Make It with Kim

Make It with Kim

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You can’t do these workshops up in Alnwick can you Kim? Assume the equipment isn’t portable etc. Would love to do this!
I've been lurking here, and being inspired, since about autumn of last year. (American in New Mexico which couldn’t be more different from Bristol if it tried. Currently 35 Celsius.) And tomorrow I start a 2-day beginners jewelry class in small metals. As a copywriter I usually create with words but tomorrow, at the age of 55, I'm going to give it a go with jewelry. I think I’ll do OK. Thank you, Kim, who I don’t know, for working SO HARD and making such gorgeous stuff. And for sharing the work you do plus your intimacy with and mastery of the materials you turn into something else entirely. Honestly, it's why I'm going to try.
Hi you did a video review of the Camping gaz blowtorch which I was going to watch later but I can’t seem to find it any more, would you have a link to it please
Ps your nose ring still jump randomly from side to side in the videos 😂
Happened to be playing round with a microscope today, beaten copper from last night's lesson is pretty cool!
Hey Everyone, I wondered if anyone could help me with a blowtorch issue...I have a Go System gas cannister with auto start blow torch attachment, the one you recommended a while ago Kim Thomson like this...

But Although there is still gas left in my canister, when opening the valve it is either not letting gas out or letting it out intermittently. I'm a bit scared of it to be honest! And not sure whether it would be the blow torch or the cannister that is at fault. Any ideas/suggestions would be really appreciated. I've used one for a couple of years with no issues until now.

If you care about the arts, creativity and independent ventures PLEASE sign this. It literally takes a few seconds but it's SO important for Bristol and all the artists, creatives and independent businesses that work out of the building not to mention the local community that use and benefit from all the building has to offer. Bristol doesn't need more luxury flats, it needs to maintain its independence and vibrancy. Thank you!

Jewellery Silversmithing Workshops in Bristol. Kim has over 20 years experience and has been the sil Creative Workshops & Handmade Jewellery at www.makeit.kim

Operating as usual

19/09/2022

Sue has been in The Shed today, finishing off some seaglass charms that she had started making during a group course, a year ago.

The last couple of years have been so unpredictable, with classes stopping and people self isolating. It was great to see these little charms finally finished and looking so lovely 😍

These three sit so beautifully as a set with silver spacer beads 💙

Sue also finished another pendant and drilled a few pieces of glass with my new core drill bits. Productive day!

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 19/09/2022

Zoe's been in The Shed today, proving that you don't need anything fancy to learn how to cut metal.

Zoe used a budget saw frame, with budget saw blades and she didn't break a single one while cutting these brass butterflies 🦋

She practiced on a slightly bigger butterfly which was later turned into a pinbadge, and then tackled a smaller butterfly to turn into a ring.

She even had time to create a complimentary stacking ring, textured with one of Elsa dinky wire dies 💛

So shiny I struggled to get a photo ✨️ 👏

I'll share what Zoes mum, Sue, made in my next post 📸

15/09/2022

These silver studs were made while I was demonstrating different ways to texture metal.

These ones were done with a rolling mill and texture paper from

Don't have a rolling mill?
Don't worry... check out

10/09/2022

It's been a very busy week, delivering end of diploma feedback and marks to my Mentees.

They've all achieved so much and theres been lots of lovely, professional jewellery created.

Each term brought a 'nemesis technique' from the kite project in term 1 to getting to grips with cast settings in term 3.

Many people would presume using precast settings would be easier than making your own, but when you're working with elements that have been mass produced, you have little control over how the multiple settings will sit together and how well they will fit your stones. Which is why many people prefer to make their own or create a master and have your own multiples cast. Infact did cast her own setting for her final diploma piece!

To create this ring
had to figure out how to support each of these little settings securely. At the correct angle. With the right amount of solder so they joined together with strength 💪 ...without the solder running up the prongs, fusing them together.

She had to then attach those delicate settings to her ring band, at the right angle, without re-melting her previous solder joins. Or most importantly...without melting any of those delicate settings! 🔥

It takes practice, a keen eye, attention to detail and good torch control. Setting up and supporting tiny elements can be done many ways and jewellers often adapt the way they go about these types of job, based on their personal preferences after trialing different approaches.

As has demonstrated beautifully here 😂🥔👩🏼‍🏭 💛

you may want to check Ms Fliss for random root vegetables when she next visits you!

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 10/09/2022

Alex has been back in The Shed for his weekly getting to grips with wax carving.

He's carved quite a few rings now and had asked if the off cuts could be melted down and poured into a mold.

I'd happened to be chatting to earlier that morning, who's been doing a lot of experiments with wax and she gave the top tip to wait until the wax turns into a jelly consistency to pour, rather than a completely molten liquid.

After having a quick rummage in The Shed, I found some 'amazing mold putty' which I bought 7 years ago 🙈

Alex mixed the putty, pressed a button into it and left it to harden for 20 mins.

Next up, he popped his wax offcuts into a little tin, melted them over a flame, allowed the wax to cool for a few moments, then poured it into the mold.

It worked a treat!

Next week, he's going to sandcast his wax 🔥👨‍🏭🙌

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 08/09/2022

I love this photo so much! 💛💙❤

Thank you for letting me share it 🔥👩🏼‍🏭

Head over to to see the process's she used and what she turned her family gold into.

It's so beautiful 😍 You'll find the pictures of the cut up gold and the finished gold ring if you look at her posts from mid August. ⚒️

Reposted from

There is no way of looking cool 😎 in heated 🔥 moments...
Melting heirloom 18ct Gold for a commission.

Wearing as much protection as the guidelines says. Including very sexy shoe protections...

Best tutor in shed:

Always handmade.
Always unique.

04/09/2022

I don't use Fb that often as I find it really buggy and it often hides my messages or won't let me access them. So if anybody needs me, please email [email protected] or find me over on Instagram www.instagram.com/makeitwithkim

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 01/09/2022

The leaves have started to fall so I thought I'd reshare these little earrings.

Many people know you can use skeleton leaves to create beautiful leaf textures on metal, but did you know you don't need to buy them? You can find them! Or even make your own.

The skeleton leaves most of us are used to are the mass produced, bleached variety, used for card making and other crafts...often dyed bright colours.

But you can find them in nature!

Skeleton leaves are made when the soft layers of the leaves are eaten away. Sometimes by insects, often they just break down on the ground, leaving behind the leaves skeleton.

This skeleton if very delicate, yet strong and flexible enough to create beautiful, defined textures when run though a rolling mill with annealed metal.

The great thing about finding them or making your own is you have a much bigger choice of leaf shapes and sizes compared to the craft leaves.

If you'd like to make your own, you boil the leaves in water with washing soda, (also called sodium carbonate) for 2hrs then gently rub the soft leaf matter away with a old toothbrush. You'll find lots of tutorials online.

I used one of the leaves I found today to create these earrings from some scrap silver I had. I added beads taken from an old necklace, inspired by a plant I came across on today's walk.

Who says you need expensive tools, inspiration and usable materials are everywhere if you keep your eyes peeled.

For those of you who don't have a rolling mill, you can also hammer the skeleton leaves into the metals surface. I've reshared a video I made demonstrating this ⚒🍃🍂🌿 Just click

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 26/08/2022

Everyone needs a Workshop Buddy!

It's and 'workshop buddy' is todays
prompt. So here are my two little helpers.

Pepper always likes to lend a helping paw with tools and DIY jobs but her delivery unpacking skills leave something to be desired.

Lola tried to help out with my zoom sessions but she's not quite got to grips with the technology.

Lolas true skill is in providing workshop cuddles.

They both enjoy meeting everyone who visits The Shed but one of their favorites has to be Alex as she fusses them something rotten 😂

Alex loves dogs so much, last weekend she was dangled off a VERRY TALL police communication tower to raise money for retired police dogs 💛 Head over to to see how she got on 🙈 👏👏👏

24/08/2022

Makers we want you! Applications are open
https://form.jotform.com/222333196212346

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 22/08/2022

Stop. HAMMER TIME

has been in The Shed today, working on exciting, secret things, as well as hammering of metal thanks to
kindly dropping her fancy shape cutters round for us to play with 💙⚒️

Go give a follow and in a few weeks you'll see the beautiful things she made today 🙌

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 21/08/2022

Thank you to for an educational and enjoyable introduction to Wetplate Collodion photography today.

I went for the messy hair, gurning face look....

Did you know many photography processes use silver to create the image?

And cadmium made an appearance again today. If you missed my post yesterday and Laura blog 'Expectation vs Reality' you'll find them on both our profiles.

You'd be surprised how often cadmium makes a sneaky appearance in the jewellery industry.

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 19/08/2022

Something interesting on my bench today...

*shared with permission*

People often ask to resize or remodel their jewellery and I always have to explain that if it doesn't have a hallmark, I cannot guarantee it is what they think it is, and therefore that it will behave how we expect it to

This ring just needed 5 millimetres cut out the shank to make it a few sizes smaller. A quick 5 minute job. But as soon as my student started sawing the band, I could tell by the noise something wasn't right.

And they could feel it too. The blade was barely making any progress. It should have taken seconds to cut but they decided we should persevere and 5 sawblades later, the shank was cut through.

As soon as the shank was cut, a large fracture appeared in the metal on the rings shoulder.

So we got the acid silver testing kit out. We applied a drop of acid to the main body of the ring band and to the cut edge, incase the outer surfaces had been silver or rhodium plated.

The acid turned a deep blue, indicating that this ring contains a significant amount of nickle. So this 'silver' ring is most likely cupronickel (like some uk silver coloured coins) or nickel silver which gets its name from its colour, it doesn't contain any silver or precious metal.

It is illegal to sell nickle jewellery in the UK and while many consumers think a 925 or silver stamp means something is silver, only a hallmark guarantees this. 925 is NOT a hallmark.

A recent study found a HUGE percentage of jewellery sold online is potentially fake. Following a 10-day study, the British Hallmarking Council (BHC) said of 6,377 eligible listings - or 36% - did not mention a hallmark. They found 1/3rd of gold jewellery on sites like Amazon & Ebay was likely to be fake.

People often say, buyer beware and if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. But this 'silver' ring was not cheap. It cost just under £100! 😳 and the same seller is selling a (supposedly) 14k white gold version on etsy for £455.

I've covered the name of the seller as they do seem to be a genuine, respected jewellers with their own website and bricks and mortar stores so I presume these are online counterfeits.

17/08/2022

Want to make some statement earrings?

Jemma created a pair of these when she visited The Shed yesterday and since
'Memory' is todays theme I thought I'd re-share the little video I made when I first created this design, 4 1/2 years ago.

I can't get over how young I look! And strangely dead behind the eyes because I was staring at my screen rather than looking at the camera lens 😂

Talking to camera has definitely become easier thanks to and and I've had to do so much this last year while delivering zoom mentoring for the students.

This memory reminds me how weird and uncomfortable speaking to a screen used to be, so I'm very grateful to Hannah Jessica and the JA Team for getting me to (in the best possible way) suck it up and get on with it 😂

I know some of you made these earrings when I first shared them so give me a shout if you've made your own or plan to! 👇

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 16/08/2022

Nell has been in The Shed today, with her Mum, Jemma for a little Summer Holiday Silversmithing.

Nell wanted to make a spinner ring, and created this lovely silver and 14ct gold filled ring, set with malachite 💚

Fabulous job 👏

11/08/2022

Are you feeling strong?? 💪

Jewellery making is surprisingly physical and usually when people are struggling technically it's usually because (often without realising it) they can't see as well as they need or they haven't got the hand strength required.

Eyesight and magnification is regularly discussed within the jewellery community but I rarely see people discuss hand strength, even though I see the huge difference it can make every day.

The strength jewellers need develops with time at the bench and repetition of movement. The strength we need doesn't naturally develop through our other day to day living, unless we already do similar hands on physical exercise.

There are lots of tools and adaptions to help, such as clamps and holders but if possible, the best thing you can do is just start to build your strength.

A really cheap, quick way to do this, is to use hand strengthening tools. You can buy these really cheaply online and if you use them most days, while watching TV, on public transport or while waiting for dinner to cook, you should see a big difference fairly quickly.

If you struggle with hand strength due to a medical condition, check with your GP or physical therapist before adding new exercises, but generally speaking most people can benefit from strength training. Especially when you work a variety of muscles 💪 🖐

There's more info in the video and if you'd click on the link in my bio 👆 then scroll down to my Tools Recommendations you'll find the Wellness and Health and Safety tools I like. Or you can search amazon.co.uk/shop/makeitwithkim

Please share your top tips for hand strength below 👇 and feel free to tag or share this with anyone you think it may help!

22/07/2022

Sarah created this pendant to compliment a pair of earrings she already owned 💚

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 19/07/2022

I met a few friendly faces on todays journey from Skye to Ullapool.

We unexpectedly bumped into this majestic beast 🦌 as we turned up a small lane!

Took some time to visit Plockton as it's always stunning. But was most surprised to see has relocated there.

Gilly used to be very active around Manchester and the local Association of Contemporary Jewellery and she also used to guest lecture at my university. She is one of the main names I remember from the early conferences and events as her work is stunning. So I may have bought myself a wee token necklace to remember my holidays.

The drive up to Ullapool was breathtaking and its been weirdly quite considering the is renowned for being heaving.

Our little blue van is often the only vehicle on the road.

There are a few Highland Cows though 🐮🧡

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 16/07/2022

Look who's hiding in the bushes!

Before starting classes, Jemma had struggled to use a jewellers saw without constantly breaking blades. So she decided to throw herself in the deep end and saw pierce out multiple layers, to create this piece inspired by a mask from Papua New Guinea.

A huge part of cultural expression for the people of Papua New Guinea is in their dance and artist expression. Rituals and ceremonies are of particular significance and usually are performed with elaborate masks. Masks are believed to be the spirits or ancestral deities. When worn, the wearer becomes the spirit or tumbuwan that the mask represents.

I wonder who's spirit inspired this mask 🤔 and what traits and personality do they represent?

I'm blown away by how much expression Jemma has managed to get into her metal 🧡 and how independently she's worked all term, once given some sawing tips 🙌👏💛

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 15/07/2022

Pebbles are precious too 🤎

Vic has collected some special pebbles on her journeys, including a couple that are the shape and size of Galaxy Minstrels chocolate 🍫 😋

Here's her first creation 🤗

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 14/07/2022

How stunning is this?! 😍

Louise has created this sandcast ring as a little celebratory marker of her civil partnership 💜

It's so beautiful and tactile.

Just look at that yummy texture too!

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 13/07/2022

Soldering Tip

Sarah's been using my pumice pot to solder on all her granulation (silver balls) onto her spinner bangle. 🔥

She needed her bangle to stand upright and was struggling to securely hold it in the 3rd hand tweezers, while also being able to stack another soldering brick behind her bangle, to bounce the heat back and speed up the soldering process.

So she shoved it into my pumice pot instead.

Pumice is a great surface for annealing but it's also useful for holding things. In this case, Sarah could push her bangle into it so it was held securely.

I keep my pumice in a camping cook pot as its flame proof but also comes with a lid, so the pumice is tidied away when not needed.

The camping pot is also useful for standing a soldering block on, to help bounce the head back.

I've added pumice stone, this camping pan and a camping flame wind shield (which helps retain heat in the soldering area and protects your work area) to my recommended tool list which you can find by following this link https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/makeitwithkim/list/E8VQ75MZOZ2V

Swipe to see how Sarah's bangle turned out 💜

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 13/07/2022

Leanne finished her collet ring last night. Not an easy feat since she was given the stone by Minda, as although beautiful, its a strange cut and a monkey to set! 🙈

Those facets are SO tall and deep. And it's not quite round 😂

But Leannes never one to shy away from a challenge and she did a fabulous job.

Especially considering this is her first collet! 👏

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 12/07/2022

Joyce has been in The Shed today, creating this lovely cuff bangle.

Just look at the colour flashes in that moonstone 💙

Joyce did a lot of her sanding and polishing with my little cordless dremel, which I've just noticed is currently selling for 45% off so if you're interested, you can find the details here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VJ33V3N?tag=onamzkimthoms-21&linkCode=ssc&creativeASIN=B07VJ33V3N&asc_item-id=amzn1.ideas.2K59QSNA0V8AE

Photos from Make It with Kim's post 09/07/2022

It's and the city will be buzzing, so it was lovely that Laura & Gemma managed to squeeze in a morning of silversmithing in The Shed to create their wedding rings, before heading off to Bristols Pride Festival 🏳️‍🌈

They chose to create heavily textured silver bands with their wedding date stamped on the inside 💛

Considering how much texture they got into these rings, they did such a great job sanding and polishing, they feel beautifully smooth to the touch 🙌👏

Brilliant job!

For all of you celebrating and I hope you're having a wonderful time. Especially if you're getting to enjoy this glorious weather 🌞

Videos (show all)

It's been a very busy week, delivering end of diploma feedback and marks to my @jewellersacademy Mentees.They've all ach...
I don't use Fb that often as I find it really buggy and it often hides my messages or won't let me access them. So if an...
Want to make some statement earrings?Jemma created a pair of these when she visited The Shed yesterday and since'Memory'...
Are you feeling strong?? 💪Jewellery making is surprisingly physical and usually when people are struggling technically i...
Who loves a spinner ring??They also get called fidget rings, kinetic rings and worry rings. Today, Vicki @hope.jewellery...
Elly & Rebecca have been getting to grips with #castinplacestones 💙 If you'd like to find out more about this process, I...
While everyone in Bristol is discussing how to keep cool in this heatwave, jewellers are like... 😄☀🔥🔥🌡👩‍🏭🌡🔥🔥☀😄@elizabeth...
Molly jumped in the deep end for her first self designed piece of jewellery. She set this gorgeous Chrysocolla cabochon ...
Did you know you can roll your solder thinner?Molly has been getting her "Wangle" on @bristolandbathcraftworkshops this ...
There was plenty of speed smithing going on @bristolfolkhouse last night. 🔥 It was the last class of my 5 week intoducti...
Exciting times over @lucylanejewellery😄Go and have a little peek 👀 #jewelleryjourneyReposted from @lucylanejewellery MY ...
How juicy is that stone?! 💜 I'm so impressed how many people have made beautiful 'spagetti rings', especially since I fi...

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