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My kiln is one of the most important tools I own. It is a game-changer. Metal clay is fired at 870C, during which time the clay binder burns off and the metal particles melt together, shrinking the piece by 8 – 10% in the process. When I open the kiln door I find a piece of sterling silver jewellery of hallmark quality. Magic! My bronze pieces are fired the same way. The kiln is also very handy for melting down scrap silver to create recycled wire and sheets.

These are my studio “unhelpers”. Twinkle loves attention and really doesn’t care what I’m working on if she decides it’s time for kisses. The paw stretches out (claws not necessarily sheathed) and the demand for my full attention is made. She’s the paintbrush thief Roxy’s trick is to sneak in, quietly pick up a sanding stick to chew and scuttle out as fast as she can. She doesn’t realise it’s the scrabble to get out that gives her away every time. Thankfully she has not discovered my rawhide hammer!

This gorgeous little piece of kit has made a massive difference to my life! It makes the job of finishing and polishing so much easier and I am very lucky to own a Jooltool, which also doubles as a conventional polishing machine. I was taught to polish the traditional way and have not quite got my head around a full switch to Jooltool mode. Maybe one day …

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This is my soldering station. The big kiln bricks protect the surroundings and create a nice little oven effect to reflect the heat back onto the jewellery being soldered. I have water handy for quenching (rapid cooling) and the pickle pot on the left to remove the black fire scale from the heated metal. The Third Hand is one tool I could not live without as it supports the work allowing me to have both hands free.

I was born with a love for collecting stones. A walk is not complete without a stone in my hand and a few more in my pocket. I have two gorgeous Transkei beach rocks in my garden that I picked up on my honeymoon over 20 years ago. They have crossed the ocean with me and keep me connected to my homeland and the memory of a special time with my best beloved.

Tools, tools and more tools – one can never have enough tools and this is a really handy way to store them all.

This is my metal clay work area (although most of the tools in the workshop do end up here on a regular basis) I love the flexibility of swapping between traditional metalsmithing and metal clay and will often use a combination of the two to achieve the results I want. I have been working with Metal Clay since 2010 and completed the Senior Instructor’s certification through Aida Chemicals in 2012. Soon after that, I enrolled at Bromley College to learn Metalsmithing and I’ve never looked back. I love learning and do as many courses as possible to continually develop my skills.

Roslyn - Bespoke Jewellery Designer

This is a Rolling mill. An invaluable piece of equipment! I use this to reduce the thickness of the silver sheet or to flatten or change the shape of the wire. It’s also used to apply texture to metal. An invaluable piece of equipment for recycling silver.

You will notice that I am surrounded by robins in my workspace. My love for the Robin surpasses all other loves in my life. This little bird tells me simply that, “everything will be OK in the end, I am never alone and I am loved more than I will ever know.” The spirit of this message is infused in every piece of jewellery that leaves my workbench. [Credit for the felted robin - Alison J Rumbles BA](https://www.instagram.com/alisonjrumbles_craftbirds/) [Credit for the glass robin - Robyn Coetzee](https://www.instagram.com/robyncoetzeeglass/)

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