Category Archives: jewellery inspiration

Pantone Colour of 2018-Ultra Violet-will purple reign again?

Said to communicate originality and visionary thinking towards the future, Ultra-Violet makes a welcome entrance to kick start 2018- a bit of forward thinking is just what we need. Take a look at how these jewellers have also taken to this shade to inspire your own creations this year.

Jewellers have many a purple shade of stone they can turn to in celebration of this announcement from Pantone, such as types of Sapphire, Tanzanite, Tourmaline and of course Amethyst. Though there are many who have favoured alternative materials to celebrate the colour purple too.

Tara Locklear uses materials away from their natural environment to create bright and beautiful pieces. Her work often exposes the colourful layers of recycled skateboard decks in her bold pieces, as with this cheeky pair of earrings.

Here we see a paler shade of concrete tinged with gold for a neckpiece of intriguing forms.

All colours seem to naturally resonate with Britta Boeckmann’s work in wood and resin including including this bold shade.

 

You might feel you want to go all out with Ultra Violet this year, change your world, paint a feature wall. Or you could take a splodge from Xenia Walschikow’s palette and put your paint to a portable decorative use.  These experiments in the colour of the moment are the makings of what will become statement neckpieces and bold gestural earrings.

Our pal purple pops up again to offset these strong, yet light and flexible neck art pieces by Walschikow.

There is always room to ‘kick it old skool’ with a twist when working with a strong colour. As we see with this pink topaz in its unusual contrasting yellow lozenge setting.

Whatever medium you favour in your making, maybe try letting in some purple tones to guide your future this year with Ultra Violet.

January Birthstones-Garnet-Give me strength

Weary or rested from celebrating or resting over the December break, January may feel like a rough month to have a birthday. But these January folks are not down-hearted. They are ambitious leaders, who love to learn new things and take living seriously. They also have a cracking birthstone in garnet to back them up, thought to bring strength, good health and prosperity.

This beautiful rock can be found in many colours but most commonly in the red of almandine and pyrope garnets. Iron and magnesium cause the colour differences in these stones.

Garnet has been used in digit decoration from Romans times, with these simple styles still holding their own in contemporary adornment as we see here in this mercury ring by Astley Clarke.

It is thought that the name garnet derives from the Latin for pomegranate ‘granatum’, due to the similarities of colour of the fruity innards. This is a possibility explored in detail by ‘Winged Lion‘ jeweller Sergey Zhiboedov with their garnet pomegranate pieces.

 

Another fruity offering comes from Alison Maclead with this ring that suggests a cluster of berries or grapes.

 

London Jewellery School tutor Helen Walls often illustrates the point that a single gem against silver is a winning combination and proves this again with a simple blood-red garnet droplet from a textured hoop.

So if it’s a little or a lot of your birthstone you wish to pin down to your crown. Have no fear to start the year, take the lead and get some inspiration in one of our classes.

Birthstones for December-Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise-Wild blue yonder

As the year draws to an end sometimes we start to question things. Reflect. What will we do next year? What is the meaning of life? Why is the sky blue (or probably grey)? Well sorry, haven’t got the answer to those, ask google maybe. But we can round off the year by discussing why Turquoise is blue and sometimes greener and why Tanzanite is called Tanzanite.

So, you fun December kids have a deep pool of blue shades to choose from as birthstones in these three.

Turquoise gets its name from the Turkish stone-trade route that brought it to Europe. Sky blue is the rarest colour and is caused by the presence of copper in its composition, or, alternatively when there is more of a tinge of green, this is due to iron. Veins of the ‘host rock’ can be seen in many stones. Turquoise was one of the first stones to be mined and was mined and traded in many countries around the world. Turquoise has been used in ornamentation in ancient cultures including Egypt and is a respected gemstone in Native American culture, used by tribal healers and worn by warriors wishing to succeed in battle.

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Pamela Love

Zircon can come in many colours, its blue variety is created through heat treatment. The naturally brown zircons are the most common and the red variety is the most rare and expensive. Zircon was used for centuries in Indian and Sri Lankan jewellery. It is said to give a restful night’s sleep, absorb negative vibrations and have strong healing properties. Not bad for a stone that can be confused with the completely man-made, however useful, cubic zirconia.

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Mark Nuell

Tanzanite was discovered in Tanzania, as late as 1967, hence the name. The blue of tanzanite is a unique colour, different to other blue gems and was introduced to the world of mainstream jewellery by Tiffany and Co. This stone is thought to cleanse the chakras and help the wearer pursue their dreams and seek their purpose in life. Who said jewellery wasn’t the answer?

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Tiffany & Co

So, whether you chose Turquoise, Zircon or Tanzanite to guide you. Wishing you a restful end of the year, the renewed energy to pursue your dreams in the new year and success in any battles you may encounter. Maybe you could start by pursuing 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.

 

Strong the force is with these ones

The latest Star Wars film is out soon. Hurray hurrah. It would be tempting to parade the range of jewellery that directly references this ongoing intergalactic saga. Let’s face it any ring set that reminds you of the ‘I love you, I know’ moment can only be a good thing, although I would insist on wearing both of them right now to make the late Carrie Fischer proud. So, let’s voyage to a galaxy not so far away and a time not so long ago to fill this space (the final frontier) – sorry, that’s the other one)).

What came first the deco or the droid? -when looking at the ring below I can’t help but wonder if George Lucas was a fan of Art Deco jeweller Gerard Sandor.

Gerard Sandor ring

The exhibitors at the Goldsmiths Fair in October this year provided a plethora of inspiring jewels that feel like they could nod to that future/past in spacetime.

Evgeniia Balashova utilises 3D printing techniques to very different ends with her varied portfolio of work, yet retains an overarching feeling of innovation with a simple use of colour and a mixture of precious materials and newer technology. I feel like this neck-piece gives an impression of the flowing robes and sometimes earlobes of our Star Wars motley crew.

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Susi Hines Orbis collection have a definite planetary appearance and their dark encrusted spheres are indeed reminiscent of the Death Star. This collection was inspired by Renaissance mapping of the world and is described as celestial globes with hidden surprises in these kinetic rings.

 

Finally you can look to these earrings by Margaux Clavel for a dainty homage to the regal dressing up box of Padme Amidala.

Clavel-Margaux

 

May the force be with you and in your making too.

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.

 

International Men’s Day-A man that can wear bling is a wonderful thing

Men’s day is a funny thing. As a child if you asked on Mother’s or Father’s day when it would be children’s day, I am sure you got the same answer I did. It’s everyday dummy! (maybe minus the dummy-I’m sure you have lovely parents).

Ok, so I’m not saying that its men’s day every day and this is meant to be celebratory of 50% (rough and ever changing percentage) of the population after all. But this is by no means an equal world and one of those inequalities in my eyes is that men often get totally jipped in terms great jewellery. Very few can pull it off (or want to).

Please take this one with an extra pinch of salt as there are great jewellers out there making very wearable and desirable pieces for men, something rugged or simple will do the trick and a well-made wedding band is a glorious thing. Personally I like ‘man jewellery’ that doesn’t look like it’s made for a bloke, keeping the fun, colourful, bold or delicate possibilities that are available for women’s adornment. Surely all things should be fair in a love affair with bling.

No?! Well, when I make jewellery for a buddy, of either sex, I like to think about what they are into. This shell neckpiece by David Bielander featured in an exhibition at Gallery SO earlier this year appeals to me in that way:

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Men like football, right?!

Johnny Depp often wears his jewellery like a human Buckaroo, wearing whatever he wants and a tonne of it and Yacine Challal, founder of Jewellery multi-brand Carre Y, is another dude who is wearing it all and having a ball.

 

Is he/are you into fishing? Well Miansai could get him/you hooked on jewellery too with this simple slightly abstracted cuffy bangle. Similarly lluukk have really nailed it with their mangles (man bangle) for DIY lovers.

Hook bangle

 

 

And we can’t forget the true king of bling on this on this day, here with a lovely message about remembering to appreciate your mother, ahhhh.

So boys, if you are still not convinced that jewellery is for you (but why?!), maybe its time to make your mother something special 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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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.

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Dani Lane

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

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.

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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.