sterling silver bezel.

Men's Memorial Pendant for Ashes
Men's Pendant for Ashes

Men's Memorial Hair Locket
Men's Pendant for a Lock of Hair


The resin holding the hair or ashes can be coloured or left clear and other objects added if required to further personalise the pendants. The memorial pendants can also be supplied with leather thong style necklace chains (instead of the sterling silver chains that I usually supply with the pendants).

Keyrings for Ashes or a Lock of Hair

Any of my pendant shapes and designs can be supplied as memorial keyrings for ashes or a lock of hair. The ashes or lock of hair can be combined with other objects to further personalise them such as silver lettering for names or messages, small objects such as small flowers.

Memorial Keyring for Ashes
Keyring for Ashes 

Memorial Keyring for a Lock of Hair
Keyring for a Lock of Hair


My sterling silver oval pendants containing ashes or hair can also be engraved with names, dates and messages if required.

Alternatively, the pendants can be supplied mounted on ribbon within the jewellery box; allowing the keepsake containing the ashes or hair to be displayed.


Cufflinks for Ashes or Hair

As an alternative to pendants or keyrings for ashes or hair, some men may prefer to wear cufflinks. My sterling silver cufflinks (as seen below) are a lovely way to carry a piece of somebody special and they are often requested for wedding gifts to the groom.

Memorial Cufflinks for Ashes
Cufflinks for Ashes

Memorial Cufflinks Hair
Cufflinks for Lock of Hair


The memorial cufflink settings can be coloured or left clear. They can be made different if required (for example different locks of hair or ashes can be set within each cufflink setting).

Tie-slides for Ashes or Hair

The tie slides for ashes or a lock of hair are similar to my cufflinks above. The ashes or lock of hair are set within resin against a sterling silver setting. The memorial tie slide setting can be coloured or left clear.

Tieslide for a Lock of Hair

Paperweights for Ashes or a Lock of Hair

As an alternative to an item of jewellery, my paperweights for ashes or a lock of hair provide a lovely display piece. The memorial paperweights can be made in the traditional domed shape or square and along with the ashes or lock of hair, I can further personalise the paperweights with photographs, text and other sentimental items.

Memorial Paperweight for Ashes
Paperweight for Ashes
Paperweight for Locks of Hair
Paperweight for Locks of Hair


I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas for the types of memorial jewellery available for cremated ashes or a lock of hair. If there is something I have missed or if you have an alternative idea for memorial jewellery, please let me know.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Celebrating 10 Years of Shpangle Jewellery

In 2019 I celebrate 10 years of making custom jewellery so I thought I would record the event and publish my highlights and favourite jewellery items from each year.

2009 - The Beginnings of Shpangle Jewellery

In 2005, after spending 20 years as a systems engineer I decided to make a positive change in my life and become a full time house husband and carer for our son. A few years later in 2009, our son was starting school and I contemplated starting a business.

I had always had an artistic side and wanted to develop this further; I was also interested in taking everyday objects and turning them into pieces of art and hence Shpangle Jewellery was born.

I decided to use resin as a medium for my jewellery and my first items of jewellery incorporated sweets and other small items such as fabric, flowers, confetti and even bubble-wrap. These were sold at local craft fairs and at my local market.

Resin pendant containing a Jelly Tot sweet
Resin pendant containing a Jelly Tot sweet


This was one of the first pendants I made, an orange jelly tot sweet and seed beads made into a resin pendant.

2010 - Name on Rice Jewellery

The previous year was mainly devoted to making and expanding my range of resin jewellery. I decided to expand this range into another form of jewellery and began to learn the art of rice writing – The writing of names onto grains of rice.

Name on rice jewellery
Name on rice jewellery


This saw my name on rice jewellery appear in a short film by Canon, showcasing their macro lenses.

2011 – Jewellery Incorporating Hair or Ashes

Throughout the last couple of years I had received many requests to incorporate sentimental items (flowers, photos and other small objects) into jewellery. However this year was the beginning of what I became reputable for; preserving hair from horses, pets and loved ones into items of keepsake jewellery.

Keepsake Jewellery for a Lock of Hair
Keepsake Jewellery for Hair


My lock of hair jewellery was featured later this year in a Daily Mail newspaper article and I was also interviewed by Radio 4 as part of their documentary about remembrance jewellery.

After many requests later this year, I expanded the range of jewellery for hair to also incorporate ashes.

Keepsake Jewellery for Ashes - Memorial Jewellery
Keepsake Jewellery for Ashes


Both the hair and ashes jewellery has become extremely important to me and I am extremely grateful for those people that have entrusted me with something so sentimental and important to them.

2012 - Custom Made Paperweights

My custom made paperweights were developed to accommodate the many requests I received for preserving larger items. The paperweights were also ideal for those people who wanted to display the sentimental item rather than having an item of jewellery.

Custom Made Paperweights Containing Flowers
Custom Made Paperweights


2013 - Magazine Article

In 2013 a lovely article about Shpangle Jewellery was featured within a magazine. The article appeared in the ‘Bunny Mad’ magazine and was part of a special feature about coping with pet loss.

Shpangle Jewellery Magazine Article - Coping With Pet Loss
Shpangle Jewellery Magazine Article

This article means so much to me; it was the first time that I had been featured in a magazine. To be chosen to be part of this subject made me realise even more how important my jewellery is to people.


2014 – Lovely Customer Feedback and Gifts

I always feel over the moon whenever I receive lovely customer feedback for my work and it is one of the main reasons that I make the items; knowing that I have made somebody happy is so important to me.

Customer Thank You Gifts
Customer Thank You Gifts

In 2014 I received through the post a gift of chocolates, wine and a thank you card for making an item of jewellery. So extremely thoughtful and I will never forget this act of kindness.

2015 - Hedgehog quills

From the numerous items of jewellery and paperweights that I made in 2015, I tried to think of one item that sticks out in my mind. A very difficult decision however it has to be this pendant containing hedgehog quills.

Hedgehog Quill Jewellery
Hedgehog Quill Pendant

This was the first and only time that I have worked with hedgehog quills and incorporated them into a necklace.

2016 - Pandora Style Beads

After many hours of experimentation in 2016 I finally discovered a way of incorporating either hair or ashes into Pandora style beads. This became another popular way of preserving both hair and ashes into an item of jewellery.

Custom made Pandora style beads for hair or ashes
Custom made Pandora style beads


2017 – Jewellery for Teeth

The year 2017 saw me produce my first pendant containing a tooth! After several years making jewellery for ashes, flowers, hair etc I am surprised that I have not done this sooner (i.e. keepsakes for a child’s first tooth, puppy tooth jewellery etc).

Jewellery containing a tooth
Jewellery containing a tooth


2018 - Rings

In 2018 I expanded the range of rings available for holding ashes and locks of hair. I now supply seven different styles of sterling silver rings for ashes/hair.

Custom made rings for hair or ashes
Custom made rings for hair or ashes


2019 – Sterling Silver Jewellery Range

This year has seen me release a new range of sterling silver pendants for ashes, hair and other keepsakes. I can now make the sterling silver pendants in most shapes, including hearts.

Sterling silver pendants for hair or ashes
Sterling silver pendants for hair or ashes


More sterling silver pendant shapes will be released in 2020 and I look forward to the next 10 years of Shpangle Jewellery!

Mick

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A Paperweight for a Bullet

Late last year I was contacted by a soldier who served in Afghanistan in 2014. He wanted to send a bullet to me that was fired at him (and narrowly missed him) during his time there. Here is the bullet that I received:

Bullet from Afganistan
Bullet from Afganistan


The soldier wanted the bullet encasing within a paperweight, along with a suitable caption and this is what I made for him:

Bullet in a Paperweight
Bullet in a Paperweight


I felt so honoured to have been asked to make this paperweight for him because of the sentimental importance of the bullet...it certainly was a 'Close Shave'!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Old Fashioned Wash Day at Hinckley Museum

We had a lovely time today washing clothes (now I don't think I say that very often!). I took the kids to an old fashioned wash day at the local museum in Hinckley. We entered the courtyard at the back of the museum to be greeted by a group of ladies dressed in old fashioned clothes. They then handed out cloth caps and scarves for the boys and aprons for the girls (I even managed to persuade our teenage daughter to wear an apron!).

Washing the old fashioned way at Hinckley Museum
Old Fashioned Wash Day - Hinckley Museum


The ladies then began to tell us about how we used to wash our clothes; firstly water was only available from a communal water pump several metres from where we were standing. The water was then taken to the boiler house located at the back of the museum. Early soaps were then discussed including those made from animal fat and wood ash (not very appealing to look at but apparently it worked)! Another method was to use the leaves and stems from the Soapwort plants. For today's washing day we were to use blocks of homemade soap.

Old Fashioned Wash Day - Soaps and Grater
Old Fashioned Wash Day - Soaps and Grater


My apologies in advance if I have some of the terminology incorrect, however I was trying to keep up with the little one who wash darting between each piece of equipment whilst I was listening to the washer lady's commentary. The bar of soap was first grated (by what looked like a kind of cheese grater) into a tub of hot water and then pounded with a Posser (a long wooden pole with a wooden handle and metal plunger attached to the other end). Our Dolly Tub was made from galvanised steel however I believe they were originally made from wood.

Old Fashioned Wash Day - Dolly Tubs, Posser and Scrubbing Board
Old Fashioned Wash Day - Dolly Tubs, Posser and Scrubbing Board


A wash stick (or long wooden tongues) were then used to remove the garment from the tub and then placed onto a scrubbing board. The bar of soap was then used to scrub the clothes and then the garment was transferred back to the tub for rinsing.

Old Fashioned Wash Day - Scrubbing Clothes
Old Fashioned Wash Day - Scrubbing Clothes


Once cleaned the garment was taken to the Mangle where the little one had great fun turning the handle. The garment was passed through the mangle several times and after each pass was folded in half before being squeezed through the Mangle again.

Old Fashioned Wash Day - Using a Mangle
Old Fashioned Wash Day - Using a Mangle


We then hung the garment to dry and used some amazing home-made pegs which looked so simple to make (and I can imagine would probably last a lot longer than our modern versions).

Old Fashioned Wooden Pegs
Old Fashioned Wooden Pegs


We all loved the wash day and experienced what it used to be like before the use of our modern conveniences. I can see several advantages of these old fashioned methods though; they are certainly better for the environment, can be a family fun occasion with each person taking on a different task, and it certainly keeps you fit!

Hinckley Mangle at the Hinckley Museum
Hinckley Mangle at the Hinckley Museum


If you have any memories of using Mangles, Possers and Dolly Tubs please share!

Mick

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sea glass picture of a Jersey beach

I thought I would show off something I have made for myself for a change. My family has spent our summer holiday on the beautiful island of Jersey for the last couple of years. I am not normally a beach kind of person (I would much rather be exploring the cliff tops), but there is one particular beach that I particularly like exploring in Jersey. It is the beach where I manage to find lots and lots of sea glass. The sea glass pieces are formed by the sea tumbling and eroding broken glass bottles and the resulting pieces can be found in a variety of colours and shapes.

One of our favourite Jersey beaches
One of our favourite Jersey beaches


During our summer holiday to Jersey in 2012 we collected a bag of sea glass and it has taken me about a year to finally have something made with it. We decided that we would produce a mosaic type picture of a Jersey beach. I had a bright idea of mounting the sea glass onto the glass front of a picture frame so that we could somehow shine a light behind it to illuminate the colours. The picture frame is a driftwood effect box frame and measures 22” x 18”, each piece of sea glass was individually glued onto the glass (tip: the best and cheapest glass glue I found is Wilkinson’s own glass glue, believe me I used a lot of it!).The picture represents a Jersey beach, flanked by the green cliff tops and tumbling rocks.

Sea glass picture of a Jersey Beach
Sea glass picture of a Jersey Beach


For the lighting I purchased a LED strip lighting kit. This kit consisted of a flexible 5m strip of LEDs that was easily cut to size and it was sticky backed so attaching to the inside of the box frame was easy!

LED Strip Lighting Kit
LED Strip Lighting Kit


The only problem I had was that the individual LEDs were visible, especially when viewing the picture from side on. To reduce this problem I mounted a card border behind the glass.

Illuminated sea glass picture
Illuminated sea glass picture


The LED kit also comes with a remote control with lots of colour options and effects such as colour fading, brightness control and even a strobe function (which our little boy had lots of fun playing with).

Picture lit up with LED strip lighting
Picture lit up with LED strip lighting


I hope you like it! I am now planning what to do with all of the sea glass I collected from a jersey beach during this summer’s holiday.

Mick

Monday, 19 August 2013

A seed pendant or is it a nut pendant?

I began writing this blog post convinced that this was a seed that I had made into a pendant. In fact it was described to me by my customer as being a seed. But then I began to wonder if it was a nut, and what is the difference between a seed and a nut? I got distracted from writing the blog and started searching for the difference and I am still none the wiser. So rightly or wrongly I will describe this as being a seed (unless you can convince me otherwise!).

This seed was sent to me by a customer, along with a bird feather that I also made into a pendant. The seed and feather were both found at the Taj Mahal in India and are of significant sentimental value to the couple. They wanted me to create pendants from both items which will be given to their daughters.

Seed Pendant or Nut Pendant
Seed Pendant or Nut Pendant


It was initially suggested to me that they wanted the seed encased in resin but I think what I eventually made is a nicer solution. I coated the seed with many coats of resin (I lost count how many coats of resin I gave it) and connected a sterling silver peg bail to the top. It really is pretty and different and I am sure it will be cherished for a very long time.

If anybody can help me with the difference between a seed and a nut that would be appreciated!

Mick

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

High school prom jewellery for our daughter

Wow I have just noticed it has been such a long time since I last blogged! Our daughter has her high school prom this Friday, something she and all her friends have been so looking forward to for the last year. She has spent many weeks preparing for it, including choosing dresses, hair styles, makeup and even transport to the prom. The prom is no doubt going to be a big memorable night in her life and whilst I cannot really help with the hair, makeup and dress side of things, I did offer to make her some jewellery.

High School Prom
High School Prom


Her prom dress is predominantly green however there are touches of pink on her shoes and hair piece. I wanted to make something fairly delicate to compliment her dress and pick up the colours of pink and silver. I decided to use the delicate lace flower throughout the jewellery and initially made her this sterling silver necklace incorporating the pink lace flower. I also engraved the back of this pendant with her name and the date of the Prom.

Prom necklace
Prom necklace


I also made this sterling silver bracelet, again incorporating the delicate pink lace flowers...

Prom bracelet
Prom bracelet


...and also these matching earrings...

Prom Earrings
Prom Earrings


I showed the jewellery to her last night and I think she was quite pleased! My wife Angela also commented on the earrings and wanted a pair for herself; luckily I had made two pairs! I hope she has a great time at her prom and comes home with lots of happy memories.

Mick