Category Archives: jewellery inspiration

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?!

Here is Johnny Depp like a human Buckaroo, wearing whatever he wants and a tonne of it.

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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

 

Yacine Challal, founder of Jewellery multi-brand Carre Y, is another dude who is wearing it all and having a ball.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

From Junk to Jewels: a new trend for 2017

Eclecticism and extra-large jewellery peppered the catwalks of the collections for Spring/Summer 2017.

Could this be the long-awaited backlash against minimalism and the dainty?

These two trends really appeal to a hoarder- jeweller like me. I save all sorts of objects that I know will one day become something more than their original purpose. While the designers are reaching for lighters, ropes and bike chains, I favour LEGO, toy soldiers and sea glass. Bringing unconventional items into the mix can be a great way of introducing colour to metal work, presenting interesting challenges in setting or creating special findings to show them off.

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I recently discovered New Zealand contemporary jeweller Lisa Walker whose carefully-selected objects for neckpieces include children’s toys, pebbles, kitchen utensils and (in the most unwieldy case) a laptop suspended on a braided rope necklace. (As a wearer you may want to avoid going so big that you can’t leave the house – maybe stick to a Gameboy!) What’s interesting is that Walker is not averse to a more delicate piece of wire work. This contradiction left me feeling that it was the selection of the objects that was key rather than a consistent or conventional aesthetic. Items we select to keep close to us and statements made on gallery walls are not too far removed from each other.

Lisa Walker, 0+0=0 exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery

So why not embrace your inner hoarder and make a statement? For courses that may help with utilising your found objects in your jewellery making, like Cold Connections, Mixed Media Jewellery, Introduction to Jewellery Making and Make Your Own Silver Findings visit our website or give us a call.

Treasure shouldn’t stay buried

One of my own favourite pieces is a melted LEGO police containment unit. This came from an idea that goes way back to when my brother (now a chef) put a LEGO car in the oven when we were children and it melted into a cool, wobbly but still defined, shape. (Disclaimer: not endorsing melting LEGO in your oven!) The police unit piece is threaded onto a cord from a haberdashery with simple copper wrap finding to secure. It is one of my most complemented necklaces. So it’s always worth keeping hold of broken bits and pieces or experiments for jewellery projects.

 

Hopefully helpful hints:

-See what you have, keep a bead box, keep your mistakes, keep objects and images that interest you or remind you of a particular trip or a time. In the past I have made paper beads by rolling up strips from a comic or the insides of envelopes and securing with pva glue (not a necklace to wear in the shower).

-Find interesting ways of connecting them, see what looks good together. At this stage I find interesting pieces of broken chain or failed experiments from other projects come in handy. Drawing ideas or making a mock up before constructing them can always help develop something more interesting and avoid mishaps with your precious treasures.

What has inspired your personal collection so far this year? Tell us what you have been making.

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 – Pantone color of the year 2017

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The Pantone colour of the year is a result of research into trends in fashion and home interior design so it is worth being in the know. The colour of the year for 2017 is greenery. LJS tutor Anna Campbell looks at some jewellery inspiration for this colour trends.

 

Pantone are a commercial printing company known for their colour matching system. However, they have become most famous for their announcement of the colour of the year. This is discussed and agreed by industry insiders and is often influenced by fashion and interior trends that work well in advance and is just as important for jewellery makers.

The colour for 2017 is Greenery 15-0343 ‘a refreshing and revitalising shade symbolic of new beginnings’.

There are many green gemstones that will fit in with this trend including emerald, tourmaline, peridot, tsavorite garnet, labradorite, demantoid garnet, beryl, jade and apatite as well as other forms of jewellery including enamelling and beading.

Take a look at some examples to inspire you.

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Green bead bracelet from gifts with a cause

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Art deco earrings from Wixon Jewelers

 

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Resin ring by Sylwia Calus

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Emerald choker by Vanleles

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Robert Procop drop earrings

 

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Green diamond bracelet by Glittering Stones

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Open heart pendant by Tiffany

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Bronze clay labradorite necklace by Anna Mazon

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Sylvan green enamel bracelet

 

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Emerald ring by Niquesa

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs