Author Archives: jewelleryschool

London Jewellery School is the UK’s largest independent jewellery training centre based in London’s Hatton Garden. With more than 80 classes to choose from, more than 20 world-class jewellery tutors and three jewellery studios there is something at LJS for everyone. Plus we offer some of our classes as online tutorials at www.jewelleryschoolonline.com

Our motto is that ‘everyone can make jewellery’ which we truly believe. Our classes are suitable for all ages and abilities from complete beginners through to professional jewellers. We run classes on weekdays, evenings and weekends to suit all timetables and prices start from just £56.

Clasps 4,000 Years of Fasteners in Jewellery by Anna Tabakhova

This week I have been taking a look at jeweller and collector Anna Tabakhova’s book ‘Clasps: 4000 years of fasteners in Jewellery’ which details a fascination with the fastener throughout the ages and I’ve already changed my attitude towards the clasp as just a means to an end.

From Egyptian times the oldest removable clasp followed on from the simple knot. Older styles of closure would have been perishable so ancient clasps remain a mystery. The discreet closure created by two simple joining folds date from 2000 BC.

Interlocking twists, nesting boxes, slot and slide, pin and hinge, ball and loop, double hooks, screws, and sliding balls or a junction box where two slides meet in a decorative feature, pins with safety chains are all details as aesthetic solutions to join sides. Like the puzzle clasp by Petr Dvorak, here, attention has not been spared but painstakingly lavished on an intricate fixing to keep this piece about your person.

Rings and pendants traditionally act as the focus for fancy settings, enamelling and elaborate details. Here we see necklaces where the clasp is not pushed to the back but is the focus point of the piece as, more conventionally, a pendant would be. And fasten your seat belts for the section on transforming jewels, from necklaces to tiaras with clever mechanisms. Day (well a very fancy day) to-night pieces with a series of catches. A bird brooch whose wings can fly off to become earrings.

The author set out to make an art book and technical manual based on historical research which began with her own collections, then moved on to museum and private collections. This resulted in a marvel of inspiring colour images and 28 original illustrations which could give you the closure you need for your next collection or inspire a lifetime of clever clasps for your jewellery making. So not just pretty pictures (although this book does provide a wide range of beautifully selected pieces throughout the ages). Surely there must be a catch!? Nope, the clasp isn’t for everyone apparently. Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel is quoted as saying ‘I hate clasps! I got rid of clasps’ and the figure-hugging designs that resulted from this aversion are detailed in these pages.

 

I had a very nice time consulting this book that acts as a cross-section of jewellery through time, without ever realising that I had a particular interest in what keeps pieces together. I also enjoyed chancing upon this little scene above from the authors’ Twitter feed. In conclusion, it’s clear that the appreciation of clasps is not a simple open and shut case.

Want to try making your own findings to keep your pieces on your person? Try our Make your own Silver Findings class.

Catch you later.

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. You can see her work on instagram @smalltoad_jewellery

The duck days aren’t over-Donald Duck Day-Saturday 9th June

On Donald Duck day (honestly, it is a thing) how better to celebrate that watch all of his great moments of exasperation on screen or peruse the jewels made in the image of his ducky mates. They are certainly all they are quacked up to be!

Happy encrusted duck ring by Chopard

The King of Jewellers can’t even resist these flappers, here’s just a selection of the flock of duck brooches by Cartier.

Heads up for this sleek Silver bangle by Tiffany

A splash of colour with these earrings from Nanette Veldsman.

No feathers! Waggle tailed cuff links for shirt wearers by Tom French Jewellery.

If this has inspired you to get a wriggle on in your making, take a look at our upcoming classes, alternatively lets all duck and cover ourselves with jewellery.

Happy Donald Duck day!

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing our new Gemmology tutor – Deborah Mazza

Do you wish you had more knowledge about gemstones? To feel more confident when talking to customers or when choosing stones to buy? We have just created a new one-day Gemstones Masterclass and want to introduce our new expert tutor Deborah Mazza.

deborah-mazza-tutor-london-jewellery-schoolTell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I was born in Sicily, I am bilingual as my mother is English and my father Italian. I moved to Germany in 1984 and trained as a gemmologist with the Deutsche Gemmologische Gesellschaft and the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. I taught gemmology to English classes in the German Gemmological Association, and besides buying and selling gems, I also worked as a jewellery valuer. I then attained a bachelor in Business in 2006. When I moved back to the UK I carried on jewellery valuations with my own company. I hold the Certificate of Appraisal Theory with the National Association of Jewellers and also teach with Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain)

What’s been your general career path?

All through my career, I have worked with gems and jewellery, it has been my life passion and it still fascinates me. I worked in the gems and jewellery trade in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, the gemstone centre in Europe; there they buy and sell gemstones to the whole world, it is still the leading gem lapidary and carving centre.

I have also finally started making jewellery, which I was unable to do before due to family commitments.

gemstone-masterclass-london-jewellery-schoolWhat are your goals for the future?

My children have grown up and moved out, allowing me to collaborate in writing Vladyslav Yavorsky’s latest book, Terra Connoisseur – Gemstones, and organising trips to meet Idar-Oberstein’s craftspeople.

I have just finished my bachelor in Art History at Goldsmiths University. In autumn 2018 I am starting my masters, as I think we need a theory of jewellery and gemstones similar to the theory of art.

What is your favourite gemstone why?

I have no favourite gemstone, which sounds strange, because I just love them all for their wide colour variations and effects, this is the main reason why I wear lots of jewellery, now also made by myself.

Find out more about Deborah’s work on her website http://www.laetherstone.com/

You can join Deborah for our new Gemstone masterclass. Learn about gemstone identification, cleaning and handling, colour, hardness, durability and much more. If you enrol for a weekday class you will also visit A E Ward gemstone suppliers in Hatton Garden 

To find out more about the course and to enrol click here

 

Student jeweller of the month for June – Neena Shilvock

neena-shilvock-jeweller

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I have a day job that is far removed from anything creative, I am an obstetrician and gynaecologist and have been a consultant at a hospital in the Midlands for twenty years. About seven years ago, after a devastating bereavement, I looked for a form of distraction therapy and found my love for jewellery making. At first, I went to a class at the local college, which actually put me off as it was too crowded and I found using the saw and learning how to solder very difficult in that setting. I later found another school, where the setting was more intimate and there were fewer pupils, but I have yet to go back to the jewellers saw after that initial traumatic experience.

The need to escape the saw took me towards wirework and metal clay, polymer clay and resin, as well as beading and soutache. but I have accepted that I will have to bite the bullet at some stage as my interests have leaned towards fold forming and soldering – it seems silly now to be so anxious about something that is potentially going to change the way I design and make my jewellery.

 

dew-fairy-dreams-neena-shilvock

Dew fairy dreams – copyright Neena Shilvock

What’s been your general career path?

I like to make large statement necklaces and also like to make a few of the elements in each piece myself. I make pendants, beads and clasps of various different materials and incorporate them into my jewellery.

I started with a small client base, and have gradually increased it and would like to see it grow bigger. As I see it, there must be women out there like me, who like to wear big, bold and beautiful jewellery, and I’m the woman to make it for them.

I’ve written tutorials for Bead and Jewellery Magazine for a couple of years and found that process quite interesting, I’m used to teaching in my day job, but capturing a process in its totality using a camera was new to me.

I wrote my own website and update it regularly myself. I take my own photographs, having been to a couple of photography classes to learn how to use my camera and have recently begun to use live models to display some of my pieces.

When did your interest in jewellery making start?

I’ve always loved jewellery and was encouraged in this passion by my mother.  When I saw a jewellery making class advertised at the local college I jumped at the chance, although I had gone to the open day with the intention of learning a language. Since then I’ve become so absorbed by jewellery making that I seem to be engaged in it one way or another every spare moment I have. Every room in my house has certainly been taken over by beads and jewellery making paraphernalia.

Which class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?

I went to the soutache class one year as I am always looking for a way to add colour to my pieces, and to make my own components. The next year saw me developing an interest in metalsmithing and fold forming, and I decided to learn how to solder and took a soldering class which gave me the confidence to go away and try it out for myself.

jewellery-by-neena-shilvock

Dew fairy dreams – copyright Neena Shilvock

What are your goals for the future?

I’d like to find a client base of ‘sophisticated extroverts’ and be stocked in boutiques and art galleries, worn by celebrities and be a well-known name in the world of statement jewellery, although I would like to make mainly one-off or limited edition pieces. I’d like to work with semi-precious gemstones and have my jewellery worn with pleasure by discerning women who are unafraid to be stand up and be counted.

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

I made a piece called Dew Fairy Dreams (see left) – it had my favourite ginkgo leaves that I made in Faux jade out of polymer clay, wirework and was very pretty. It was entirely my own design and I found the name from a poem, because of the pearls that were sprinkled through the piece like dew drops. The poet, when I asked his permission to use the name loved my necklace and agreed readily, which was very encouraging

 

A selection of Neena’s work is currently on display at the London Jewellery School

See more of Neena’s work

Website www.capriliciousjewellery.com

Shop link  – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CapriliciousJewelry

Facebook business page – https://www.facebook.com/CapriliciousJewellery

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/capriliciousjewellery_by_neena/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nshilv

Ed Sheeran’s engagement ring 💍- starting a new trend for men?

ed_sheeran_silver_clay_ring_photo_by_eva_rinaldi

Ed Sheeran, photo by Eva Rinaldi

Congratulations to Ed Sheeran and his fiance Cherry Seaborn on their engagement.

As we are always pretty excited about a) rings and b) weddings we were really interested to read that Ed is wearing an engagement ring. Engagement rings for men are not traditional in the UK but perhaps it’s time to consider it as in other countries the customs around weddings are different. In Sweden it is traditional for both men and women to wear plain bands as an engagement ring and then only the woman receives an additional ring on the wedding day. In Chile both men and women wear engagement rings on their right hand and they move these to their left hand when they’re married (facts thanks to Jewellery Editor).

We were then doubly pleased to hear Sheeran say in an interview with the Sun “I never saw why men didn’t wear engagement rings, Cherry made it for me herself out of silver clay. I really like it.”

Yay for silver clay! And for making your own rings!

If you’d like to learn how to make your own ring, for any reason, we have some options for you!

We have recently been having an increase in people coming for a private tuition to make their engagement ring and have heard some great engagement stories

We also run wedding ring making tuition just for the two of you

And if this story has made you intrigued about silver clay have a look at our classes

💸💎How would you like £1000 to spend on your jewellery business? 💎💸

jessica_rose-london-jewellery-schoolHi everyone. In case we haven’t met I’m Jessica Rose the Founder of the London Jewellery School. I wanted to hop onto the blog today to let you know about a great new opportunity and to encourage you to apply…

I have just launched a grant programme called JewelFund. It is specifically designed to support those starting and growing their jewellery businesses.

As you will know our ethos at the London Jewellery School is about supporting everyone to make jewellery. With the online Jewellers Academy, we offer on-going support (in-between classes) in your making and jewellery business needs. Basically, we are here to help support you and want you to succeed!

Whilst training, community and hard work are all important factors to building a successful jewellery business, sometimes what we need to get some momentum is an investment into our business (aka money!) This is where JewelFund comes in. This year we are giving away two £1000 grants. These are grants, not loans so you do not need to pay them back. You can decide what to spend them on. Well, within reason! It needs to be something to develop your business, not just a holiday, even if you deserve one!

You might use the fund to buy new tools and machinery, training or mentoring, stock to fulfil a wholesale order, workspace, rebranding to reach a new audience or a new website –  anything that will make a substantial difference to your business.

Any jeweller can apply who is over the age of 16 and where £1000 will make a real difference to their business. Pre-business jewellers may apply but will need to submit a business plan alongside their application. The deadline for applications is 30th June 2018. To find out more about the fund and to apply visit www.jewellersacademy.com/jewelfund

You can also watch the short video below to hear more about why we are launching the fund and what we are looking for from applicants…

I look forward to receiving your application

Until next time,

Happy Making

Jess x

💚Birthstone for May-Emerald-Go green! 💚

The birthstone for May is the mighty Emerald, a stone considered to be a symbol for re-birth and love. Being born in this month will mean you are dependable and quick-witted, not a bad start in life.

Emerald is a stone whose colour reminds us of fictional cities and namesake to a whole isle. The deep green colour in this Beryl mineral is caused by inclusions of chromium, rather than the presence of a diminutive wizard or magical elves.

The brilliant colour of an Emerald is where its value lies, as it is not equal in strength to its hardened friends, diamond or corundum.

Yet the shade of these stones is enough to inspire the most dramatic of jewels. It lends itself well to storytelling since it masquerades as kryptonite in this ‘Superman’ ring by Ming Lampson. Clearly not a ring for Superman himself, but ideal for a wearer trying to bring Superman to his knees.

This vintage inspired pyramid ring by Erica Weiner highlights how just a touch of Emerald could be enough to bring out the green-eyed monster in your mates.

Whereas Robert Trisko makes a statement with this set of jewellery sculptures.

Mikala Djorup’s ring with simple chunky setting shows off a gorgeous stone.

Ornella Iannuzzi’s ring follows the form of the stone in its setting of gold.

Gold lends itself well to complement the tone of this stone, but emerald sits equally with other metals. As we see in this 9ct wax-carved white gold engagement with diamond and aquamarine ring by London Jewellery School tutor Helen Walls.

Green egg no ham. A bespoke ring designed for a couple who met in a cookery class. Just a hint of the frying pan was requested for this design.

Don’t be green with envy at these glittering creations this May. Get started on your own lucky charms on one of our courses.

 

 

 

 

Student Jeweller of the month for May – Louise Cain

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I am 52 years old and I work freelance mainly on nightclub and corporate event dressing. At the moment I am making a padded leather wall and a fabric and hanging crystal ceiling for Cafe de Paris. Every job is different which I like and I could be making bespoke table centres for one job or a stage backdrop. I have worked for myself for 30 years. I also voluntarily help run creative workshops for a community green space in south London called the Wildcat Wilderness. This summer we will be building a massive 2.5mtr high castle out of cardboard boxes. The kids will be allowed to paint and decorate it inside and out. Messy fun. We are also knitting vegetables in support of the first Lewisham Food Festival which is happening this year then yarn bombing a tree as part of the Catford Art’s Trail in autumn.

 

student_jeweller_of_the_month_louise_cain_london_jewellery_school

Silver ring copyright Louise Cain

What’s been your general career path?

I finished four years studying graphic design at London College of Printing in 1986 and never actually once worked in graphic design afterwards. I was lucky and my course was just before major educational cuts. It was very varied and included 3D design, photography, printing and life drawing. I worked in production in the nightclub business. Props, stage sets and backdrops for raves in the 90’s which was a lot of fun. I designed watches and lighters for BOY London in the later 90’s and clubwear. In 1998 I had a dance costume shown in the Streetstyle exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I have loved my work over the years and was able to work from home and bring up my two children as a single mum for 12 years. I had time with my children and being freelance could tell clients I was working on another project. It also meant they thought I was busier than I really was and booked me early!

 

 

Corset ring copyright Louise Cain

When did your interest in jewellery making start?
I have throughout my whole life loved Jewellery. Particularly large silver rings. I wanted to design and make my own pieces thirty years ago but was never in a position time wise or financially to try. Now both my children have left home I can afford it!

 

Which class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?

I attended the working with silver beginners week at the London Jewellery School which was fantastic. It covered so much that I left feeling confident enough to go away and have a go myself. While I was there one of your members of staff showed me her first wax carving ring. I loved it and I realized that the kind of big silver pieces I really wanted to work on would not cost as much as I thought.

I then attended the one-day beginners wax carving class. Again I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed it. I bought some wax and started working on my first dozen pieces. It has been so lovely to be able to work on something creative and personal instead of commercial.

 

What are your goals for the future?

I really would like to do less of the club work, less ladders and heavy work and work on my wax carving was heaven in comparison. My first dozen pieces taught me a huge amount and I have new designs to explore them further, particularly the double finger ring. I like working on the multi-finger rings the most.

 

Double ring copyright Louise Cain

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

If I had to pick a favourite I am torn between the laced bustier and the double finger straps and hoop ring. I think it would be the double one.

 

See more of Louise’s work here

Instagram – @thinlinesilver
Email – thinlinesilver@gmail.com

 

Louise’s work will be displayed at the London Jewellery School throughout the month of May so do come and visit if you can!

Would you like to be chosen as a future Student Jeweller of the Month? Click here to find out more and how to apply

World Penguin Day-Wednesday 25th April 2018

Today we celebrate everyone’s favourite Aquatic flightless bird on World Penguin Day.

Uniquely adapted to their living environment with flippers instead of wings for swimming and the ability to ‘toboggan’ across ice in this way energy saving and gaining speed. The inspiration for one of the most reliable chocolate snacks around and their distinctive form lends itself to jewellery design like no other southerner.

So never has there been a better excuse to pick up a penguin (or you could even adopt one).

Keeping it simple. Origami style flapper from The Penguin Patrol.

Triton embodied in feathers atop his trusty seahorse steed in this lavish necklace from N2 Creative Jewellery.

Baby bling ring by And Mary.

Silly Big Penguin ring is a 3D rendering that comes in many colours, shades unrecognisable in any of the seventeen known species. The iconic combination of streamlined beak to flippers makes this Shapeways design a King.

 

Tatty Devine’s romantic acrylic shows off the mostly monogamous nature of our suited mates in this Penguin Pals necklace.

This mighty gangster bird, Emperor Penguin Freddie with Polar Bear Claw Necklace by Felieke Van Der Leest, was easily the star of the Craft Council’s touring show ‘Here I am’ in 2017, showcasing jewellery as art since the 1970’s.

(Pengu)inspired?!  Why not join one of our courses to make your own jewellery worth getting in a flap about.

The jewellery shared here remains the copyright of the jeweller. If you’d like to buy a piece do click on the link

Earth Day-22nd April-Katrin Spranger-Aquatopia

At the heart of this year’s Earth Day is a campaign to end plastic pollution. Single use plastic has become an issue that large companies like Pret are starting to attempt to tackle. The pollution of our planet and global warming will never not be a burning issue. Conceptual artist and jeweller Katrin Spranger has taken the idea of water vessels to another level with her work which was unveiled at Collect at the Saatchi Gallery in February.

Aquatopia looks at the dangers of taking for granted the most basic ingredients for human survival, given to us by the Earth, and how we are putting ourselves in danger by squandering our resources. Spranger invites us to view water through a dystopian, yet believable, narrative of increasing demand and damage by rising population and pollution.

As an artist and jeweller, her aim to transform water into a precious material through this visual narrative of objects that highlight its scarcity is achieved by the use of electroforming. Ideas of jewellery being seen as indulgent and extravagant are played out against the materials used, with vessels that are inspired by functional pipes and plumbing. The everyday and necessary plays  against the opulent and extra in one scary and beautiful project.

This Earth Day may be about the battle against the throwaway bottle (amongst other harmful plastics that end up in our rivers and seas), but hopefully Spranger’s water vessels leave a permanent mark on our memories to try and be kinder to our planet every day.

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. You can see her work on instagram @smalltoad_jewellery