More silver sheep keyrings join the flock!
It takes quite a while to develop new products for our range. We have to look at a variety of designs and decide which would work best in silver. Even after years of working with silver, it can be surprising to see a piece of jewellery you thought would be perfect then fail to meet the mark...and it's back to the drawing board!
This week five new silver keying designs have made the grade and have been added to our online store. Meet our Valais Blacknose, goat, Zwarbles, Texel and cute little pig!
These aren't just any keyrings, but you'll feel the quality when you hold them. They are heavyweight pieces and have a secure silver fastening that simply screws up and down to add keys to the bunch. They make a super gift for that hard-to-buy-for person who doesn't wear jewellery!
We have more designs in the pipeline and will keep you updated on their progress.
New Silver Keyrings
One of my plans for this week was to etch some silver keyrings. I have made many commissioned keyrings for customers over the years but just haven't had time to pull together a range for our online shop.
So after some intricate etching of silver in the acid bath, these 4 are the start of a new collection of keyrings. They are a really heavyweight silver and from the minute you pick them up they feel like a quality piece. The screw fitting is easy to use (no more broken fingernails if you are anything like me!) and keeps your keys super secure.
I have lots more ideas for breeds and animals to add to the keyring collection and would also love to hear yours. Do get in touch if you have any ideas I can add to the list!
Our handmade sheep and cow necklaces have always come with a choice of 16", 18" or 20" chains. Our 18" chains are by far the most popular, but we often get requests for longer chains. Now we are delighted to offer all our necklaces in 22" and 24" lengths, and have made this graphic so you can get a rough idea of how the chain will fit.
Meet our Designer Avril
At these strange times, many of us have a bit more time on our hands to reflect. I thought I would use a spare half an hour to share the story behind Fresh Fleeces.
As a child, I loved making things. My Granda was a joiner and I spent many hours with him in his workshop. I must have only been about 5 when I joined him in hammering nails, chiselling wood and varnishing. I'm sure health and safety might have had something to say about my adventures, but I loved every minute. The first piece of jewellery I remember making was a ring fashioned out of a piece of tinfoil!
At school I was quite academic and found that teachers guided me away from my real passion for art and towards the more traditional subjects. In the end, I studied law at university, and while it was a useful subject, my passion for creating was still there. It was while studying for a Masters that I decided to take up a night class in jewellery making in Belfast. I loved it and enjoyed moulding, cutting and soldering silver into a wide range of creations. My Mum still wears a silver ring I made then...bless her, as it looks more like a washer!
My work led me to Manchester, but I still kept up my jewellery night classes. I studied for a City & Guilds in Trafford College and loved meeting and working with like-minded creatives. At the weekends, I would go in search of inspiring designers in museums and exhibitions.
So that's the background to the silversmithing and the love of sheep has been there from an early age too. Growing up in Northern Ireland I have had the privilege of living amongst the most beautiful scenery full of agriculture and animals. I have always loved sheep and remember being the proud owner of a Shaun the Sheep backpack in my late teens. There is just something about the contrast between the seemingly oversized fleeces and tiny head and legs that makes me smile!
Fast forward a few years I was a full-time jewellery maker with a successful business turning children's drawings into silver jewellery. It's quite a thing now, but back in 2000 I was the only silversmith in the UK providing this service to order.
After my daughter Eve was born in 2011, I was asked to make a range of jewellery for a local exhibition. It was then I had the idea of merging my passion for animals with silver and the first sheep was created. I soon had requests for similar pieces of sheep jewellery and so Fresh Fleeces came to life!
The business is constantly changing and I think it's really important to keep adding to the range to ensure there is something for everyone and that the jewellery remains up to date. While I now have a team of silversmiths and others who help with the business, I am very much 'hands-on' when it comes to designing and manufacturing.
While we don't stock tinfoil rings, I hope I have carried on some of the passion, love and quality that my Granda put into his woodwork!
- avril manderson
Baa Baa, Black Chunky Sheep!
We launched our chunky range of sheep jewellery last year and they have been a real hit. One word our customers use to describe them is cute...and we have to agree!
Now a black sheep version has joined the flock. With an oxidised sterling silver body and soft leather legs, this little sheep will bring a smile to your day!
Available as a black sheep necklace, black sheep charm and black sheep Pandora-style charm. Prices start at £89, including insured worldwide delivery.
Share the Love!
Here at Fresh Fleeces' HQ we're busy making lots of Valentine's orders for some lucky men and women. In order to guarantee UK delivery by 14th February, you'll need to place your order by midnight this Sunday 9th February.
So if you want to treat yourself, or that special someone, enter LOVE at checkout before midnight this Sunday evening to receive a 10% discount on your order.
- avril manderson