April 2019

Kirton and Falkenham Women’s Institute
Next meeting: Thursday 9th May 2019 at 2.00 pm. An eventful meeting is promised with a discussion of the resolutions for the W.I. conference led by the committee followed by a light hearted quiz.

April meeting report:
A change to the programme brought Marianne Brame to Kirton. She makes jewellery and brought a selection to show members. If there is one thing that this writer likes, it is sparkly things and there were many to see.
Marianne explained that there are different qualities of silver; sterling silver is commonly used in this country and contains 92.5% silver. She often uses Thai Hill Tribe silver which is 99% silver. Marianne showed us intricate beads and chains made using very basic tools by the tribespeople. (The tribespeople are the Karen Tribe which was also of particular interest to this writer when she did further research). A metal called ‘German silver’ is also used in jewellery making and this contains no silver at all. This was a recurring theme of Marianne’s talk; a piece of jewellery maybe beautiful but may not be as valuable as it appears.
Marianne then turned to gems. There are two main categories: organic and inorganic.
Organic gems were once living things and includes pearls, amber and jet. Marianne showed us beautiful examples of these gems and explained how to identify the genuine item. She told us the history of jet found in Whitby. This is fossilised wood that, when polished, has a beautiful depth and shine. Queen Victoria started a fashion for jet when mourning the death of Prince Albert and it was very popular in Victorian times. As a result, it is relatively rare now and expensive. Marianne alerted us to ‘French jet’ that was also used for mourning jewellery in the nineteenth century. It is black, faceted glass; very pretty, but not jet and should not be as expensive to buy as genuine jet.
Next, the inorganic gems derived from non-living things. Members discovered that gems may have different names but are often different colours of the same material. Amethyst is type of quartz, which changes colour when it is heated and an example is citrine which is a pale yellow form of amethyst. Marianne showed us some of her collection including rubies and sapphires.
Sometimes jewellery is marked ‘SIM’ or ‘SYN’ or ‘LAB’. These terms all indicate that the jewellery does not contain genuine stones. They mean ‘simulated’, ‘synthetic’ and ‘ laboratory’ and are manmade.
Marianne advised us to ask questions about pieces that we were considering buying and check that the price reflects is quality. Buy something because ‘you love it, can afford it and it’s a fair price’.

Outings:
14th May A visit to Butley Priory;
20th June Windmill Walk in Ipswich- and tickets for the Pantomime ‘Aladdin’ at the Wolsey Theatre for 23rd January 2020 have already been booked! Please contact Ruth Ward about these trips.
Walking Netball: There will be the opportunity to take part in walking netball at the Brackenbury Sports Centre. A coach from Netball England will be leading sessions, probably on a Friday morning. Please contact Sheila Fothergill if you are interested.
Church Fete 8th June: The W.I. will be selling accessories and would like donations of your unwanted handbags, scarves and hats for their stall.

New members are always welcome; meetings are on the second Thursday of the month at the Village Hall beginning at 2pm. Contact our secretary: Chris Welling 01473 736255
K.Cade V.Bines