When Lady Marmalade came to make Earrings


Louisa-Jane 2

Louisa-Jane Dyson is a self-taught creator of Jewellery and Gifts. She lives in Conisbrough with her husband and little boy….2 cats and a dog! She affectionately calls her craft her ‘Jobby’ and while she has many commitments including helping out with her husbands Tree Surgery and Arboricultural Consultancy business (No! She doesn’t climb trees or wield a chainsaw!) and bringing up their little boy, she tries to give as much time to her craft as possible.

Louisa is also involved with Ministry of Craft 35 and shares many of the same passions as those who are the driving force behind this wonderful community project and those who volunteer their time and skills to it. Louisa runs this blog site for the Ministry of Craft 35 and also helps with the Social Media side of the project.

You can see some of Louisa’s work by popping into the Ministry of Craft 35 or by browsing Louisa’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/ladymarmaladesjewellerybox


“Well, it wasn’t actually Lady Marmalade it was me, Louisa…and by Lady Marmalade I actually mean my cat….and now it all gets a bit confusing! Lady Marmalade is my cat and the namesake of my little jewellery ‘Jobby’ (Hobby Job!) but that’s a whole different story and one I will save for my own ‘Meet the Artist Interview’ in the future!

Some of the materials available.

So, on Thursday 20th July I packed my tools, lots of luscious sparkly beads and enough findings to teach four lovely and creative women the basics of jewellery making and the skills to create their own earrings. I made my way to the Ministry of Craft 35 in Conisbrough to set up. On my arrival, the weekly open house Art session was coming to an end and the creative buzz in the room was electric. Local, talented people were creating and working on their own pieces in an array of different mediums. Isn’t that fabulous? I was very much looking forward to teaching my first class at the Ministry of Craft 35.

A basic set of jewellery pliers

Once I had set up and my willing students arrived we began. I gave a quick low down on my experience and background in jewellery making and away we went. Each of the students was given a set of pliers to work with for the duration of the class and would be able to take home all the creations that they made. One of my lovely pupils had brought along her own pliers as she had had a go at making some jewellery in the past. It was great that she wanted to use her own tools and was keen to learn how to use them properly.


Earring Hooks, Eye Pins and Head Pins.

Once we had looked at the basic techniques such as how to open and close a jump ring correctly, how to create an eye pin, cutting away excess wire and attaching earring hooks to the finished pendant, the first project was taught and it was time to choose beads! What I loved the most about this part of the workshop was watching each of these women choose their own beads. Each combination was different to the next. They took their time to get it just right and I think, also took great pleasure in the process of choosing their materials.

A small selection of the beads available at this workshop.

The first project was completed pretty independently and I knew that the second task, in which they would be creating two separate components to be attached to create one earring (and then, of course, repeated to make a pair) would be a breeze for these creative four!

Jewellery tools, beads and Cake!

Once the first pair was completed, we stopped for a refreshment break. We were supplied with tea, coffee and biscuits and one of the students Amy (and also a very good friend of mine), had brought some delicious home bakes to enjoy. It was lovely, it felt a bit like sitting around the kitchen table with four friends but being able to pass on a skill to them at the same time.


As I expected, they took in all they needed to know for the second project and although somewhat more fiddly than the first, another four pairs of individual and striking earrings had been created.

Some of the wonderful creations made during the workshop.

For me, It was so great to know that each of them had learnt something new and that what they had created in a few hours was something that wouldn’t look out of place in the display cabinets in a shop such as the Ministry of Craft 35 (I was only ever so slightly worried about my new found competition!!!). For them, the fact that they were leaving with two perfectly wearable and stylish not to mention one-off pairs of earrings that they had made themselves definitely evoked a sense of achievement and in most cases I feel, a hunger to learn more.

I certainly loved teaching these lovely women and from some of the comments on the feedback form they enjoyed themselves as well.”

“Fantastic Evening. Good Fun – but learned quite a bit! Look forward to the next evening, Thank you.”

“Fantastic Workshop. Everything explained and came away with two beautiful pairs of Earrings. Would recommend to anyone.”

(Louisa-Jane Dyson for Ministry of Craft 35.)

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