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How to Cut Circles from China

A big hello to Helmut who asked me how I cut the tiny circles from a china plate.

There’s two ways really.

  1. Some people use a drill with a Diamond Hole Saw Bitand a Diamond Coated Circular Drill Bit. I have bought the drill bits but haven’t used them yet.  I am concerned that the china glaze may chip but have yet to experiment.
  2. The method I use is to first cut out circles from masking tape.  I place a circle on the area I wish to isolate.  I use a Tile Nipper to break the plate.  The first breaks are a little unpredictable but with care and patience you can get very close to the final cirular shape.  Next, the edges need to be smoothed.  For this I use a Dremel Multitool with a Diamond Cutting Disc.

That’s about it.  I hope it helps.


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Today I’d like to tell you all about Conscious Crafties.

It’s a bit difficult to explain all of what the organisation does – but essentially it’s a network of craftspeople who are chronically ill. is a sales platform – crafters have individual shops on the site – but more than this, it provides support and encouragement to ‘spoonies’ and their carers.  There’s a Facebook page liked by 6441 people (and counting).

(A brief word here about spoonies.  The term comes from Christine Miserandino’s spoon theory where she describes to a friend of hers what it feels like to live with her condition. Since they were in a restaurant at the time, she used a handful of spoons to explain how her energy level is steadily depleted by each task she faces during the day.)

Just in case you were wondering how I came to know these folk –  I have a shop on Conscious Crafties too.  This is because I have bipolar disorder and have suffered with depression since my teens.  I could write pages about that, but will save it for another post… or two.  I’ll add a link to my shop shortly, but if you’re interested in buying my broken china jewellery you can do it right here on – or you can head over to and buy there which will support the whole community.



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Organic Silver Ring

organicsilverringJust because I usually work by combining broken china with silver doesn’t mean that it’s not fun to do something completely different occasionally.

I made this ring for myself (and one for my daughter too!) by manipulating molten silver.

The result is delightfully organic and very sparkly.  Of course, if you want one of these, just drop me a line!


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Rosey Earrings of Unknown Origin!

I had a random plate covered in sprigs of roses.  It didn’t have any kind of stamp to identify it – but was clearly ‘vintage’ from its condition.  I think I bought it on eBay – someone had attempted to make it into a cake stand (these seem to be hugely popular right now) but had drilled the centre hole (for the stand attachment) off-centre.  Ooops.  Their loss was my gain!

I was able to use most of the rose sprigs and made two different kinds of studs.  The cheaper ones at £15 have a sterling silver back and post (see the front of the picture) and the slightly more expensive ones at £20 which are set into sterling silver (the back three in the picture).

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Suitcase Display – Lined with Wallpaper

I decided that my last suitcase display needed an overhaul.

Suitcase display - May 2016 The idea (I have Pinterest to thank for that once again) was a good one – it combines display with transport and storage.

My plan was to make the lining padded so that I could use pins to attach the china.  All of this worked – to some degree at least.  But I felt that the ‘look’ was a bit messy and the hessian a bit ‘earthy’ to show off my jewellery well.  I figured it deserved something a bit smarter and cleaner.  So back to the drawing board.

It wasn’t easy sgreenorcreamtripping out the hessian and wadding – the PVA glue had done a first rate job of attaching it – but after scraping it out, it was replaced with wallpaper.  I wondered what colour to use – I found a nice green and a cream as well, but in the end felt that the green was more eye-catching from a distance.

If you compare the photos, I think the freshly lined suitcase looks much better.


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Stud Earring Pencil Box Display

I was preparing for a fair and needed a convenient way to display (and transport) my earrings.  Pinterest to the rescue!  I found the idea there for a wooden pencil box with pencils wrapped in fabric – the earrings sit neatly between the pencils.  Clever huh?!

I found the pencil box on eBay, found pencils that hadn’t been sharpened and used white brushed cotton (winceyette) to wrap them.  It did take a little trial and error to work out how fat to make the pencils for best results.

This was how it turned out – all of the earrings displayed together made quite a statement.

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Pretty Jewellery Made with Alfred Meakin – “Tonquin”

I wasn’t particularly familiar with Alfred Meakin china – it wasn’t one of the big names I knew.  But, no doubt about it, the company are well known amongst lovers of fine vintage china and have a huge range of designs.

Their “Tonquin” pattern is available in several colours – but since I had recently worked with blue and white Willow Pattern, I was happy to have Tonquin in red.

Here I’m showing a couple of pendants and some drop earrings, but I’ve since made some studs and cufflinks as well.

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Here’s What Happened with that Willow Pattern Cup…

Just as I had hoped, the broken Royal Worcester Willow Pattern cup provided me with lots of material and I made a variety of broken china jewellery.

Here we have four pendants, five pairs of stud earrings and a pair of drop earrings.  I can’t decide which I like best.  I love the pagoda and the little people on the bridge… but I’m very tempted to keep the drop earrings for myself!

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Royal Worcester Crownware Willow Pattern Cup

This pretty little cup – with a missing handle – is my latest project.  There’s so much detail here, with pattern all over the outside and in a band on the inside, that I hope to be able to make good use of most of it.  In addition to cute pictures – little people, bridges, houses – I expect to find lots of fun random patterns to work with.

Royal Worcester Willow Pattern cup - insideMany of the big china manufacturers offered Willow Pattern in some form or other – but this Royal Worcester suits my purposes well because it is so fine – Willow Pattern is often made using rather chunky earthenware.

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Broken China Jewellery for a 20th Wedding Anniversary

Did you know that the 20th wedding anniversary is… CHINA!

Broken China Jewellery from Coalport CantonEach anniversary is marked by something traditional.  Many of us are familiar with big milestones like the 25th anniversary (silver), the 40th anniversary (ruby) or the 50th anniversary (gold) – but the 20th, which is a pretty big milestone, is celebrated with china.

So what are you going to buy your partner?  You could have a new china dinner service, but that’s not very romantic.  Or maybe you could invest in a limited edition plate – something that could increase in value over the years – but that’s still not very romantic.

I was grateful to a recent customer for pointing out that the broken china necklace he bought from me was appropriate for a 20th wedding anniversary for his wife – until then it really hadn’t occurred to me.

But while it can be really difficult to come up with a suitable idea for an anniversary gift for a wife, most women would argue that men are even harder to buy for.  What a shame that I can’t suggest to my buyer’s wife that she should treat him to broken china cufflinks .

If you’re looking for an anniversary gift, here’s a list of anniversaries – but please double check before buying something as the list varies. This list is more typical of the UK – the list for the USA is slightly different (although the 20th anniversary in the USA is also china). Another difference between the British list and the American is that we have the first two anniversaries the other way around, the first anniversary in the USA is paper and the second is cotton. There has also been a shift in recent years towards a different, more modern, kind of purchase – the modern list suggests electrical appliances for the 4th wedding anniversary (yes, really!).

1st Cotton
2nd Paper
3rd Leather
4th Fruit/Flowers
5th Wood
6th Sugar
7th Wool
8th Salt
9th Copper
10th Tin
11th Steel
12th Silk/Linen
15th Crystal
20th China
25th Silver
30th Pearl
35th Coral
40th Ruby
45th Sapphire
50th Gold
60th Diamond