Guest Post – Manda Jane Rodwell – A Dandelions Tale


Today talented jewellery designer Manda Jane Rodwell joins us as a guest blogger and shares some of the trials and tribulations of transforming ideas into reality.

I can’t tell you how excited and honoured I feel to be here as guest designer!  So a really big “hello” to you all!

Lesley Watt is such a talented artist and one that I very much admire and look up too.  So, when she offered me the chance to “have a go” at setting one of her ceramic cabs I bit her hand off,  couldn’t believe my luck that she had picked me from all the uber talented artists out there in jewellery land.

This is not my first collaboration but it is the one that I shall remember for teaching me a life lesson or 2 or 3.

The idea was I that I would journal the process of cab to setting to finished piece and share the complete journey with you here.

I had a plan…to complete one cab just to make sure I could do it (I had visions of breaking the cab in 2 at the last minute) and the 2nd would be THE ONE, step by step pictures for you to peruse. However some things never go quite to plan and oh, how I fooled myself.

After 3 aborted attempts I decided to down tools and ditch any thought of a camera. I was letting this cab down horribly, I was not delivering the greatness I had promised. Too fussy, too plain, too contrived, too confident,  not enough confidence…Nerves had got the better of me and panic had set in, I was running out of time!

I had a stiff drink and slept on it!

I’m a weekend maker so it was a whole week before I could tackle it again but the penny had dropped… the cab wasn’t the problem I was.  A different approach was called for if I was to get at least one cab set in time with some degree of professionalism.  Armed with a renewed mental confidence it struck me that I was going to have to re-think the technical approach as well, I was not going to be able to treat this ceramic cab in the same way as a glass one – It should have been obvious! Deep breathe and I start again this time with no expectations and no camera, just calm and relaxed…Tah dah – “Dandelion Wind” was born.

She’s not how I first visualised her… she’s so much better.

Lessons learnt:

1. Panic less, plan time management better.
2. Listen to my own creative voice. 
3. Relax.

I ran out of time to attempt the 2nd one for this post – sorry about that, but I’m confident I can now tackle it with far less anguish!

Health & Safety experts close your eyes NOW.  The aftermath!  I know where everything is, its highly organised really.

Lesley, thank you so much for letting me play with one of your beautiful cabs, for the prods in the right direction and your belief in me!

Silver Storm Jewellery

Lesley Watt

Lesley Watt started making jewellery in 2009 with a handful of hobby store beads but quickly discovered art beads and became completely smitten. Taking courses in metal clay, metal smithing, enamelling and etching she began making her own components in 2011 and has never looked back. Always looking to try new things she has branched out into ceramics, bead embroidery, mixed media and textiles.
  1. Reply

    Wow! Dandelion Wind is fab Manda, love all the little extra details, its obvious to see how much love and care you put into your work. I'm so pleased for you! I think this is a perfect patch, Lesley's wonderful components and you! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us Manda…I love what you've done with my cab and am very happy that you agreed to take it on.

  3. Reply

    WOW WOW WOW this is just sooooo beautiful,your art is amazing lovely lady,Ailsa is right your attention to detail and the finish on your designs is top notch.But your originality is what stands out ,there is only one Silver Storm and her work is FABULOUS XX

  4. Reply

    It's beautiful! I just love the cut out on the back and all the little details.

  5. Reply

    Absolutely love your work! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. Reply

    Manda, absolutely gorgeous!! You are such an amazingly talented lady. I love each and every detail of this necklace. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Gale
    • October 12, 2014

    Ceramic looks great with your wide bezel, and the cute cut-out is a bonus. But I really love Lesley's piece with your feather–the mix of metals, patina, and just the right "rough around the edges"!! A wonderful combo.

  7. Reply

    OH my goodness. I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful. You have an amazing talent. I can't wait to learn more about you and your creations!!

  8. Reply

    Hi Manda,
    I love your piece and the little extra detail on the back makes the back as pretty as the front. It is great when two very talented artist come together and one beautiful piece is born.

  9. Reply

    Hi Manda, Thank you for sharing your genius with us. The attention to detain that you put into your work is obvious in this AWESOME necklace.

  10. Reply

    Hello! Nice to meet you! Your work is lovely! And I am glad you took the leap and guested here. Off to stalk your site!

  11. Reply

    Glorious! I love how the simplicity of the bezel lets that wonderful dandelion shine! This is the kind of jewelry that makes me want to jump into bezel making–so much character, beauty and meticulous technique. The kind of designs you'd recognize anywhere! Thanks for introducing us all Lesley!

  12. Reply

    Dandelion wind is gorgeous!

  13. Reply

    What a beautiful piece! I adore your work. Thank you for taking time to guest blog for AJE!

  14. Reply

    That's a stunning design Manda, I love everything about it!

  15. Reply

    Your design is gorgeous! And every time I read about the process of someone who is clearly extremely talented but they say that they also have to work hard, it gives me hope that I can improve. So thank you for that.

  16. Reply

    Beautiful designs, Manda!

  17. Reply

    Hello ……….. Just popped in to say a really big THANK YOU for all the amazing comments!!!!!! I'm blushing! Manda X

  18. Reply

    Wow, what amazing work! Thank you for guest posting!

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