Isn’t there just.
What’s better than having to make two earrings? Only having to make 1 earring.
It’s back, and there have been a few much needed changes, however some things remain the same as Shaun Leane is still here in full Bond villain mode, ready to terrorise anyone and every with his loupe at a moment’s notice
Eternal Doom Mistress and the dark cloud over Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Solange Azagury-Partridge did not pass Go and collect £200 and has been replaced by Dinny Hall who will stand in the corner of the room trading favours for a blessing from The Soldering Gods
a Pantheon I believe which is at constant war with The Kiln Gods – she and Throwdown Rose are mortal enemies, high priestesses of the crafting war, sages of craftwork and mischief.
Katherine Ryan also returns as host
and you will require the ownership of a Fiat 500 to truly understand and appreciate her humour.
The rounds remain the same, starting with the Bestseller followed by the Bespoke round, HOWEVER – they’re no longer trying to do the lit up plinth system in broad daylight and instead the pieces in the Bestseller will be ranked from best to worst – a process I specifically asked for, so sorry to My Boy™ Piers
I fear I may have started his villain origin story.
And of course we have a new batch of 8 jewellers to admire the craftsmanship of
and here they are arranged in a DnD alignment chart
it’s just astrology for nerds.
Earring On The Side of Caution
for their very first challenge the jewellers had to make a single statement earring featuring a bezel set cabochon stone, with the jewellers being given a choice between Carnelian, Lapiz Lazuli or Malachite. And apparently Carnelian is a truly cursed stone as everybody who touched it promptly landed in the bottom 3 spots when it came to ranking. Nobody had a worse time though than Steve, sweet, sweet beautiful Steve
who only goes by the name Steve because a friend of his told him he looked like Stone Cold Steve Austin which… sure, but only if Steve has had a full face transplant in the last 2 years
Steve had become something of the poster child for this series of All That Glitters having appeared on The One Show and doing a remarkable job of not letting on to the fact he was the first one to be sent home. So I was coming into this recap ready to write incredibly overly flattering things about everything he made and wooing my way into an engagement ring
And you know… then he didn’t finish his earring
no wait, it’s beautiful. It’s perfect. I have no complaints about the fact the stone kept falling out whenever Shaun so much as looked at it, we’ll blame it all on Bonnie who Katherine roped in to try and help Steve in the dying minutes of the challenge
IT WAS ALL HER FAULT.
The Carnelian Curse continued to Nyanda whose earring was a nod to the Mandala Flowers, and she faced something of a choice with the White Mandala Flower representing spirituality and the Red Mandala Flower representing well…
this is based entirely on what they said on the show, I tried to google it but I had already spent too long googling Jimmy Bullard (respectfully) and am now inundated with Google push notifications for football kick-off times and I daren’t ponder the possibility of what a spiritual push notification is. But I think the colour of the stone somewhat made Nyanda’s decision for her
genital earring it was! And it was a very beautiful genital earring too
one of the main requirements for the challenge was to have the stone visible from both sides and I think out of everyone, Nyanda nailed that aspect of the challenge the best
it’s very pretty but she hadn’t quite had the time to set the stone properly and had unfortunately had to resort to gluing the stone in which Shaun did unsurprisingly clock the moment he got that loupe out.
I did think the third of the Carnelian Cursees, David, was a little undermarked for his earring
I think that’s really beautiful! The piercing looks so intricate, it’s hard to believe that it’s made from a single bit of silver, it was definitely one of my favourite pieces of the episode, so JUSTICE FOR DAVID.
Lapiz was a similarly popular choice amongst the jewellers which i can see why – blue stones always look good against silver whereas I think a stone like a Carnelian can sometimes make it look a little cheap. Going for the most expected Lapiz design was Emma who was drawing inspiration from a peacock feather
I think hers was definitely the most statement-y of all the statement earrings and there’s some really beautiful fluidity and motion in the strands, which do look like they might cut your neck if you turn your head too swiftly – but what’s life without a bit of beautiful danger?
Piers was also taking inspiration from a fairly expected source, with his earring being dubbed the Wave Earring due to the rippled silver disc that was hanging below his stone
it’s very pretty and easily the most commercial of the lot, I’d certainly be very happy to wear it.
The last of the Lazuli lot was Bonnie, who I’m still not entirely convinced isn’t Lottie from Bake Off pulling a Natalie Cassidy and Just Doing This Now™
but perhaps I’m just pulling a Stone Cold Steve Austin on her.
Bonnie’s inspiration was coming from a much more local source, with her goal being to create a geometric design that mimicked the facade of the Birmingham Library, which she certainly achieved
I was a little sad that given how much she went on about Birmingham’s famous orange chips to an increasingly nauseous looking Katherine Ryan that she hadn’t opted for the orange carnelian to create an earring that looked like bag of orange chips
but maybe she’s saving that concept for a cocktail ring.
Jack and Tianne were the only ones opting for a Malachite stone and therefore have the best taste because it was clearly the superior stone
Jack spent a lot of time talking about how he was really into extreme sports, particularly snowboarding so I had expected something quite edgy and bold and then he made a really lovely little Japanese-style landscape complete with what look like 2 little people doing the spreadeagle in an open field
it’s almost a shame that that seemed to be the back of the earring, but that’s not to say the front didn’t look really good
I really like that it’s similarly evocative of Japan, the shape and the pillars really remind me of the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine
it was a really good, cohesive and thoroughly well designed piece of jewellery.
So while Jack went all sedate on us, Tianne was ready to provide us with some adrenaline sports as she treated the workshop like her own personal obstacle course, nearly taking a camera operator out in the process
but don’t worry, Jack was biding his time and would be challenging her to the crown as The Jewellery World’s Usain Bolt
and there’s something divinely funny about the fact she tore through the workshop like Sonic the Hedgehog and then turned up a piece of very classic art deco-style jewellery
as Dinny said, it is perhaps a little flat looking and could do with some engraving just to add depth to it, but she cut out the triangular shapes within it incredibly neatly which is where an art deco piece really lives or dies and I think she did a stellar job with this, it’s another one that I would gladly wear.
An Official Statement Earring Ranking
- Jack’s Mild Japanese Landscape
- Piers’s Fast Approaching Villain Origin Story
- It Was Mrs. Peacock In The Conservatory With a Statement Earring
- Tianne’s Flat Deco
- Bonnie’s Undervalued Library, amiright?
- David WUZZ ROBBED
- Nyanda’s Gluey Chakra
- Steve’s 50% Earring
It’s All In A Nameplate
For their first Bespoke Challenge the jewellers were having to make a nameplate necklace for Hannah
who aside from having excellent taste in lipstick, set up the children’s charity Cherished and was nominated for a Pride of Britain Award. And in order to do this they had all been given a sheet of silver as well as some copper and brass – and then in order to make it truly special they had robbed The Planeteers of their magical jewellery for some extra embellishments
and with them being such tiny gemstones, it really was only a matter of time before someone lost one and sure enough Nyanda dropped hers and instead of stopping everything to find it, she ran off to polish her necklace and left Dinny and Katherine to search for it like a pair of bumbling catburglars
Solange would merely have eviscerated Nyanda with the laser vision I’m still convinced she possesses. Neither Katherine or Dinny could find it and just as the runners were getting their hopes up that they could nab themselves a ruby when filming stopped, Shaun plucked it out of nowhere
it would have paid for a whole 30 minutes of someone’s energy bill!
The lost ruby wouldn’t have made a great difference to Nyanda’s design considering it was on the reverse, with the front being a pair of hands and Hannah’s name written in Hebrew
it’s a really sweet and lovely design, some of the fingertips could maybe have used a little refining but I appreciated the subtlety of it, it’s a nameplate necklace without being too obvious a nameplate necklace.
I did love that they spent a while really bigging up the uniqueness of the hand-in-hand design and then Tianne had the exact same motif
imaginably because they both googled “hand holding logo” and this is the first result
Tianne’s wasn’t quite as intricate, but she was also going much bolder with her lettering and in order to acknowledge that the charity focuses on school-aged children, had opted for the font of choice when you want to spend 40 minutes drawing the project headline before scribbling down a 5 bullet point list of reasons King Henry VIII was an awful man
it’s not the most sophisticated looking piece of jewellery and it is giving me Groovy Chick energy, which given Emma’s age is probably wonderfully nostalgic so I can see the appeal here. Given the 30 year nostalgia cycle, we’re due a gritty Groovy Chick Netflix series and I will only accept Hilary Duff as the lead.
Coming in to this challenge, Steve obviously had the most ground to gain which is why I partially think he went with quite such an intricate Kufic script
but sadly it was not meant to be for Steve and while he got it all cut out, he hadn’t been able to attach it properly to the chain, and with Bonnie being knee deep in her own gemstone woes she wasn’t on hand to help or take 50% of the blame
“It’s not technically a necklace” Shaun helpfully pointed out as Steve looked like he wanted to dissipate into Birmingham’s aether
but the workmanship on it was really quite incredible and as Dinny had said, if he had made it just a little bit bigger he might not have had to spend quite so much time agonising over the tiny, tiny piercing work he was doing.
While Steve had come into the challenge merely looking for redemption, Piers was setting his sights much higher
and was putting all of his hopes for winning Jeweller of the Week on his swooping script
it is rather incredible and absolutely immaculately made, I really love the setting of the stone which looks really natural and fluid and the addition of the male and female signs on the chain add something a little extra to it all. But the fact he was so proud of his swooping underline did make the fact that his archnemesis-to-be, Jack had also had an underlining swoop
I do mostly enjoy that it looks like he stole it from a custom made Coca Cola bottle
but he also pulled off the gradient from a rougher, cracked surface to the smooth high polish on the other side really well. He did have a pair of unsoldered jumprings though, not that that mattered in the end so we’ll have to see how the Soldering Gods take this slight against their names next week.
David was having a bit of a struggle with the challenge as he doesn’t normally do much piercing work which was a little evident when he turned out a necklace that was meant to look like a series of hearts but mostly just looked like the Bat-Signal
and who’s to say, maybe Hannah does all her charity work wearing a cape and tossing around a grappling hook – whatever gets the job done!
It wasn’t the neatest of pieces and had Steve finished his I think David might have found himself in some hot water over it.
Given that Hannah wanted a chunky piece of jewellery, Emma had resolved to just using the whole sheet of silver which sadly wasn’t quite enough to go the full BIG ASS CHAIN hog
so instead she was simply folding the sheet over the chain and engraving it with Hannah’s name and charity’s name on the back
it’s not wildly eye catching and the script was maybe just a touch too scratchy and leaning towards looking like it was something a bored schoolkid had scratched into the desk during an algebra lesson or you know, an annoyed makeup artist had scrawled across their model’s face
I will never forget you Charlie Off Of Glow Up.
Lastly we have Bonnie who was making Hannah a banner-shaped necklace because Hannah and Banner rhyme
other possibilities included a banana, a scanner or the bust of acclaimed turn-of-the-century whistler Elmo Tanner.
Both Shaun and Dinny were quite impressed with Bonnie’s piece, particularly her setting of the stone as a part of the chain rather than the plate
the only issue being that it did ever so slightly lean to one side rather than face forward which is a shame but still not enough of an issue to put her in any danger of going home.
A Nameplate Necklace Ranking
- Nyanda’s Hand Holding Logo
- I Would Have Have Given You Jeweller of the Week Piers
- Jack’s Fancy Coke Bottle
- Tianne’s Year 8 History Project Title Page
- Emma’s Small Ass Chain
- Hannah Is Just Happy It Wasn’t a Banana
- Steve’s Unfinished Spec Script
- David’s Batman Bling
Naturally Hannah got to choose the necklace that she wanted to keep and thus opted for Nyanda’s more subtle nameplate design
but she wasn’t lucky enough to score Jeweller of the Week and instead that honour went straight to Jack
who beamed with pride while Piers SEETHED
this is a one way street to Piers having a mental breakdown over a bellychain in the semi-final and Jack waking up with the horse’s head signet ring in his bed.
And while Piers spiralled down into his villain origin story, we did have to make a decision as to who to eliminate and given he hadn’t finished either of his pieces the only real option was Steve
MY BEAUTIFUL BOY!
At least it wasn’t for a lack of talent or ability, it was purely a time management thing which is what often gets people in the first round. And if you want to see more of his stuff, which is REALLY, REALLY beautiful, you can on his instagram Road_From_Damascus.
And so, we’re down to 7 jewellers
And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of All That Glitters’s 2022 return and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.