Monthly Archives: September 2017

Diploma Exhibition Invitation – 29th September 2017

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You are cordially invited to the Diploma in Creative Jewellery Exhibition, but no need to RSVP, just come along for free! It’s a great opportunity to visit the school if you are thinking of taking a class with the added incentive of checking out what our most recent students have been making. Drinks and nibbles will also be in attendance. We will look forward to seeing you!

When: Friday 29th September 2017, 6.30-8pm

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

Great British Beach Clean –Friday 15th September

Today is the day to get to the beach and get your tidy on. A depressing 4 to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic were washed out to sea in 2010 and that was set to increase to double in 10 years, so we may be almost at that sad target now. Scientists still don’t know where 99% of this plastic ends up in the ocean or the extent of the impact on marine life. If these shocking facts aren’t an enticement enough to get yourself to the seaside and join in with the beach clean, here are some wearable products of beach-combing to tempt you.

Frankie rainbow

Recent Central Saint Martens Graduate Frankie Moughton-Small draws attention to the issue of ocean waste with her bold jewellery and head wear. This beautiful rainbow piece trips the plastic fantastic whilst reminding us of the perilous implications of our disposable lifestyles.

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Jeweller and London Jewellery School Tutor Melissa Hunt makes these detachable rings to feature seaglass and sea-smoothed broken plate.

So do a good deed and gather materials for your next creation to make the most of a trip to the coast.

 

Armour/Amore

Like many people I know I feel a bit unprotected, or just a bit wrong, if I forget to put on my metal of a morning. I prefer to assume people are staring at my earrings on the tube rather than the bit of avocado on my face from breakfast. If I could go full man in the iron mask for my commute I would(I wouldn’t, it would be very warm, but if I don’t mention Leonardo Di Caprio in some way I lose his sponsorship).

When speaking about the themes behind her work Jeweller Katerina Glyka has said ‘I decided to build a fortress to defend myself’ and some of her pieces definitely border upon weaponry.

Armour is defined as is a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object or individual. Within contemporary jewellery making this often more visual than practical.

Yet jewellers whose work strays into the realm of self-defence reference the traditional notion of armoury quite intentionally. These articulated rings by Rokus London and Shahrzad Aliyari elegantly draw the eye and defend the finger.

Rokus-ring

Rokus London

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Shahrzad Aliyari

Chain mail making is a great lesson in perfecting soldering skills and a wonderful way to test your patience. I had a go at connecting a ring to a bracelet with chain mail and was grateful to be making a small panel rather than a full battle shirt.

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Lisa Walker

However it was still markedly less successful than this powerful yet understated use of chain mail by my New Zealand favourite Lisa Walker.

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Jane Bowler

London-based Jane Bowler makes super-fun geometric articulated and plated holographic pieces and takes them to another level with her bridal wear. Perfect for those who want to feel like a goddess going into battle on your special day.

jane bowler bridal

There are amazing collections of armour living at The Wallace Collection in London and The Royal Armouries in Leeds. The V&A also has some impressive pieces (don’t forget to pop into the jewellery gallery for a treat too) and there may be some lurking in a corner if you find yourself in any country houses.

When attacking any project its victory hinges on having the skills as well as a winning plan of attack. Shield yourself from disappointment and conquer a new technique on one of our courses.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

 

 

 

Birthstone for September-Sapphire-Barnacles of Bling

Sapphire is the birthstone for September and is famous for its deep blue colour, caused by the presence of iron and titanium. But these stones can be found in almost every colour and when non-blueness occurs they are termed ‘fancy’. A nice compliment, although it makes the gemstones less valuable.

It’s tough to write about sapphires without mentioning ‘that ring’ (you know, the one that now belongs to Kate). However, I intend to sidestep it to not seem like a big fawning royalist and just say it’s iconic. (Iconic enough that my American brother-in-law thought it might be mandatory to propose to British ladies with a blue-stoned ring. He didn’t, but I like the story.)

If you are born in September you are graced with the qualities of tolerance and wisdom. You are also inspirational. So here is Elizabeth Taylor in a swimming pool wearing her diamonds and sapphires. She has also brought along her trusty parrot. Liz was not a September baby, but let’s pretend so that I can justify the use of this great image.

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If sapphires match your eyes like this don’t be too worried if it’s not your birthstone.

The thing is with these gemstones, they do lend themselves to be used in significant pieces of jewellery on account of their value. So they may be better for inspiration rather than aspiration for now.

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Even this little skeleton merperson brooch by Lydia Courteille has an indicator of once being a marine monarch in its dinky crown.

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Yet jeweller Polly Wales has left no stone un-cast in these two examples of her signature technique of casting stones in place rather than setting. The skull encrusted with sapphires of different sizes could be the remnants of an underwater pirating accident producing a facial of sparkling barnacles of bling.

Maybe Leo wouldn’t have come to such a sticky end if (the other) Kate’s blue diamond necklace had been a sapphire instead. That ‘heart of the ocean’ could have gone for a light dip in a pool with a parrot rather than being brutally chucked into the waves by old lady Kate.

Anyhow, all’s well that ends well. And even if it’s not your birthday, don’t get the blues. Give yourself a present and join us on one of our stone setting courses and learn techniques to bring your own inspiration to the nation.

Stone setting in silver (2 days)

Intermediate stone setting

Channel setting in silver

Collet setting in silver

Grain setting in silver

Stone setting in metal clay

Introduction to gemstones (evening taster class)

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.