It began with a silver sheep brooch...
Jewellery designer Avril Manderson has always been a bit of a black sheep! As an established handmade silver jewellery artist known for her quirky commissioned designs, she was asked to create a new piece of sheep jewellery for an exhibition in 2011. She loves working with fine silver wire and used her silversmithing skills to create a silver Suffolk sheep brooch. The handmade silver sheep jewellery was received so well that she launched the Fresh Fleeces range.
Avril loves to bring sheep to life using precious metals and has spent many hours perfecting the range of silver sheep jewellery in our range. As the company has grown, we have retained the same quality and attention to detail that was the essence of the original range. Experienced silversmiths make every piece of jewellery by hand to ensure our high standards are maintained.
Talented silversmiths handcraft each piece of sheep jewellery
Our talented silversmiths have perfected the art of fashioning sheep jewellery from fine and sterling silver. Part of the process involves taking a piece of 4 metre long fine silver wire and coiling it by hand into the shape of a sheep fleece. This short video shows how a fine silver sheep fleece is made for one of our silver sheep necklaces.
Animal inspiration everywhere
We are based in Northern Ireland, a part of the world that has no shortage of sheep, and we are spoilt for choice with the range of animals we have to model our designs on. Sheep come in all shapes and sizes and we have chosen a selection of breeds to join the Fresh Fleeces flock of silver sheep jewellery. You can now find Zwartbles, Valais Blacknose and Herdwicks grazing our website!
We have recently added some Highland Cattle to our collection and their shaggy coats were perfect for the Fresh Fleeces treatment. We have many more animal friends to join them so do follow us on Facebook to be the first to see the new additions to our range.
In addition to our ever expanding range of silver sheep and other animal jewellery, we also make pieces designed especially for you. If you have an idea for a piece of animal jewellery that is not currently available in our shop then have a look at our commissions page.
Avril is always looking for new ways to bring the countryside to life in handmade silver jewellery. She recently worked with Craft Northern Ireland, the sector-lead body for the promotion and development of the design-led contemporary craft industry in Northern Ireland. With their support she developed her etching skills to an extremely high standard and used this silversmithing talent to develop a range of etched silver animal jewellery. Working with international artists famed for their intricate animal portraits, Avril has given donkeys, cows, sheep, pigs, dogs, and many more the Fresh Fleeces treatment.
My mum loved her sheep necklace - it made her Christmas. Keep up the good work - it’s an amazing site with fantastic well made products.
— Terri Silvester, Skipton
We make all our jewellery by hand, so if you have an idea for a unique piece of sheep jewellery do get in touch. Have a look at our commissions page for more information on creating a piece of sheep jewellery exactly to your requirements.