Category Archives: Inspirational Jewellers

Tech on the Neck -wearable technologies and technology in the jewellery studio

Today is ‘Embrace your Geekness Day’, and we love when jewellery and technology meet in a beautiful way so we are encouraging you to get involved by harking on about your passion. Anyway, if you are reading this you are probably into jewellery, so let’s nerd it up and see what the technological enthusiasts are up to.

Jewellery is more often about appearance over function. Traditional jewellery making techniques date as far back as any tools that were made for human survival, yet utility and beauty have frequently gone hand in hand in the jewellery world and now designers are using cutting edge technologies to realise their pieces. A 17th century abacus ring is thought to be the first known item of wearable technology; its teeny tiny silver beads count as an impressive feat to this day.

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17th Century Abacus Ring. Photo via Gizmodo

Personally, I am still baffled by mood rings; their mystic powers (thermotropic liquid crystals that show different colours at different temperatures) never fail to interpret my complex emotions. Thankfully there are many movers and shakers in the jewellery world forging the path with new technologies allowing us to reap these beautiful rewards.

Architect Jenny Wu created Lace, a collection of 3D printed and cast jewellery, that echos the designs of her architectural practice. These beautiful interlocking designs are not just appreciated as pieces by the wearer and any admirers; she has been recognised for her pioneering work in 3D printing by the design press.

ring+compare-Jenny Wu

Jenny Wu

Glasgow based Lynne Maclachlan has taken 3D printing into the realms of geometric brights for our delight. With a background in aerospace engineering, Maclachlan creates optical illusions with these seemingly simple structures.

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Lynne MacLaughlan

Speaking of bright, if you have a bright idea that solves a problem, there is an invention award for you. The James Dyson Award website is a wonderful place to hoover up ideas for innovation. Entries have previously included Elenice de Faria Elmi a jewellery designer whose idea for a magnetic earbud to listen to music hands-free led her to examine its use for children and teenagers with hearing loss. Entries for the James Dyson Award close on July 20th.

So on this day of embracing the geekery in your life we will wish you the best of luck with re-inventing yourself as an inventor. Or just remind yourself that geek is chic and that passion doesn’t go out of fashion whilst on one of our lovely courses!

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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.

 

Diploma in Silver Jewellery graduate feature – Guida Cusso

 

This week on the blog we will be featuring some of the graduates of our Diploma in Silver Jewellery as we have a free exhibition of their work this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm, at our London studios. You are invited to attend!

Today we feature jeweller Guida Cusso

guida-cusso-silver-ring-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewelleryWhere do you live? I have been living in London for the last 5 and a half years, but I am originally from Barcelona.

When did your interest in jewellery making start? It started when I was a child, I was making jewellery with plastic beads at an early age. I have always loved making things with my hands and I have tried all kind of crafts. When I turned 18 I went to uni to study Translation and Interpreting, but it was a very hard decision and my other option would have been artistic jewellery then.

Why did you decide to take the Silver Diploma? I had tried a few evening courses on silver jewellery and I loved them so much! I really wanted to take a step forward and the Silver Jewellery Diploma was my perfect match.

guida-cusso-silver-brooch-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewelleryWhat was your favourite class on the diploma and why? I enjoyed them all, but if I had to pick one, I would say wax carving. It is so rewarding and relaxing!

What are your goals for the future? I feel quite confident with my skills, but I would love to keep learning more techniques and to go deeper on what I have already learnt.

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why? From all the pieces I have made, my favourite one is a pair of drop earrings in the shape of a curved leaf with matt finish. While making them I realised how important it is to mirror symmetrical earrings. It was hard work but the result was a pair of very light and wearable earrings that match anything you wear.

guida-cusso-stone-set-pendant-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewelleryYou can follow Guida on instagram @guidiki

 

 

The Diploma in Silver Jewellery exhibition is this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm

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

How to find us

No need to RSVP, just turn up!

images copyright Guida Cusso 2017

Diploma in Silver Jewellery graduate feature – Leonie Marks

This week on the blog we will be featuring some of the graduates of our Diploma in Silver Jewellery as we have a free exhibition of their work this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm, at our London studios. You are invited to attend!

Today we feature jeweller Leonie Marks

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Where do you live? I live in Essex near the Blackwater Estuary

When did your interest in jewellery making start? I first became interested in making jewellery in 2010 when I thought how wonderful it would be to turn shells I had found in the Isles of Scilly and Essex into silver pendants.  I achieved this using metal clay and then started using sterling silver in sheet and wire form using basic soldering techniques to create different pieces.   

Why did you decide to take the Silver Diploma? I set a little studio up in my garden and then taught myself to set stones (in a fashion) which led me on to taking the Silver Diploma course as I desperately needed expertise in learning stone setting amongst numerous other techniques covered in the diploma course.   

 

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What was your favourite class on the diploma and why? I loved the whole diploma course as it covered so many different techniques and mediums which I would not otherwise have explored.  I would still say the Stone Setting was my favourite class.

What are your goals for the future? My goals are to continue to perfect my silversmithing skills – in particular stone setting – doing more short courses at the London Jewellery School.  I have a small business selling at fairs and online which I am aiming to expand over the next 12 months.  Since doing the online business course at The London Jewellery School I am currently setting up a new website which should be up and running in the next month.

You can follow Leonie and her work on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/leoniemarksjewellery

and Instagram – https://instagram.comleoniemarksjewellery

 

leonie-marks-bangle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewelleryThe Diploma in Silver Jewellery exhibition is this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm

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

No need to RSVP, just turn up!

all images copyright Leonie Marks 2017

Diploma in Silver Jewellery graduate feature – Sandra McArdle

This week on the blog we will be featuring some of the graduates of our Diploma in Silver Jewellery as we have a free exhibition of their work this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm, at our London studios. You are invited!

Today we feature jeweller Sandra McArdle

sandra-mcardle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-silver-jewelleryWhere do you live? I live in a village north of Newbury in Berkshire

When did your interest in jewellery making start? My interest in silver jewellery making started many years ago. I joined the local Woman’s Institute and did a taster course at the WI college. Around this time I was inspired by the poem “The Station” by Robert Hastings (worth a read if you are on a relentless career treadmill). It opened my eyes to the world around me and I started to see and really appreciate the beauty in nature, the shapes of leaves, the structure and delicacy of petals and the colours.

Why did you decide to take the Silver Diploma? I started to research silver jewellery making courses and dreamt about doing more of the thing I had come to love, working with silver. I kept coming back to the London Jewellery School and the varied structure of the course. I was delighted to achieve the Diploma in Silver Jewellery in 2016 and started Sandra McArdle Jewellery 

Now I love working with silver and semi-precious stones to create an object of beauty. I never cease to be amazed at the way silver changes and responds as it’s worked to create that final piece and to be part of that process is so rewarding.

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A commission – a pair of earrings with semi precious stone and 14ct gold granules.

What are your goals for the future? As I have developed my business I have had the privilege to meet some wonderful people, to talk to them about what it is they are looking for in a piece of jewellery or silverware. I love working with them to develop and design that special piece, and creating an item of jewellery, a gift or keepsake is something I am very proud of.

I am looking forward to developing my business as I move into a new studio and put in practice the things I learnt on the Jewellery School Online  Jewellery Business Bootcamp!

sandra-mcardle-london-jewellery-school-silver-diploma-cufflinksWhat are your favourite pieces you have made so far and why? My first commission – cufflinks for a saddle maker, replicating the saddle makers round knife used to fashion the saddles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sandra-mcardle-london-jewellery-school-silver-diploma-trinket-boxMy favourite commission – a trinket box (with mints!) inset mother of pearl and my signature granules on the polished lid. The box has textured sides and my decorative hallmark on the base.

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about Sandra’s work on her website http://www.sandramcardle.co.uk/ to get in touch with her email sandra@sandramcardle.co.uk

The Diploma in Silver Jewellery exhibition is this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm

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

How to find us

No need to RSVP, just turn up!

images copyright Sandra McArdle 2017

Birthstone for July-Ruby-Not just for Tuesdays or trips with Toto

July folk are said to be fun-loving, cheerful and independent. Ruby is their stone and it’s said to bring good fortune to those that wear it (though whether those in possession of a ruby need more good fortune is debatable) for, much like their clear relative the diamond, rubies can be incredibly valuable. Often used in simply set rings, their intense colour means they don’t need a lot of fuss. But it is this eye-catching colour that can also be used to add accents, such as gleaming eyes in an elaborate diamond encrusted snake or leopard piece. The purest colour of ruby is known as pigeon’s blood, a fact which gives rise to the idea of working on a red-eyed pigeon collection.

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Jeweller Tessa Metcalfe uses her trademark cast pigeon foot to set these deep red beauties.

Ruby is also the symbolic stone of 40 years of marriage, making a gift of ruby jewellery on this occasion meaningful and poignant. But if it’s your birthstone you may want to indulge in your own love affair celebrating its other meanings of health and wisdom. Like Dorothy, who took her ruby slippers off the feet of the squashed wicked witch, you don’t need to wait forty years to get involved. Go on an adventure with a Lion, Scarecrow, Tinman and the all important pup Toto. Alternatively find some inspiration from these jewellers, who are clearly besotted with rubies and not thinking about trotting them down any yellow brick roads anytime soon.

Crushed_6-kelvin birkCrushed and combined precious stones that bring a new dimension to these unique pieces by Kelvin Birk, making them more wearable in their informal ‘spacefragmentness’ than a typical setting.

Clawrings_4, kelvin birk

Grasping claws, gilded boxes and indents in irregular bands are a few of this imaginative jeweller’s repertoire for showing off precious stones.

 

fraserhamiltonThis little ruby is benefiting from the hands-on approach to stone setting of Fraser Hamilton.

Why not get to grips with stone setting or find out more about gemstones in 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.

 

Wonder Woman-Tough in cuffs

Following the recent success of the new incarnation of Wonder Woman I have taken a moment to appreciate the Amazonian princess’ excellent accessories. Although I feel I could probably do with a headband as ruggedly cool as hers while I grow out my fringe, the bullet deflecting wrist cuffs have a more practical appeal. So I’ve selected a range of favourite cuffs to inspire a gift for a wonderful woman (or man), or yourself (those pesky cuffs sometimes get stuck I find, oops).

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Peter Schmid has a range of designs with set stones fit for superheroes.

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This clever Gucci lion may not help with bullet dodging but certainly struck gold when it caught this pearl in its chops.

Simple designs in non-precious materials can inspire a strong look when worn as a cuff.

What super pieces have you been creating?If you are looking to put ideas into action join us in saving the world from unadorned fingers, ears, necks and wrists on one of our courses including our polymer clay cuffs one day 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.

Smog Diamonds – World Environment Day 5th June

How jewellery will save the planet!

What a relief. I was wondering who would do it. (All my hopes were on Leonardo Di Caprio)

Although jewellery is often inspired by the natural world there is often little opportunity to give back to mother earth. Last year Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde invented a way of creating jewellery whilst cleansing the skies. His towers in Beijing were designed to scoop up polluted air, filter out the filth and release it back into the city up to 75% cleaner. The carbon from the smog is then transformed by pressure into diamonds in under half an hour.

Roosegaarde doesn’t like waste, so fingers crossed for our portable diamond producing face masks to pound the London pavements in style, as I am fairly sure there might be some spare smog round these parts.

smog diamond

Ideas for saving the world with jewellery are always welcome. Or, for now, save your pocket in our Summer Sale with 25% off evening and day courses using code 04061701 when booking online or over the phone (0203 176 0546).

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.

 

 

Born to Rock! – Birthstones for June

June is just around the corner so our Sunday Studios manager Lil has been looking at some birthstone inspiration!

If you are born in June apparently you are romantic and curious. Even if you don’t believe everything the internet tells you about yourself, it is interesting to look at the birthstones for next month.

June babies get the choice of Moonstone, Alexandrite or Pearl and each presents its own type of mystery and romance.

Moonstone was once believed to be moonlight captured in solid form by ancient civilisations. Alexandrite, is capricious – changing colour from emerald green in the day to ruby red at night while Pearl is a naturally forming rarity from the depths of the sea.

For some reason I could never quite get on board with the appeal of a pearl until now. Pearl obviously lends itself so well to dainty pieces and bridal jewellery that I had dismissed them as a bit twee for me. However the following jewellers have managed to convince me of this stone’s potential to rock and a new appreciation for the traditional use of these calcium carbonate layered spheres. Metalurj is probably my favourite jeweller for unusual and interesting ways to set stones.

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Here the juxtaposition of the smoothness of a pearl next to oxidised silver means that these pieces have never been further from prissy. Another two designs that steer away from conventional trappings are this monochrome fishing net style ring and elaborate octopus hand piece-both cleverly referencing the pearl’s marine origin.

Sevan Bicakci 

Why not discover the potential of your birthstone and join us on one of our classes in Stone Setting or our Introduction to Gemstones classes? Or, if your birthday is around the corner, you might want to treat your curious side to a Pearl Knotting 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.

 

Jewellery inspiration – the Shape of things

Recent visits to the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin and the Mies Van der Rohe and James Stirling exhibition ‘Circling the Square’ at the RIBA in London have inspired Lil to consider the design power of basic geometric shapes.

Shapes can be fascinating and inspiring and their simple, dynamic qualities can be enough to inspire a lifetime of jewellery making. A triangle is nature’s strongest shape and is often utilised in construction and engineering. The artist Giotto was considered a genius for his perfect drawing of a freehand circle, so it’s potentially worth practising in your spare time to fast track your Mensa application. Squares have much to recommend them too; they are regular, reliable, foldable and mathematically very handy.

Kandinsky, who began teaching at the Bauhaus experimental art school in 1922, believed in a system where certain shapes attributed themselves to particular colours. He felt that yellow belonged as a triangle, squares should be red and circles blue. He also had some interesting feelings about green. Sadly he felt this colour was self-satisfied, like a fat cow, but with hidden strength. I love green, but also cows, so maybe he was onto something.

The current exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects, documents the debates of one site in the City of London.  Here we can see two architects, designing years apart and in different styles, result in one building after decades of controversy. Architectural drawings and meticulously conserved and reconstructed models illustrate the project’s processes with accompanying videos and paraphernalia to contextualise the building that never was and the one that might never have been. Both schemes have a lot to recommend them in terms of ‘shapespiration’ (inspiration from shapes, hoping this will catch on), from Mies’s famous quote ‘Less is more’ to the handling of Stirling’s building that now stands at No.1 Poultry, with its interplay of shape and colour. If Stirling’s sketches don’t leave you inspired and the beautiful 1930’s building of the RIBA headquarters doesn’t hit the spot, hopefully some of my favourite shapely jewellery finds below will.

Thinking just about within the box with this circle band trapped in a cube ring by Etsuko Sonobe.

 Kioko Hashimoto allows this circular cabochon to brazenly defy its true (Kandinsky designated) colour.

 

Rhona McCallum shows us how to circle with squares with this angular silver marvel.

Not so square-jeweller Amy Glenn utilises these two handy shapes in her edgy ring designs.

If you are looking for a great way to fast track shaping your ideas into a wearable beauties like these check out our Diploma Courses in Creative Jewellery Making.

Boxing clever or circling the drain? Let us know how your projects are going in the comments below. Are you inspired by geometric shapes? How do they relate to your designs?

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.

 

 

 

 

New mini documentary on jewellery designer Annoushka Dukas

Have you seen the 1000 Londoners project? Produced by Chocolate Films, they are 3-minute mini-documentaries that ‘aim to create a digital portrait of a city through 1000 of the people who identify themselves with it’.

We wanted to share the documentary from the founder of Links of London and Annoushka, Annoushka Ducas MBE who talks about being a jewellery designer and a mother.