Monthly Archives: October 2017

Jewels for Halloween – It’s a kind of magic

Halloween in the Adams Family household was never a small Thing, my personal style may have gone from Cousin Itt to Pugsley in the last 25 years but my enthusiasm for this dubious holiday has not wavered. So in the spirit of celebration of the unknown and creepy, we can also embrace the magical and mysterious and even some veg to bring us back down to earth.

This year there has been an appearance of magical, mystical motifs on the catwalks and looking beyond the stars and moons there are otherworldly delights to be found.

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Chanel A/W 2017

Shelley James makes 3D printed and cast glass sculptures from her base in Cockpit Studios. These pieces, some of which can be worn as necklaces, change colour in different light conditions.

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There are some more traditionally spooky treats to bewitch us too, like this beautiful bat out of the blue ring by Lydia Courteille.

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These cheeky eight-legged freaks have got their fangs into some of Alexander McQueen’s signature skulls.

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It doesn’t take Halloween to get under your skin to use skulls as a way to get a-head with your jewellery designs. Susan Elanora uses this as a regular motif for her cute and creepy jewellery. And our tutors Natasha Williams and Sophie Arnott have also used the skull as a reference in their work.

Natasha has used Computer Aided Design and 3d printing in wax to get to create this angular cranial knuckle duster in silver.

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While Sophie has favoured engraving for this silver signet ring.

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I am growing to love Halloween even more since discovering that its roots are in harvest festival traditions. I have a great appreciation of vegetable jewellery. The pumpkin may be the go-to-veg for these times but this pumpkin coloured Romanesco cauliflower brooch by Barbara Paganin (AKA Space Cauliflower, usually the unearthly colour of Slimer from Ghostbusters) from the epic collections at the V&A is just what the witch doctor ordered.

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Don’t let your creepy creations (Uncle) Fester indoors, here are a few magical, curious or kooky things to see and do over at this frightful time of year:

Harry Potter- A History of Magic Exhibition at The British Library. Until Wednesday 28th February.

Screening of The Addams Family with orchestral accompaniment at The Royal Albert Hall. Thursday 26th October.

Halloween Fair at the Horniman Museum, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October 2017.

Virtual Reality Haunted Cinema in Covent Garden, from Wednesday 25th October-Sunday 29th October.

Halloween Fright Night party at The Quarter of Curiosity Shop in Soho, Thursday 26th October.

Or Go(mez) wild and book onto one of our magical courses to get that memento mori made.

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.

 

 

Birthstones for October-Opal and Tourmaline-Fruity favourites

If you are born in October you are peace loving characters who wish to be surrounded by beauty. So it’s fitting that your birthstones are the ones with magical rainbow shades, Opal and Tourmaline.

Tourmaline is best known for its green and pink shades but it is the gemstone found in the greatest range of colours. The watermelon effect of the stones that present with two-in-one colouration are clearly the most delicious. Here they are celebrated together, although not as one, nestled in these stunning orbs by master jeweller Friedrich Becker.

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The internal structure of an opal causes multi-coloured light diffractions to occur and these characteristic rainbow effects can be found in stones of very different tones too. For jewellers it is both an inspirational friend and technical foe with its softness and tendency to expand and contract according to temperature fluctuations. This makes it a very difficult stone to work with.

Kimberlin Brown uses opal to very different effect in her work that references nature and organic forms. As we can see here in these two rings, the delicate ‘anemone’ contrasts with the intergalactic beast ‘galaxy’ without sacrificing her signature style.

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October child, whatever your flavour, you won’t fail to find a tempting juicy delight in one these fruity pieces using these dynamic stones. But be sure to give one, or five, of our classes a try if you feel the need for more jewellery nutrition.

A reminder that creativity is good for your mental health on World Mental Health Day

Hello! So back in June I wrote a little ditty to big up Creativity and Wellbeing week, but life sometimes smacks you in the face and makes you not want to tell everyone that you have struggled and are now looking back smugly from the other side. Winston Churchill spoke of his black dog of depression, I feel like the brain is a little like a naughty puppy (ok sometimes very naughty one, that can turn your life upside down like an old school toilet paper advert). You have to train it, entertain it, keep it calm or when you are not looking you may end up with a poo in the corner. But it’s World Mental Health Day and the fact that sharing that you aren’t always totally smashing it and that some people, including myself, find making things helps their brain to chill out and heal a bit is still something important.

Creativity has always been an important part of my life however much of the time I was either too inspired or not at all. This made a great deal of sense when I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2013. I wouldn’t say that drawing and making things got me through that and the very tricky time that led to my diagnosis. This was thanks to the support of the ridiculously amazing people around me and the hard working dudes and dudettes of the NHS. Yet my life wouldn’t feel complete now without making something or letting my brain stray creatively on a daily basis. It is also integral to making my life more than just managing my special brain, by providing a distraction in the process of making and little delights as end results.

To steal the wise words of the people over at Creativity and Wellbeing Week:

‘There is a growing body of evidence indicating the profound effect engagement in the arts and creativity can have on health and wellbeing. The arts bring us alive, nourish our curiosity, help us learn – they change the places in which we are treated – and make them places we might want to be, they can improve the relationship between clinician and patient, and they give us the courage to face our own frailties and strengths.’

I have worked in many media when making art or gifts and always carry a little sketchbook for emergencies (to record ideas/also handy for those who may suffer bothersome thoughts). I made the decision to take up jewellery making in 2014 and love that it combines hard-core metal working skills with making pretty and fun transportable pieces that others seem amused by too. I couldn’t recommend jewellery making enough as an activity and wish I had taken the idea seriously at a younger age. But still, learning ain’t just for kids.

Top 3 creativity TED talks

Taika Waititi – The Art of Creativity

Margaret Wertheim- The beautiful math of coral

Julie Burstein- 4 lessons in creativity

Whatever your go-to helper is in life, may it be running, writing, crafting or climbing (if it isn’t going to damage you or anyone else), look after yourself and that pesky puppy and just do it.

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.

 

 

Online Charity Raffle

Fancy giving to a good cause with a chance to win fabulous Jewellery making prizes? Well yes, obviously, me too.
Here at the Jewellery School we are running an exciting online raffle from now until Sunday 22nd October 2017, for just a pound a ticket to raise money for the victims of Grenfell Tower fire.

Prizes include:

  • Any 1 Day Class at London Jewellery School (worth up to £140)
  • Any 3 Taster Classes of your choice (not including the wax carving taster or valentines class)
  • A Soldering Kit
  • A Metal Clay Starter Kit
  • £50 Gift Voucher which can be redeemed against any day or evening class

50% of monies we raise will go to the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Tickets will be randomly selected on Monday 23rd October and winners will be notified by email.

You enter by paying through paypal, go to this link https://www.paypal.me/ljsraffle2017/1
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Raffle terms and conditions

You can enter as many times as you like – £1 = 1 entry

Your choice of course is dependent on our timetable and available spaces at the time of booking

Cost of travel to LJS is not included in the prize

If a class has to be cancelled you will be notified and will be able to transfer your booking to another date

If you win the 3 taster classes of your choice you can choose any taster classes except the wax carving taster class or valentines class http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/taster-classes/

Your class must be taken by October 2018

There is no monetary equivalent for the prizes

Free postage for the soldering kit and metal clay kit in the UK only. Overseas winners will need to pay additionally for postage

The £50 gift voucher prize can be redeemed against any day or evening class only