Category Archives: jewellery inspiration

What to say about metal clay? A silversmith tries silver clay

Lil Adams is our Sunday studios manager and is a silversmith who loves wax carving. She decided to try one of our metal clay classes to see what she thought!

I’m usually one who likes to bash away at silver or cast a random object. But I I couldn’t resist the evening taster course in Metal Clay at London Jewellery School to see what all the fuss is about.

Metal clay is a little bit like magic. The material goes from being very much a malleable clay to a very much set solid silver. Which is still a surprise even though you know it will happen. It can be soldered onto, but also pieces can be attached with water before the heating process. This is a very versatile material to experiment with, it can be used to set stones, enamelled onto and have gold added to it. There are different types of metal clay, like paper clay that can be folded for delicate creations or origami shapes and metal clay that comes in a syringe used to make hollow beads or add detail. It’s a great way to make impressive results quickly. There is no waste, as any extra metal clay pieces can be ground down to use again. Metal clay can take a deep pattern that might be tricky to achieve from sheet metal and fine prints from fingerprints or even feathers. Larger pieces do need a kiln, there may be one accessible to you in your local area, and it’s worth trying community colleges if you are not quite ready to invest in your own.

Here are my creations from the silver clay taster class: (just a little snap on my phone, I have used patina!)

Metal Clay Earrings

Different textured asymmetrical earrings

& Metal Clay ring

Ring made from a leftover blob with stamped ampersand symbol.

So what’s the verdict for me and metal clay? I think it’s such a versatile material I would like to experiment with it more to try out different possibilities. It’s good to have my fingerprint in the metal clay pie in case a design idea I have would work best with metal clay. If my hammering arm tires or the noise starts to really annoy my neighbours I will definitely try immersing myself in the magical world of metal clay. As there are 9 other metal clay courses taught a London Jewellery School there is enough to get any metalhead fired up.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting. You can see her work on Instagram @smalltoad_jewellery

Dazzle – Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition returns to London

We’re really looking forward to the Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition Dazzle which is popping up again in its 37th year at Gallery@Oxo in London. Each year the exhibition brings to our attention the newest movers and shakers of the jewellery world with innovations in techniques and use of materials. Established international designers sit alongside recent graduates in this exciting show. And yes you can buy the jewellery.

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Cutting Edge: Dominika Kupcova- Twist Brooch in laser cut spray painted card.

DeeLyn Walsh

Golden Opportunity: Dee Lyn Walsh-Ring with Pyrite

Aillie Anderson

Fascinating Facets: Allie Anderson-Tube Facet Earrings

With 80 exhibitors there will be something for every type of jewellery fan. They have even kindly laid on an online shop if you can’t get to the exhibition.

Open from Sunday 11th November-Sunday 6th January, 10am-7pm weekdays and Saturdays, 11am-6pm Sundays. Entrance is free. We’re looking forward to it!

You’re invited! Free demonstrations and exclusive discount at our open evening

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You are invited! We’d love you to join us for our FREE open evening on Tuesday 30th October, 6.30-8.30pm in our Hatton Garden studios.

Enjoy a drink, some jewellery chat, meet our Founder Jessica Rose and our new manager Mirielle and learn techniques while watching our expert jewellery making demonstrations. Jeweller Michelle Leaver will be demonstrating enamelling and Amy Keeper will be demonstrating silversmithing techniques.

If you are interested in finding out more about our courses including our Jewellery Diplomas it’s a great opportunity to come and visit, see the studios and ask questions.

AND we are offering an exclusive discount on day and evening courses booked in person that evening. Take 20% off! We’ve announced that prices will rise on some of our courses in January so now’s a great time to book for 2018 and 2019 with discount.

No need to RSVP, just join us on the night!

Address: London Jewellery School. New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8JY

Any questions? Give us a call on 0203 176 0546 or email info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

New – Wax Carved Jewellery certification course at the London Jewellery School

wax-carved-silver-pendants-london-jewellery-schoolWould you like to work towards a certification in wax carved jewellery?

We are excited to announce our newest certification course – Certificate in Wax Carved Jewellery level 1, accredited by the London Jewellery School.

This course is suitable for beginners or those that have some wax carving experience, either experimenting at home or in a class.

Taught over 5 consecutive Wednesdays (10-5pm) you will go from beginners level (a great refresher for those who have tried it before) you will then move on to intermediate techniques, stone setting and finally work on your own project with support from a tutor.

Take a look at what you’ll learn:

Week 1 – Beginners Wax Carving 
– Basic designing for wax carving
– Qualities and properties of different forms of wax
– Using wax carving tools to achieve your designs
– Making finished wax carved masters ready to cast
– Full information on how and where to get your wax pieces cast locally and affordably and much more…
Week 2 – Intermediate Wax Carving 
– More complex pieces including pendants and earrings
– Designing and making a collection
– Working with symmetry and being able to make symmetrical pieces
– Developing ideas and creating pieces with multiple layers and much more…
Week 3 – Stone Setting in Wax 
– Qualities and properties of different forms of wax
– Rub over settings including setting cabochon and faceted stones
– Using wax carving tools to achieve your designs
– How to carve recesses for different sizes and shapes of stone
– Making finished wax carved masters ready to cast
Week 4 – Stone Setting in Wax 
– Claw settings
– How to carve recesses for different sizes and shapes of stone
– Making finished wax carved masters ready to cast
Week 5 – Own project 
A self-led workbench day allowing you time and support to work on a projecto of your own design with the support of a tutor
The cost of the course includes 2 cast pieces which will be organised, paid for and collected for you by LJS 

The course will be taught on Wednesdays, 10-5pm starting on 7th November 2018

And if you enrol on this new course, scroll down to see the special bonuses you’ll get!

Be inspired! Take a look at some of the course samples

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Also, check out the work of jeweller and LJS tutor Sophie Arnott who regularly wax carves her collections.

What do you get?

  • 4 taught classes (24 hours teaching time) in a small group at our Hatton Garden studios
  • 6 hours of supervised practice to work on your own designs with tutor support and guidance
  • Two pieces cast organised and collected for you by LJS

Click here to find out more about the course and to book your place >

jewellers-academy-logoBonus offer from Jewellers Academy
For those students that join us on this course starting in November, we are adding an additional bonus courtesy of our sister company Jewellers Academy.
You will get lifetime access to the Jewellers Academy online wax carving classes.
Beginners wax carving
Stone setting in wax (note, this has been filmed but is not yet published. You will get access to the course as soon as it is published)

With the online courses, you can watch the video modules as many times as you like and it works as a perfect refresher for your training at the London Jewellery School.

What are you waiting for? Now’s the time to really get to grips with this fantastic technique. Click here to enrol >

Any questions? Get in touch! Give us a call on 0203 176 0546 or email info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

World Architecture Day-1st October

Here we look at the many ways that jewellery can be made architectural as a celebration of World Architecture Day. Architects love putting on different creative hats within the design world. The humble chair is often the focus of their attentions, but they are equally inclined (rather than reclined) to turn their hands to the decoration of necks, fingers and ears. Architectural jewellery is a term, it seems, used for what modern architectural forms can bring to design, rather than the incorporating of the columns and domes of classical architecture into collections-which is frankly a shame.

However Vicki Amberly Smith doesn’t shy away from this creating recognisable mini-structures in meticulous detail. From Palladio to Lubetkin’s Penguin Pool in mini metal models, you can sport a whole building on your hand from her ring collection.

Starchitects who have dabbled in the jewellery world include Frank Gehry in collaboration with Tiffany & Co and the late, great Zaha Hadid with Georg Jensen.

As we know, the lure of jewellery making is strong and many a former architect has turned full-time jewellery maker, to the good fortune their customers and inspirational joy for us. Great jewellery is something you want to inhabit. It makes you feel good, just as a well-considered built environment should do. Jewellery should be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and improve the quality of your life (not a lot to ask. Is it?). It’s the kind of high-level design work that architects do for their clients, thinking about their needs, lifestyles and use of materials. I think we should feel privileged to be in the company of makers like the following converts Amanda Li Hope, Jeanne Marrell and Yeena Yoon.

Images: Juliet Sheath

 

These pieces by Jeanne Marrell highlight the precise and intricate use of materials in her work.

 

 

Reminiscent of an iconic building that may not have been built yet, Ute Decker makes pieces that are both sculptural and architectural in their flowing forms.

 

The bold, brights of Finest Imaginary are often directly inspired by architecture, making versions of houses that can travel with you – clearly better than just one home.

Usually it’s the buildings that an architect leaves behind that become their legacy. While jewellery can be a reminder of a loved one who has passed away. But in the case of Luis Barragan, artist Jill Magid ensured that the memory of the prominent Mexican architect was immortalised in a diamond ring. A 2 carat diamond ring was created from his ashes as an offering for his archive.

Of course, you may want to put your heart and soul into your jewellery making, but maybe not your mortal remains. So if you are feeling like you could be inspired by architecture, visit us at our new digs for the day at the RIBA. We will be partnering with the RIBA for a Wax Carving Class in magnificent Art Deco surroundings on Saturday 3rd November.

Sale now on at the London Jewellery School

We have good news and bad news. Firstly the bad news. We have reluctantly taken the decision to put up our class prices on 1st January 2019. We haven’t put our prices up for nearly 5 years and I’m sure you understand that as costs continue to increase we need to make sure these are covered.
HOWEVER ..
The good news is that we have a FLASH SALE on this week!

london-jewellery-school-flash-sale-10%-off

From now until Sunday 30th September you can get 10% off our day, taster and evening classes with discount code 24091801

And the EVEN BETTER NEWS is you can book classes scheduled up to December 2019 with discount! That means you won’t be hit with the price increase and you even get a discount on our current prices.

So now is the perfect time to book your courses for the rest of 2018 and 2019!

What would you like to learn? Do you want to improve your current skills or learn a completely new technique? With over 90 courses discounted in our sale there’s bound to be something that’s right for you. And with over a year’s worth of classes to choose from, we should have a date you can attend.

Don’t delay, the sale ends on Sunday and the price holds while there are spaces available

Terms and conditions apply. See our website for details >

Here’s some inspiration for you, all made by students in our classes recently. Would you like to learn these techniques too?

International Cat Day-Wednesday 8th August

On your finger, in your hair, cat jewellery everywhere! Happy International Cat Day, well they say every dog has his day so we shall take this purrfect opportunity to celebrate all things feline.

First we broach (brooch) the subject with Lea Stein. She is to cats what Cartier is to ducks and is one of the most recognised designers in plastic jewellery of the 20th Century.

Esty’s offering of items inspired by cats gives more than a paws for thought. Here I only scratch the surface.

There is no masking your inner cat lady with this nifty gold necklace.

More to get your claws into with these simple bead and wire rings.

Heads or tails? Decision made with this moggy.

Land on your feet every time even if black cats haven’t always brought you luck.

These little kitties have bows in their hair and they go in your hair – does it get any better?! (may have to lay off the catnip now)

If these offerings aren’t quite the cat’s pyjamas in your eyes, feline it’s time to get curious and try one of our courses.

 

 

 

 

Showcasing jewellery designed and made by our Diploma students

We have had two Diploma groups studying for their Intensive Diplomas this summer and we are really proud to share just a sample of the work they have made below. Many of them had not made jewellery before and what they have achieved over the course of the Diploma is fantastic, congratulations to you all.

If seeing this gorgeous jewellery is tempting you to consider a Diploma course with us we have three to choose from starting in September. Our Diploma courses are taught on one day per week allowing you to fit in studying with your other commitments. We also have flexible payment plans available and a maximum number of 7 per group ensuring you have individual support from our expert tutors. The focus of your courses is to help you develop your making skills.

If you’d like to try a variety of jewellery making techniques including silver, beading, metal clay, perspex, wax carving, resin and more then take a look at our Diploma in Creative Jewellery. We have Sunday and Wednesday options available starting this September.

If you would like to focus on silversmithing then our Diploma in Silver Jewellery is for you, run on a Saturday.

The above Diploma courses are both suitable for beginners or those with a little jewellery making experience.

If you are already advanced then our intensive Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery could be for you.

Diploma-in-silver-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-student-work

Diploma-in-silver-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-student-workDiploma-in-creative-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-student-workDiploma-in-creative-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-student-workDiploma-in-silver-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-student-work

Copyright of the jewellery designs above is held by each individual designer.

International Friendship Day-Monday 30th July

We all get by with a little help from our friends. Sometimes more than others. But there’s never a bad time to tell a friend you think they’re golden so we’re loving the reminder of International Friendship day today.

Erica Weiner’s range helpfully takes us from historic pieces to modern twists in the quest to express buddily love. Weiner has two New York stores that see a range of beautiful antique pieces and vintage-inspired ‘future heirlooms’ pass through their doors. If a trip to the big apple isn’t on the cards the website is a temptation on the purse strings as well as a lesson in the history of jewellery.

The seal of approval. Friendship rebus carved from amethyst with red foil behind was strung by the jeweller to make a pendant for the affectionate correspondent on the go.

The idea for this friendship bracelet/cuff was drawn from a personal history and given an upgrade from plaited plastic into cast polished brass – for the grown up with mates with great taste.

A friendship necklace is a lovely present. Maybe Argos won’t take care of it now we aren’t 10 anymore? These classic and customisable hearts are broken so you stay connected in spirit. It’s not just kids’ stuff, friends are important, let’s not forget it however you want to show it.

If your affections can’t be bought (and you would like to make a symbolic gift for a pal) or you want to learn more about the history of jewellery, of course we have a class you.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Catch you later.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting. You can see her work on instagram @smalltoad_jewellery