I am Sian Hamilton, a Jeweller, Editor and Author, and the inspiration behind Hamilton Jewellery. I’m a passionate designer who graduated in 1991 with a BA (Hons) in 3D Design and I’ve been in the creative design industry ever since. At university I specialised in metals and jewellery design in particular, with a minor study in ceramics. One of the highlights of my career was being a prominent designer at W. Moorcroft PLC for 8 years and my pieces are still widely found online and in the collections of many Moorcroft fans (under the designer name Sian Leeper).
I now concentrate on jewellery and have been the Editor of a magazine called Making Jewellery for 7 years. Making Jewellery is a monthly publication sold across the UK in major supermarkets and WHSmiths. It includes step-by-step projects to create beautiful and varied jewellery pieces for those wanting to learn to make jewellery as a hobby or business. Currently I have 8 books published, 4 I have written completely and a further 4 I have compiled with an introduction and techniques section written by me and projects contributed by other designers. Each book is a ‘how-to’ book and 7 are on jewellery.
My specialism is metal clay
As a jeweller I’m known for specialising in metal clay. I use a lot of silver clay in my own jewellery designs and love to teach others how to use this really versatile material. I currently run classes in the North West corner of the Surrey/Hampshire border, around Camberley and Farnborough.
Silver clay is very finely ground pure silver mixed with a non-toxic organic binder. Straight out of the packet it looks and feels like putty and has a consistency much like uncooked pastry dough. You can mould it, roll it, texture it and cut out shapes like cookie dough. When it’s completely dry, you can fire it in a kiln or with a handheld torch. The organic binder burns off and the piece becomes solid hallmarkable fine (999) silver. It’s a brilliant material for beginners who want to make silver jewellery as you don’t need to learn traditional silversmithing skills like, piercing and soldering.
The world of metal clay has exploded in the past few years and you can now get a wide range of clays with copper and bronze being very popular due to the much lower price point. Within the bronze clay family is also a really wide range of colours, which makes it a versatile material to work with.