Category Archives: Inspirational Jewellers

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.

double-necklace-latest-jewelry-trends-for-fall-winter-2017-chanel-london-jewellery-school-blog

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.

Shelley-James-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-blog

 

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

Lydia-Courteille,-bat-ring-london-jewellery-school-blog

 

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

alexander-mcqueen-earrings-london-jewellery-school-blog

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.

Afro-Deco-skull-ring-london-jewellery-school-blog

While Sophie has favoured engraving for this silver signet ring.

Sophie-Arnott-Skull-Ring-london-jewellery-school-blog

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.

barbara-paganin-london-jewellery-school-blog-halloween

 

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.

 

 

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.

london-jewellery-school-blog-Elizabeth-Taylor-in-pool-with-parrot-sapphire

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.

london-jewellery-school-blog-lydia-courteille-sapphire

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

london-jewellery-school-blog-sapphire-river-gold-ring-polly-waleslondon-jewellery-school-blog-sapphire-river-gold-skull-ring-polly-wales

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.

Power of Flowers – flowers in jewellery design

By definition the flower power of the late sixties and seventies was about non-violent protest and the use of flowers in this way became a symbol of a peaceful approach.

Flowers are often seen in a whimsical light, not implying strength. However their omnipresence in fashion indicates that these natural beauties are a force to be reckoned with. They may appear small on their own but massed together they have real power.

This season there is no room for wallflowers or shrinking violets in our florals. Loewe models we’re sporting bold leather lily cuffs in a range of colours.

london-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-Loewe-lily-cuff

Delpozo had literal armfuls of blooms on lightweight gloves (a big statement but still ‘armless fun for wearability).

london-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-Delpozo-earrings

Delpozo model getting an earful from these artificial green blooms

Many of my most admired jewellers have a flowery muse. Christopher Thompson-Royds with his flattened, hand painted pieces on precious metals is enough to make you dust off your childhood flower pressing skills and practice some dainty watercolours. The kinetic delights of Victoria Walker are also inspired by natural forms and happily mirror the movements of plants and flowers.

london-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-christopher-thompson-roydlondon-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-Lotus-Victoria-Walker

Floral themes are here to stay and are commanding our attention.

london-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-Heng-Lee-Floral-Embroidery-Pixel

Heng Lee creates these pixelated embroidery in silver that appear like florals of the future.

london-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-Rosa-Pietsch-necklace

Rosa Pietschs’ laser cut nouveau neckpiece has a chunky clout but keeps a delicate visual.

london-jewellery-school-blog-power-of-flowers-Slawa-Tchorzewska-ring

Slawa Tchorzewska  is here to take you on a walk on the wild side with these organic sproutings.

Five faves for finding flowers in the big smoke

St James’s Park-a trundle around the grounds of one of London’s free public garden can blow out the cobwebs and let in some colourful ideas this summer.

Kew– Kew has amazing architecture, plants, flowers and a high walk to recommend it.

Barbican conservatory-for the all-weather plant lover. These brutally beautiful surroundings never fail to disappoint. Open Sundays 12-5pm. Free.

Chelsea Physic Garden, opening times vary with some late hours in the summer. This often hidden treasure is ticketed treat.

Tell us what ideas and projects do you have blossoming right now?

And if you are looking for a class to help nip your ideas in the bud take a look at our website.

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.

August Birthstones-Spin Spin Spinel

Well, August child, not much to live up to here, but you are the best person anyone will ever know!

Your birthstones are Peridot, Sardonyx, Spinel, so you are spoilt in this area as well as having a splendid personality. Peridot will protect you from evil with its greeny magic and bring you good fortune. Spinel can masquerade as Ruby (which can only be a good thing). In fact, the Black Prince’s Ruby that dominates the front of the Crown, of the Crown Jewels fame, is a sneaky little (or not so little) Spinel (it weighs 34g). And Saydonyx with its layered formation, which is traditionally crafted into cameos could be used to capture your no doubt delightful profile.

Only the most fabulous of jewels could be appropriate for you August lion kings and queens. Go wild with the possibilities of summer colour as here with Solange Azagury’s marvellously fruity ring brings us an opal sandwich with spinel bread.

london-jewellery-school-blog-solange-azagury-opal-spinel-ring

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.

Who needs beads? The (w)hole of civilisation

It is National Beading Week so we have been taking a look at how beads have been used in contemporary jewellery designs

A bead can be anything threadable. The first pieces of jewellery were beads made from shells, while the trading of beads was one of the first forms of currency leading to the development of language. Oh yeah and they are pretty too.

It’s worth keeping your beady eye on the graduates spilling out of this year’s degree shows. They are fresh and dynamic and completely varied. Some of the bright young things of Central Saint Martins have favoured using beads this year and are creating some great examples of the potential for striking results that can be achieved. Rosanna Batt uses delicate threads of shimmering beads to trace the outlines of the body to create garments that challenge traditional ideas of function in clothing and jewellery as decoration.

London-jewellery-school-blog-rosanna-batt

Rosanna Batt

Bead counting toys have been a traditional sight in the doctor or dentist waiting room aiding the development of fine motor skills in children. Also used as the inspiration for Dani Lane’s Abacus Maximus rings, a delight for any kidult stuck in a dull meeting.

London-jewellery-school-blog-dani-lane-abacus-maximus-ring

Dani Lane

Teri Howes takes simple bead threading to another level with her knitted and crochet fine jewellery pieces.

London-jewellery-school-blog-terri-howes

Terri Howes

The tiny beads on Just Rocks and Coral’s yellow waterfall necklace work as a team to make for a bold statement and a cool cascade of colour for the summer.

London-jewellery-school-blog-Mellow-Yellow-Just-Rocks-and-Coral

Just rocks and coral

Words can’t explain the staggering potential of the humble concept of these items of adornment, but it may be thanks to them that we can use language to attempt it.

Take a look at this video by our founder/director Jessica Rose explaining a simple and effective way of making a quartz crystal bead necklace that can be used for any type of bead.

Inspired? Take a look at our beading classes run at our London studios and our free online course with Jewellery School Online

 

 

 

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.

17th_century-abacus-ring-london-jewellery-school-blog-technology-in-jewellery

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.

Fan neckpiece

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!

geek emoji

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

leonie-marks-bangle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewellery

 

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.   

 

leonie-marks-pendant-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewellery

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.

sandra-lcardle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-silver-earrings

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.

ruby_triptych_1tessametcalfe

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.