Goldie bronze tutorial – Bronze tassel necklace

 

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Metal-Clay-Tutorial-Anna-Campbell-goldie-clay-tutorial

Tutor Anna Campbell has been testing out and reviewing products for Metal Clay Ltd including Goldie Bronze one of the Goldie clays that is now available through Metal Clay in the UK. Anna wrote this free beginners tutorial to help get you started.

 

In this project you will learn how to roll your clay to an even consistency, how to use a stencil to cut out your design and how to add embellishments after firing. It’s the perfect first project for a beader who wants to try out bronze clay.

Please note, Goldie Bronze needs to be kiln fired. If you don’t have a kiln you can follow these same steps to make a pendant in Art Clay silver clay and torch fire your piece instead.

Also, ensure you clean your tools thoroughly when making pieces with different types of metal clay to avoid cross contamination.

 

Tools and materials

Goldie bronze mid (Approximately 10g, mixed and ready to use. See the video tutorial for instructions)

Playing cards

Clay roller

Mat

Deep texture

Olive oil or badger balm

Quik art stylus or needle tool

Quik art clay saving stencil 55180

Sanding pad

Cocktail stick

2 x flat pliers e.g. snipe nosed and flat nosed

Kiln

Aluminium firing pan

Coconut carbon

Heat proof gloves

Barrel polisher or brass brush and 3M polishing papers

2 x black aluminium jump rings, 0.81mm (or other jump rings)

1 x black tassel (mine came from a strand of gemstones I had already purchased. You can also buy tassels at upholsterers or haberdashers)

Rubber necklace or chain

 

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-metal-clay-1-goldie-bronze-mid-tutorial-anna-campbell

Goldie Bronze comes in powder form, you just need to add water. Mix up your clay as per the instructions, see the video for extra guidance

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-2-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

Choose a deep texture as these work best with bronze clay. Lightly oil your texture (with olive oil or badger balm) to ensure the clay doesn’t stick.

With metal clay we use playing cards or spacer slats to roll out our clay to an even thickness. Put eight playing cards each side of the texture, ensuring they overlap the texture. Put the clay in the middle and roll it out, ensuring the roller is touching the playing cards on both sides

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-3-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

Take the clay off the texture and put it on a mat, lay your stencil on top, press it down firmly to ensure it doesn’t slip around. Cut the shapes out with your stylus. Ensure your stylus needle is vertical and touching the sides of the stencil. Do this slowly and regularly remove your stylus and clean it of any residue clay

Note – I used the smallest stencil shape to complete this piece

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-4-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-5-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

Leave the clay aside on a flat surface to dry completely

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-6-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

File the edges with a sanding pad to neaten them

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-7-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

It can be difficult to get the sanding pad into the small holes so use a cocktail stick. You can also wrap a small piece of sandpaper around your cocktail stick if you need additional friction to file inside any holes

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-8-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

Pour 1cm of coconut carbon into your stainless steel pan. Place your piece/s on top of the carbon. If you have made more than one piece make sure you leave at least 1cm gap in between each piece

Fire in your kiln on a full ramp up to 350 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes

 

9-goldie-bronze-mid-tutorial-ac

Safely remove the stainless steel pan from the kiln – either use heat proof gloves or wait for the kiln to cool completely. Leave the pieces in the pan (they are fragile at this stage as the binder in the clay has burned away). Cover the pieces over with at least 1cm of coconut carbon and fire on a full ramp To 820 degree centigrade for 40 minutes. Wait until the kiln is cool before removing the pieces

 

ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-10-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

I used a barrel polisher to polish the bronze. You can also polish by hand using a brass brush and soapy water to start with then use the 3M polishing papers to rub the piece.

Use your pliers to open a jump ring and add the tassel to the piece, closing the jump ring. Also add the rubber necklace with a jump ring
ljs-blog-metal-clay-tutorial-11-goldie-bronze-clay-anna-campbell

 

We hope you enjoy making this project!  Have a go and let us know how you get on by sharing pictures on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Why choose a private tuition class at the London Jewellery School

Tutor Anna Campbell has recently taught a number of private tuitions for us. She makes the case for choosing a private tuition and gives the case study example of one of our private students

 

london-jewellery-school-metal-clay-private-tuition-with-Anna-Campbell

Title: Pieces made during a private tuition (by the tutee and tutor)

 

At the London Jewellery School we offer over a hundred different courses ranging from one evening to one year. But many people aren’t aware that we also offer private tuition. Our private tuition sessions are typically one day in length (10-5pm), one to one sessions with an expert tutor covering the topic/s of your choice.

But a private tuition is more expensive than a one day class so why choose one?

 

You get a course tailor made just for you

You can pick and choose projects from our classes that you would like to do. Alternatively, you can ask to cover something that we don’t have a class for and we will endeavour to find a tutor.

 

You get one to one tuition

Based on what you want to cover, an expert tutor will be chosen to help guide you throughout the day. Your tutor is hand picked by our management team based on the projects you would like to work on.

 

You get more done

When you are working one to one we find that you can cover more in the time as you have a dedicated expert working just with you at your pace.

 

Good use of your time, especially if you’re not based in London

We regularly have private tuition students that are not based in the UK. This summer we had a private tuition student who came over from Japan! She did a number of days of private tuition with us and covered beading, silver clay and polymer clay with different tutors.

Even if you are from the UK it can still be more economical in terms of time and money. For example, if you would like to do projects from intermediate and advanced beading you would have to pay for two days of courses and travel to us twice. But you could cover projects from both in one day (note – not all of the projects!)

 

Dedicated private tuition space

We have a dedicated private tuition space in our new studios in the heart of Hatton Garden which means we now have more availability of dates and times. We are open 7 days a week so can accommodate weekends as well as weekdays.

london-jewellery-school-blog-dedicated-private-tuition-workspace

The dedicated private tuition workshop at the London Jewellery School.

How do I arrange a private tuition?

Contact us by email on info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk with as much detail as you can about what you would like to cover on your private tuition. Do include links to photos of the kinds of things you would like to achieve. This gives the management team the information they need to advise on what can be achieved in a day and to choose the tutor with the skills you would like to learn.

Also, please include a number of potential dates as we need both the room and tutor availability to match up with your availability. Please provide a phone number we can contact you on to help us do this quickly.

 

What have others covered in private tuitions?

Here are some things that have been covered in previous private tuition sessions. Please note, sometimes more than one day is necessary depending on the complexity of the work and number of projects you would like to make.

 

  • Making an engagement ring
  • Making a special gift e.g. for an anniversary, birthday etc
  • Jewellery business tailored advice
  • Support with a commission
  • Working in gold
  • Help in developing a collection
  • Glass and enamel work
  • Beading and wirework
  • Silver clay

 

Case study

K has recently taken voluntary redundancy from her work and would like to build up a part time jewellery business. After some discussion with our management team she booked two days of private tuition with me to work on silver clay projects.

 

K was able to pick and choose exactly what she wanted to learn from 4 different classes at LJS. These were:

Beginners metal clay

Intermediate metal clay

Soldering on metal clay

Fingerprint jewellery

 

Private tuition day 1

We covered topics from beginners metal clay and soldering on metal clay including

  • Silver clay earrings
  • A silicone mould and moulded silver charm
  • A cubic zirconia stone set pendant
  • Silver clay stud earrings
  • Silver clay cufflinks
  • Torch firing silver clay (all pieces were torch fired)
  • Soldering stud earrings and cufflinks

 

Private tuition day 2

We covered a mix of metal clay projects including

  • Fingerprint jewellery
  • Pendant with keum boo (gold leaf) and gold paste
  • How to make a silver clay bail
  • Silver clay ring with embellishment

 

(note – to cover all the projects K had to purchase some additional silver clay on day 2).
Would you like to know more about planning a private tuition? Give us a call on 0203 176 0546 to discuss what you would like to do.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Spotlight on Kim Styles Jewellery!

In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were overwhelmed by the outstanding entries!  And so many of you have been wanting to know more about our winners and what inspired their winning pieces!  So today we are talking to Kim Styles of Kim Styles Jewellery about her Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring that won second place in our competition!

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-2016-competition-shortlist-Kim-Styles-Morganite-and-sapphire-cluster-ring

Congratulations Kim!  Your Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring is simply gorgeous.  Can you tell us a bit more about the piece and the inspiration behind it? 

Thank you LJS!   I have been making some very pretty rings for clients and I thought it was about time I had one of my own as a show piece so potential commission  clients can see at first hand exactly what I do.

 

How and when did your jewellery making journey start? 

I started my jewellery making journey way back , my 3D foundation course tutor suggested jewellery might be a good direction for me as I loved making small highly detailed things.  I signed up for a four year degree course at Sir John Cass in London,  ‘Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Crafts’ and from the very first day I knew it was what I wanted to do.

 

Have you had any formal training?  If so where did you train? 

I trained at Sir John Cass in London.  I graduated in 1987 with an honours degree and after that I worked for various well known jewellers in and around London for a few years.

 

Where do you typically find inspiration for what to make next? 

I find inspiration all around me, my best pieces come from the most unexpected sources, like a piece of twig with large pods on it that I found at the edge of a road, or a neighbours flamboyant Passion Flower growing over the fence.  Once something sparks my imagination I have to make it!

img_9938

Floral Cluster Ring by Kim Styles Jewellery

 

What are your favourite techniques or medium? 

My favourite medium is precious metal, silver is lovely to work with but my absolute favourite is yellow 18ct gold, so rich and easy to work with.  My favourite techniques are piercing, forming and shaping metal and soldering.  I also love engraving all the very fine details on the leaves and flowers I make.

 

What are your favourite tools? 

My most treasured tool is my grandfathers Archimedes Drill, but my piercing saw and my torch are the ones I use constantly every day.

 

Do you offer workshops or classes? 

I do occasionally offer one to one classes upon request.

 

What is the favourite thing(s) that you have made to date?

My Spring Necklace, the first life size floral necklace I made.  My Peridot Garden Ring which was a commission and my Morganite and Sapphire Cluster ring.

london-jewellery-school-blog-2016-jewellery-maker-of-the-year-Kim-Styles-Jewellery-spring-014

Spring Necklace by Kim Styles Jewellery

london-jewellery-school-blog-kim-styles-jewellery-peridot-garden-ring-close-up

Peridot Garden Ring by Kim Styles Jewellery

 

What is next for Kim Styles Jewellery and what do you hope to achieve in the next 18-24 months?

I have a packed itinerary of craft fairs for the next few months, including ‘Handmade at Kew’ and ‘Desire Winchester’ among others, interspersed with a few commissions and probably some new rather quirky designs.  Over the next 18-24 months I hope to widen my client base,  see my work in more galleries and continue to build on the success of the last couple of years.

 

Do you have a website?  How can we see more of your work?

I do have a website: www.kim-styles-jewellery.co.uk  and post examples of my work on my Facebook Page and Twitter.     I also sell my jewellery on Etsy in my Etsy Shop.

Examples of my work is also on display and can be seen in the following locations:

Rostra Gallery, Bath.

The Spring Center, Havant.

The George, Fordingbridge.

 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Kim.  Your work is just stunning and we are so thrilled you shared it with us.  All of us here at LJS wish you the very best of success!

Thank you LJS, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and I am so thrilled to achieve 2nd place in Jeweller of the Year!

 

 

Free Jewellery Tutorial: Make a Beaded French Knit Necklace with Anna Campbell

Here at the London Jewellery School, all of our tutors are highly trained in a wide number of jewellery making techniques.  And they all love sharing their knowledge, skills and passion with the next generation of jewellery makers and artists.  Tutor, Anna Campbell, has created a short video tutorial on how to make a beaded french knit necklace using a French Knit Dollie.  Anna usually recommends the Clover Wonder Knitter as it has a wider hole in the centre which is great for larger beads.

 

We hope you enjoy making this project!  Have a go and let us know how you get on by sharing pictures on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

If you want to learn more jewellery making techniques you can find our face to face classes here, online courses here and a selection of other videos on our YouTube channel.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Winners of our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year Competition!

Just in case you missed our recent Facebook Post, the winners of the 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year Competition have been announced!

Huge congratulations to our winner, Vlad Zoldak! Vlad is officially the London Jeweller School Jewellery Maker of the Year 2016 for the stunning ‘Interstellar Ring’!!!  Our judging panel were utterly amazed by Vlad’s beautiful and unique design, fine craftsmanship and presentation!

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Maker-of-the-Year-Competition-Shortlist-Vlad-Zoldak-Interstellar-Ring

Interstellar Ring by Vlad Zoldak – 1st Place

And let’s not forget our amazing runners up! In second place is Kim Styles Jewellery for her gorgeous Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring, and in third place is Robyn Golding for the beautifully innovative ‘Green Fingers Ring’! 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-2016-competition-shortlist-Kim-Styles-Morganite-and-sapphire-cluster-ring
Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring by Kim Styles – 2nd Place

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-2016-Competition-Shortlist-Robyn-Golding-Green-Fingers-Ring

Green Fingers Ring by Robyn Golding – 3rd Place


Congratulations to you all! Your prizes will be winding their way to you soon.  And we will be interviewing each of our winners to find out more about them, their jewellery making journey and what inspires their work, so stay tuned for those posts!

And a massive thank you to all who entered the competition and shared your beautiful work with us!   If you haven’t seen it yet do have a look at all of our amazing shortlisted candidates and their entries on our previous Blog.

Previewing Art Clay 950

A couple of weeks ago LJS received a parcel from Metal Clay Ltd with a preview packet of the not yet available to buy Art Clay 950. Metal clay tutor Anna Campbell was very excited to have a go with it!

 

Art Clay 950 is a new formula of clay that is also being called sterling silver clay. I have written more here about what Art Clay 950 is in a previous blog post so do have a look back at this before reading the results of my testing.

With the preview packet we received I wanted to test out the following features of the clay and compare them to original Art Clay

  • Strength – both in the dry form and once fired
  • Ability to carve the clay in the dry form stage
  • Shrinkage (particularly important for rings)
  • Setting a fireable stone
  • Enamelling

I was able to make three projects with the clay:

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-previewing-new-art-clay-950-anna-campbell

Ring shank with holes

I wouldn’t even try this in original Art Clay! I wanted to test the shrinkage and strength when I hammer it around once fired. It was 5 cards thick before firing.

 

Results

This shows why it is important to do a test of your kiln before you start firing a new clay. My ring shank broke very easily suggesting that my kiln is underfiring (is firing at a lower temperature than it says it is). It should have been strong enough to hammer around into a ring band.

When trying out a new clay for the first time I suggest you make one or two test strips of the clay that are 5 cards thick and about 6cm long. Fire them to the manufacturer’s guidelines and test them carefully when they come out of the kiln. Can you bend them without breaking? If they break it suggests that there may be a problem with your kiln firing and you might need to adjust your temperatures or length of firing. If that is the case I suggest contacted the clay manufacturer for advice.

 

loondon-jewellery-school-blog-art-clay-950-carved-gemstone-ring-shrinkage-test

Ring

With the ring I wanted to test the shrinkage, ability to set a fireable stone and carving.

I made the ring and dried it. I made a paste with 950 and tap water and was easily able to stick the dried set stone to the dried ring. Carving was a dream! I really love that having tried to carve original Art Clay and found it was easy to break it!

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-art-clay-950-preview-anna-cambell-stone-set-ring

Finished stone set ring

Results

The piece fired well with very little warping. The stone did change colour but this does sometimes happen with cubic zirconia stones in the blue colours. I was advised to re-fire the piece in carbon as this sometimes changes the stone back to the original colour but did not in this case.

I am really pleased with this ring. I will be using this clay for all my rings in the future because it is so much stronger than the fine silver of the original Art Clay.

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-art-clay-950-enamelled-pendant-wip

Enamelled pendant

I used a Quick Art template and the Quick Art stylus from Metal Clay to make this pendant.

I rolled the stencilled section out at 3 cards thick. It was easy to cut out the stencil using the stylus which has a really fine tip. My previous needle tool made that quite difficult because the needle was thick so it was difficult to get a neat line.

I dried and filed the stencilled section. I then added it to a 2 card thick layer of wet clay. Once dried I cleaned the edges with baby wipes to ensure no join was visible.

 

Results

The piece had bowed slightly after firing, nothing that I was not expecting.

 

Enamelling

Original Art Clay is excellent for enamelling because it is fine silver and therefore does not require depletion guilding to counteract the effect of the copper. I was interested to see how different this would be to enamel.

I went about enamelling this piece in the same way as I would enamel fine silver (by this I mean I did no depletion guilding).

I cleaned the metal with pumice and dried it carefully. I used the wet packing technique to fill the cells that I had created with opaque enamels. I had already tested my chosen enamel colours on scrap silver to ensure the colours would work well.

I did two firings of the enamelling for about 1 minute 30 seconds each time. On the second firing I added more blue and red enamel as the cells didn’t look quite full.

anna-blog-photos-7

 

Coming out of the kiln the piece looked like this. There were some brown spots and some enamel on the silver (next to the top left blue cell)

I used a medium diagrit (a diamond impregnated mesh that is used like sandpaper to remove excess enamel from metal surfaces) and was easily able to clean the marks off the silver.  I then used a fine diagrit, wet and dry papers and 3M polishing papers to finish the piece.

I’m really pleased with the result. It was much better than I expected as I had expected to see more of an effect because I didn’t depletion guild.

 

lJS-blog-art-clay-950-preview-enamelled-pendant-anna-campbell

Finished Enamelled Pendant using Art Clay 950 by Anna Campbell

Conclusions

I am very impressed with this clay. I certainly plan to use it for my own pieces because of the strength, ability to hallmark as 925 sterling silver (which is popular with customers) and the price.

At LJS we have been discussing whether to create a class in Art Clay 950. I certainly think that an intermediate class would be popular and different from our current classes but the long kiln firing makes it difficult to fit this into our usual one day class format. We will certainly let you know if/when we launch an Art Clay 950 class and would love to hear from you about what you would like to learn to make with it. Please let us know in the comments below.

Art Clay 950 is available to buy now from Metal Clay Ltd and currently you also receive 10% extra free!

I’d like to thank Metal Clay for the opportunity to test out this clay before general release.

 

Come along for a demonstration

I will be demonstrating Art Clay 950 and showing all the samples of pieces I have made at the free Studio Warming at London Jewellery School in our new studios on 29th September 2016 from 6.30pm. There will also be demos of water casting and stacking rings.

RSVP by 20th September to info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

 

Studio address: London Jewellery School, Rear Ground Floor Studios, NEW HOUSE, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY.

I’d love to see you there and chat to you about this new clay!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Make your Mark Event 2016 with the London Assay Office is OPEN for Registration!

make-your-mark-signage-3

 

Exciting News!  On 1st and 2nd November 2016, London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall are hosting their extremely popular ‘Make Your Mark’ event for apprentices and students of jewellery and allied trades. Following the huge success of the events in 2014 and 2015 the event will now be extended over two days and will deliver even more inspiration, advice and networking opportunities.

Make Your Mark is a completely FREE tutor–student event open to apprentices, and anyone studying on a UK-based precious-metal-related course (full- or part-time) whether at degree level or on a short adult education or private tutored course.Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

The event is jam packed with lots of guest speakers, careers expertise, hallmarking guidance, demos and offers, services, suppliers and organisations who serve the jewellery industry and they are even offering a FREE Laser Hallmarking Package to new registrants!

And that’s not all!  This year marks the inaugural Make your Mark Design Competition – a new competition open to jewellery students to challenge today’s students working in precious metal.

Click here to register to attend!  And if you would like to enter the Make your Mark Design Competition – please complete the application form which can be found here.

This is a very popular event so we recommend that you book early to avoid missing out!

 

 

Innovative Jewellery Packaging

london-jewellery-school-blog-Innovative-Jewellery-Packaging

If you are in business the packaging you market your pieces in is important both aesthetically and practically. Tutor Anna Campbell has a look at some of the considerations.

Packaging is one of the issues we talk about on the jewellery business courses at LJS and rightly so as it is important. Firstly because you want your work to be presented in the best possible light. Secondly because many of us sell primarily online and we need to ensure that the jewellery arrives in pristine condition anywhere in the world.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your packaging.

 

1. Branding

Branding is about having an identifiable look for your business, whether online, on marketing material etc. If you have spent time and money designing a logo, choosing colours, designing your website etc, it makes sense to carry this same theme into your packaging. You can do this in a number of ways:

 

                  a. Colour

The most affordable way to incorporate your branding is to use the same colour packaging as your logo/website colours

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-packaging-inspriations-ljs packaging

Although the LJS logo has recently changed, the colours have remained the same and so the choice of colour of these bags works well.

 

                 b. Logo

You could also have your logo printed onto your boxes/bags etc. This is a great idea as customers are likely to keep these and so will have a reminder of your business name and will hopefully be repeat buyers.

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-packaging-inspirations-original_personalised-russian-ring-necklace

Jewellery boxes from Posh Totty

 

2. Pouches versus jewellery boxes

This is an interesting debate. I started out using jewellery boxes for my pieces but I had some feedback from a celebrity client that a pouch would have been preferred. I was surprised at this as I had sourced a lovely wooden box for this commission and was really pleased with how the piece looked in the box. However, I was told that this actress had a lot of jewellery and the jewellery box wouldn’t fit in her storage area so was given to her children to play with! Since this experience I send pieces out in these anti-tarnish pouches rather than boxes, unless a box is requested. This has also helped cut the cost of postage as boxes can be bulky and heavy.

 

3. Postage

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-packaging-inspiration-tiny-box-company

Large letter postage box from the Tiny Box Company

The Tiny Box Company (and others) sell boxes designed to be sent via large letter post in the UK. This does cut the cost of postage significantly so is worth a look. These can also be customised with your logo.

 

4. Innovations in packaging

I have really enjoyed looking at some of the innovative packaging ideas that jewellery designers use. I hope you also feel inspired by these ideas.

 

9e2d092220019.56012e191b13d

Wooden jewellery box by Klotz

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-packaging-inspirations-fresh-by-recarlo-865x433

Fresh by Recarlo

 

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-packaging-inspiration-andrew_zo-clifton_ring_box_design

The Clifton by Andrew Zo

 

 

f540cad6c5e40bc81e38ff35475b731c

Plywood boxes by David Trubridge

 

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-packaging-inspiration-stephen-inhorn

Heartbreaking packaging (made of plaster) by Stephen Einhorn

 

 

ddcb9c50279229.56087bc93fbae

Tube packaging by HKO Jewelry

 

 

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Jewelry-Packaging-Inspiration

Little treasures necklace packaging

 

What kind of packaging do you use? We’d love to see your packaging and business logos so please share with us on our twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Author: Anna Campbell 

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Our shortlist for the Jewellery Maker of the Year 2016!

Wow, we have been overwhelmed by all of the beautiful entries submitted to our 2016 Maker of the Year Competition!  You are all a talented bunch!  Thank you to everyone who entered and shared their beautiful work with us!

It was so hard choosing our short-list of candidates!   We absolutely love each and every one of these designs for their exquisite craftsmanship, design and presentation.  Choosing a winner is going to be tough!

Have a peruse at our amazing shortlist who are presented in no particular order!

Mihaela Coman - A cup of tea

Mihaela Coman – A Cup of Tea

Mihaela had the Katherine Mansfield short story in her mind when she made this ring. The delicate ring has 6 silver little pieces soldered together to create the tea cup and the citrine is cleverly set in the tea cup.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Maker-of-the-Year-Competition-Shortlist-Vlad-Zoldak-Interstellar-Ring

Vlad Zoldak – Interstellar Ring

The ring was inspired by Vlad’s fascination with space and its elements, primarily an element that gives live to everything living even in the most hostile places; water. It is made of sterling silver and 20ct terminated Aquamarine. The entire ring is handmade and soldered together.

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Maker-of-the-Year-2016-Competition-Shortlist-Suzanne-Ross-Lapis-Maki-e-pendant

Suzanne Ross – Lapis Maki-e Pendant

The inspiration for this piece came from the colour of the lapis lazuli itself. The colour reminded Suzanne of a peaceful ocean sailing with clear blue skies. Suzanne chose labradorite beads as they change colour with movement like the sea. The gold painting on the lapis is done in the traditional Japanese gold decorating technique called “maki-e” where urushi ( a tree sap) is painted on and gold powder is sprinkled onto the wet ground. When it has set, the gold is sealed with urushi and then sanded with charcoal and polished.

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-2016-Competition-Shortlist-Robyn-Golding-Green-Fingers-Ring

Robyn Golding – Green Fingers Ring

This piece is called Green Fingers and is a double ring connected with three short chains. The piece is inspired by gardening but also from the materials used within this piece, It is made from 100% recycled silver and reclaimed plastics, the green hand is also flocked to give it its green colour. The hand is also removable and is a lid of a small container to reveal a real plant inside.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-Competition-Shortlist-Anca-Druga-Pendant

Anca Druga – Starry, Starry Night

This design is inspired by “Starry Night over the Rhone” – Vincent Van Gogh. The pendant was hand painted and handcrafted using acrylic colors on polymer clay, fixed in a wire wrapped support to emphasize the texture and depth of the design.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-Of-The-Year-2016-Competition-Shortlist-Claire-Housden-Morphology-2-Necklace

Claire Housden – Morphology #2 Necklace

This is a leather necklace which I designed in 3 colourways (black&black, black&white, and black&red). The inspiration for the morphology collection is vegetable tanned leather itself; and how it can be manipulated to hold a 3-D form. Claire has  developed a unique technique to texture and fold the leather, which she uses throughout this collection.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-of-The-Year-2016-Shortlist-Theodora-Gould-Holy-Trinity-Bangle

Theodora Gould – Holy Island Bangle

The Holy Island Bangle is inspired by a small and magical island off the western shore of Lough Derg in Southern Ireland.  Theodora wanted to make something that had an ancient and celtic feel but also reflected the colours of the island. Made from sterling silver, the stones are 5mm cabochons; garnet to represent the rambling roses, sapphire for the water and the expanse of sky, peridot for the lush Irish grass, citrine for the yellow lichen which covers the tumbling ruins and dark and lavender amethyst for the wild flowers.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-2016-competition-shortlist-Kim-Styles-Morganite-and-sapphire-cluster-ring

Kim Styles – Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring

This morganite and sapphire cluster ring, with wild rose and hydrangea flowers in white and yellow gold. The morganite is set in rose gold to echo the beautiful pale pink of the stone. Kim wanted to make something really pretty that she could wear as an example of what she does. It is entirely handmade from 18ct gold sheet and wire.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-Of-The-Year-2016-Competition-Shortlist-Nichola-Foster-Wirework-Lampwork-Bead-Pendant

Nichola Foster – Wirework Lampwork Bead Pendant

Nichola is a lampwork artist and recently learnt how to wire weave which she finds really enjoyable and very addictive! Here is one of her lampwork glass beads which she has set and decorated with copper. The design emerged as she worked, and demonstrates her love of curves and scrolls.

 

London-Jewellery-School-Jewellery-Maker-of-the-Year-Competition-Shortlist-Scott-Shead-The-Kracken-Pearl-Ring

Scott Shead – The Kracken Ring

Sterling Silver ring with a large Pearl. The ring is designed to sit on one finger and have a tentacle curl around another finger.  Scott lives on a Scottish Island which inspires him and he handcraftedthe Kraken Octopus ring to be a statement piece. The ring is designed to be comfortable to wear and also to make a great addition to a steampunk or nautical style outfit.

To check out all of the competition entries – please have a look at the Facebook Competition Post!

Don’t forget!  The prize winners will be announced on 5th September!

Good luck to all of the Shortlisted Candidates!

Setting up for a Winter Craft Fair

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-course-setting up for a winter craft fair

There’s not a cloud in the sky and there is talk of a heatwave coming and here we are trying to get you thinking of christmas in this latest blog post, and also in our recent 2-part series, ‘The C Word‘!  

Unfortunately this is the time to apply for the craft fairs and markets to take advantage of our busiest time of year – Christmas. Jewellery business tutor Anna Campbell gives some advice on choosing a winter craft fair and how to write a successful application.

It can feel a bit ridiculous to be thinking about christmas in August but it is now that the Winter and Christmas Fairs, that can be so lucrative, are taking applications. But, there are so many, from large craft markets to school fairs so how do you choose which to apply for?

How do I find a craft fair in my area?

Firstly, have a look at stallfinder which allows you to put in your postcode and search for events in your area. Also keep an eye on the local press and check out any markets that run all year round to see if they are having any special events near christmas. If there is a town hall or country house nearby check on their website to see if they are running any events. Finally, keep your ear to the ground in the local area. Consider the school fairs as well as the big events. Sometimes they can be cheap to attend and end up being lucrative.

How will I know if the event is worthwhile?

That is the big question and I don’t have a crystal ball! It is hard to know as attendance can sometimes be weather dependent and just because an event was good last year doesn’t mean it will be this year (and vice versa of course). Do your research and find out as much as you can about the event before making your decision to apply. Here are some things to consider.

 

Is this a regular event? Have you been to it? Do you know anyone that has been? Word of mouth is always a good starting point.

Does the event have a website? Is the information there clear for both stallholders and visitors?

How is the event being marketed? This information is usually shared with potential stallholders so check that you feel that there is effort and money being put into ensuring the event is well attended.

What is the cost of a stall? How much will you need to sell in order to make that back and move into profit? Sometimes it is less risky to do a few small fairs where the outlay is lower and so the amount you need to take each time is also a little lower, and when you make more it’s a nice surprise!

How easy is it to get to? When I have done central London markets including Camden Lock and Spitalfields I have had to lug my suitcase around in rush hour! Not ideal but it can be worthwhile!

How many jewellery stalls will there be? This is important. If there are a lot of other jewellery stalls your work can be lost so it is better to apply to a fair where there is going to be a good variety of different crafts for sale.

 

How can I ensure my application is successful?

The winter craft fairs and markets are the most lucrative and therefore there is more competition for each stall. Often there is a cap on the number of jewellery stalls too so you need to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. I recommend reading this article from the Design Trust on applying for a craft fair which interviewed people that make the decisions about who to take and who to reject. Some of their advice is:

 

a. Send good, clear images of your work

Your photography is key to show people what you sell and to allow the selectors to make an informed decision about whether your work will fit in with their curated fair.  Include a photo of your stand/display if you can as it will give the organisers an idea of your work and how you present it.

b. Have an up to date website

This is key to showing that your work is current and up to date.

c. Have a cohesive line – don’t hedge your bets

Many of us (I include myself here!) make different types of jewellery. I sell beaded jewellery as well as silver jewellery. Using your research, pick the line that you make that you think will fit best with the fair. If you try to show everything it can look a little confused and you may be rejected solely for this reason.

d. Don’t leave it until the last minute

Applying on the final day isn’t impressive and suggests you have time management issues! Try to ensure you apply well in advance.

e. Double check your details

Make sure you read your application through before sending it and  ensure everything is spelt correctly, especially web addresses and email addresses!

f. Be simple and succinct

The organisers have many applications to read and love it if you get to the point!

g. Don’t take it personally

If you aren’t successful in getting a stand at a fair you have applied for try not to take it to heart.  Your work is good, it may be that it doesn’t fit with the other crafts that have been chosen. If that is the case it is better not to be accepted and put in the effort and cost of attending if you’re not going to attract the buyers.

 

What advice would you give others who are applying for craft fairs? We’d love to hear from you so let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs