Earlier this year, Sheila and Olivia attended a fantastic engraving course held by Malcolm Appleby, a world-renowned engraver. Engraved textures feature in many of Sheila's designs, and it is one of the reasons enamel sparkles so beautifully within a piece of jewellery.

Olivia & Sheila in the Sheila Fleet Jewellery workshop

Olivia, our talented assistant designer and master pattern maker, was recently invited back by Malcolm to attend his engraving symposium, along with sixteen others. It was a fantastic opportunity for Olivia to take her engraving skills to the next level. Keep reading to see what she got up to!

“At the beginning of July I attended Malcolm Appleby’s engraving symposium. He holds this annually, and I was lucky enough to be invited this year. A hand-selected group of makers in the industry got together at Malcolm’s workshop in Grantully and shared their knowledge and experience. The workshop opens onto Malcolm and Phillipa’s garden, surrounded by butterflies and flowers. A family of deer even walked past the window. It was an idyllic environment, perfect for allowing a creative atmosphere to flow."

Olivia engraving her silver disc, using a microscope to zoom in on the details

"I spent the first few days working alongside Jane Short and Emma Wilson, who are enamelers. As enamel is a big part of Sheila’s jewellery it was very beneficial to learn the nuances that go into this very skilful practice. I have learnt more about what is possible and how I can translate this into my designs in the future."

Olivia's hand-engraved silver bowl, filled with blue and green enamel.

"The rest of my time was spent practicing my engraving skills. Engraving is basically using a sharpened tool, called a graver, to cut designs into metal. It can be used to create texture and to do fine details and shading. There are different kinds of engravers. At the symposium there were gun engravers, seal engravers, silversmiths, goldsmiths, and enamellers who all use engraving to embellish their work. As this is one of my favourite things to do in jewellery making, I had a blast. I learnt different ways to shape and hone my tools to get different cuts and practiced by cutting a new design that included spirals. Curves are a hard thing to master!"

Olivia’s silver disc in the making

"I loved meeting everyone and learning, and I can’t wait to put these new found skills into my work and see what new designs develop from it."

Olivia has been working with Sheila on some exciting new designs for a collection launching this Autumn which includes beautiful engraving. Keep your eyes peeled for more information, coming soon! But for now, enjoy this sneak peek... Can you guess what the collection is?

Sneak peek close up of one of our new designs, launching this Autumn!