Category Archives: News

Summer sale – 25% off day and evening classes!

The weather may be changeable but our hot hot hot summer sale is here! Get 25% off day and evening classes!

You can book any available class in 2017 and can book on as many eligible classes as you want! But hurry, places go quickly so make sure you book early to get the class and date you want.

Day classes

You can choose from any of these day classes with available places

Beading and wire

Glass and enamel

Metal clay

Silver jewellery

Resin and perspex

Fashion and design

Wax carving

Polymer clay

Jewellery business

 

Evening classes

Or any of these evening classes!

 

How to book

You can book online or over the phone (0203 176 0546) with discount code 04061701

 

Which class have you had your eye on? Now’s the perfect time to book your place!

 

The pesky terms and conditions

25% discount is available on day classes and evening classes

Discount available on eligible classes while places are available or until 30th June 2017

Discount can be used as many times as you like!

Discount cannot be used on taster classes, certification classes, diploma courses, products from our shop, online or distance courses

Please check class dates carefully before booking as we regret we cannot give refunds or transfers

 

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.

 

 

You Can Make It metal clay residential conference

2017 brings us the first You Can Make It metal clay residential conference! LJS tutor Anna Campbell is among the expert teachers travelling from all over the world to teach. Here she gives you more information about the conference and how to book

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I’m really excited to be a part of the You Can Make It residential metal clay conference. If, like me, you have tried metal clay and love it, why not join us? You will learn so much from all the teachers and all your fellow metal clayers. People at all levels of experience with metal clay are welcome.

 

When? 24-26th March 2017

Where? Springfield Country Hotel Leisure Club and Spa, Grange Road, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5AL, England

 

What?

YCMI is a residential metal clay conference held in a spa hotel in Dorset. There is a selection of full day masterclasses, hands on sessions, demos and talks to choose from taking place over the weekend. There are so many techniques and projects you can learn over the course of the weekend – check out the website for all the information.

There is also the chance to get to know other metal clayers, take part in a charm swap (where you make a number of metal clay charms and swap with others to build up your own unique bracelet) and the ‘Your favourite make’ competition, visit the Make it Market and more.

The event is sponsored and subsidised to make it as affordable as possible. Check out the YCMI website for all the details and to book your place. You need to choose your masterclass and hands on sessions at the time of booking so don’t wait – you don’t want your favourite class to be fully booked before you get on! You can check class availability here.

 

Worldwide expert tutors

Tutors are travelling from all over the UK and the world and they include Wanaree Tanner, Anna Mazon, Joy Funnell, Tracey Spurgin, Julia Rai, Carol Douglas, Anna Campbell, Grainne Reynolds, Leigh Armstrong, Petra Cameron, Kim Paige, Shayna Bowles and a Japanese guest artist from Aida (manufacturers of Art Clay) tbc.

 

Check out the YCMI website for all the details and to book your place. I hope to see you there!

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Slight amendment! 20 Free Listings on Folksy!

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Huge apologies – there was a typo in the code for 20 free listings on Folksy we gave you yesterday!  Please use the code LSJ20 to sign up!  Here is the link to sign up – https://folksy.com/landing/sell-handmade-jewellery-online!

Apologies again and good luck with your new Folksy shops!

Happy Making! x

Previewing Art Clay 950

A couple of weeks ago LJS received a parcel from Metal Clay Ltd with a preview packet of the not yet available to buy Art Clay 950. Metal clay tutor Anna Campbell was very excited to have a go with it!

 

Art Clay 950 is a new formula of clay that is also being called sterling silver clay. I have written more here about what Art Clay 950 is in a previous blog post so do have a look back at this before reading the results of my testing.

With the preview packet we received I wanted to test out the following features of the clay and compare them to original Art Clay

  • Strength – both in the dry form and once fired
  • Ability to carve the clay in the dry form stage
  • Shrinkage (particularly important for rings)
  • Setting a fireable stone
  • Enamelling

I was able to make three projects with the clay:

 

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Ring shank with holes

I wouldn’t even try this in original Art Clay! I wanted to test the shrinkage and strength when I hammer it around once fired. It was 5 cards thick before firing.

 

Results

This shows why it is important to do a test of your kiln before you start firing a new clay. My ring shank broke very easily suggesting that my kiln is underfiring (is firing at a lower temperature than it says it is). It should have been strong enough to hammer around into a ring band.

When trying out a new clay for the first time I suggest you make one or two test strips of the clay that are 5 cards thick and about 6cm long. Fire them to the manufacturer’s guidelines and test them carefully when they come out of the kiln. Can you bend them without breaking? If they break it suggests that there may be a problem with your kiln firing and you might need to adjust your temperatures or length of firing. If that is the case I suggest contacted the clay manufacturer for advice.

 

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Ring

With the ring I wanted to test the shrinkage, ability to set a fireable stone and carving.

I made the ring and dried it. I made a paste with 950 and tap water and was easily able to stick the dried set stone to the dried ring. Carving was a dream! I really love that having tried to carve original Art Clay and found it was easy to break it!

 

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Finished stone set ring

Results

The piece fired well with very little warping. The stone did change colour but this does sometimes happen with cubic zirconia stones in the blue colours. I was advised to re-fire the piece in carbon as this sometimes changes the stone back to the original colour but did not in this case.

I am really pleased with this ring. I will be using this clay for all my rings in the future because it is so much stronger than the fine silver of the original Art Clay.

 

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Enamelled pendant

I used a Quick Art template and the Quick Art stylus from Metal Clay to make this pendant.

I rolled the stencilled section out at 3 cards thick. It was easy to cut out the stencil using the stylus which has a really fine tip. My previous needle tool made that quite difficult because the needle was thick so it was difficult to get a neat line.

I dried and filed the stencilled section. I then added it to a 2 card thick layer of wet clay. Once dried I cleaned the edges with baby wipes to ensure no join was visible.

 

Results

The piece had bowed slightly after firing, nothing that I was not expecting.

 

Enamelling

Original Art Clay is excellent for enamelling because it is fine silver and therefore does not require depletion guilding to counteract the effect of the copper. I was interested to see how different this would be to enamel.

I went about enamelling this piece in the same way as I would enamel fine silver (by this I mean I did no depletion guilding).

I cleaned the metal with pumice and dried it carefully. I used the wet packing technique to fill the cells that I had created with opaque enamels. I had already tested my chosen enamel colours on scrap silver to ensure the colours would work well.

I did two firings of the enamelling for about 1 minute 30 seconds each time. On the second firing I added more blue and red enamel as the cells didn’t look quite full.

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Coming out of the kiln the piece looked like this. There were some brown spots and some enamel on the silver (next to the top left blue cell)

I used a medium diagrit (a diamond impregnated mesh that is used like sandpaper to remove excess enamel from metal surfaces) and was easily able to clean the marks off the silver.  I then used a fine diagrit, wet and dry papers and 3M polishing papers to finish the piece.

I’m really pleased with the result. It was much better than I expected as I had expected to see more of an effect because I didn’t depletion guild.

 

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Finished Enamelled Pendant using Art Clay 950 by Anna Campbell

Conclusions

I am very impressed with this clay. I certainly plan to use it for my own pieces because of the strength, ability to hallmark as 925 sterling silver (which is popular with customers) and the price.

At LJS we have been discussing whether to create a class in Art Clay 950. I certainly think that an intermediate class would be popular and different from our current classes but the long kiln firing makes it difficult to fit this into our usual one day class format. We will certainly let you know if/when we launch an Art Clay 950 class and would love to hear from you about what you would like to learn to make with it. Please let us know in the comments below.

Art Clay 950 is available to buy now from Metal Clay Ltd and currently you also receive 10% extra free!

I’d like to thank Metal Clay for the opportunity to test out this clay before general release.

 

Come along for a demonstration

I will be demonstrating Art Clay 950 and showing all the samples of pieces I have made at the free Studio Warming at London Jewellery School in our new studios on 29th September 2016 from 6.30pm. There will also be demos of water casting and stacking rings.

RSVP by 20th September to info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

 

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

I’d love to see you there and chat to you about this new clay!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Introducing Art Clay 950

We are very excited to announce that Art Clay are releasing a new sterling silver clay Art Clay 950 on 1st September! Metal clay tutor, Anna Campbell, gives you the low down.

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What is it?

This is a new product from Art Clay, one of the two main suppliers of silver clay in the world.  Silver clay is made up of fine silver particles, an organic binder and water. Art Clay 950 is 95% silver and 5% copper. The original Art Clay (the one we use in class) is a purer silver, 99% silver and 1% copper.

 

What are the benefits?

 

1. Strength

You might be thinking, well the original Art Clay is a purer silver so isn’t that better? The answer, of course, is it depends on what you want! Art Clay 950 is 60% stronger than original Art Clay because of the copper content. This means it is more suitable for making rings, bracelets etc and other items that might suffer more wear and tear.

 

2. Hallmarking

In the UK silver up to 958 purity is hallmarked as sterling silver (925). Silver purity over 958 is considered Britannia silver (958), and over 990 is hallmarked as fine silver (999).

Sterling silver is recognised by UK consumers more than Britannia and fine silver and so for those of you hallmarking and selling your work this is a big plus.

 

3. Pre-mixed

Many of the clays on the market need to be mixed and kneaded before you can start work but this is pre-mixed, smooth and ready to use out of the packet (just like the original Art Clay).

 

4. Cost

At the time of writing, Art Clay 950 is slightly cheaper than original Art Clay.

 

Other considerations

 

1. Firing

The one downside for the hobby silver clay jeweller is that this clay does need to be kiln fired. This is the same with any of the sterling silver clays I have seen on the market. However, on the plus side this does not need to be done in carbon and if you have a programmable kiln this is easy to set up.

 

2. The firing schedule

  1. Once your piece is completely dry put it on a kiln shelf, in a cool kiln
  2. Heat up to 500C and hold for 30 minutes (this first step burns off the binder)
  3. Heat up to 850C and hold for 60 minutes (this final firing sinters the metal particles)

 

The kiln can heat up at full speed, and doesn’t need to cool off between the two stages. Avoid moving the piece after the first firing step as it will be fragile before sintering.

 

3. Using the clay

I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try it out and will report back on the blog when I do. However, I have heard from those who have used it that it has a longer drying time. This could be an advantage as we often want a little more time before our clay starts to dry out! For those who are interested in more information have a look at this clear and interesting blog post on 950 by Henriëtte van Battum

 

4. Where can I buy it?

Metal Clay Ltd currently have a pre-order available on their website of 25g and 50g packs, including 10% extra free. The clay is due to be shipped on 1st September 2016. We hope also to sell it in our pop up shop after the launch (which is open 7 days a week).

 

Art Clay 950 class at LJS

I am looking at creating an Art Clay 950 class that uses the clay to its advantages e.g. in making a ring. The class would not be for beginners but for intermediate and advanced metal clay makers. The challenges are the longer drying time and longer firing time meaning that it might be difficult to fit the class into our normal one day schedule. If you are interested in attending a class in Art Clay 950 please let us know via the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Exciting New Class – Metal Clay Guided Workshop!

London Jewellery School Blog - Guided Metal Clay Workshop

 

Tutor Anna Campbell will be hosting our first ever Metal Clay Guided Workshop on Thursday 30th June, but what is it?

Would you love to work on your own silver clay projects in our well equipped workshop with an expert tutor on hand? Do you find you achieve more during a class than you ever can at home?

At LJS we are trialling the metal clay guided workshop, an opportunity for you to work on your own designs and project ideas and to have help and support from an expert tutor and your fellow students. The idea for this workshop has come from feedback from our more experienced students who wanted a way to develop their skills and work alongside other metal clayers in a supportive and inspiring environment.

Who is the guided workshop for?

The metal clay guided workshops are designed for intermediate and advanced silver clay students. These sessions are different from our usual classes as there will be no organised tuition, you bring along your own designs and ideas!

What kinds of projects can I work on?

It is up to you! The workshop day is self-directed.

Some examples of projects you might like to work on

  • Cufflinks and stud earrings for soldering
  • Silver clay brooch (I suggest the large screw in silver brooch pin from metalclay.co.uk sku number K059A)
  • Pendant
  • Earrings

 

Project brief

We ask you to email us at least a week before the workshop session with a brief project outline. This is so I can prepare and ensure I am able to help you with what you want to do. Please include details of any equipment you would like to use e.g. the kiln.

Ensure you email this through to info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk at least 7 days before the class or we cannot guarantee the support you require for the workshop.


What do you need to bring?

You need to provide all the materials you will need for the day including your silver clay. We do have some materials available to purchase in our pop up shop but we can’t guarantee that we’ll have what you need on the day so get organised in advance. You are welcome to phone us a week in advance to set aside any items you would like to purchase on the day in order to ensure it is available. Otherwise we recommend www.metalclay.co.uk for online orders or Cooksons Gold for buying in person in London.

 

What do LJS provide?

We will provide the following for use on the day

  • Silver clay tool kit e.g. mat, clay roller, textures, cookie cutters etc
  • Dehydrator for quick drying of the clay
  • Torch firing and soldering equipment
  • Kiln
  • Barrel polisher
  • Pickle
  • Expert silver clay tutor on hand to answer questions and provide one to one support

 

Can I use a different metal clay?

You are welcome to use silver Art Clay or PMC. We will not be accepting workshop attendees using other metal clays at this time because of the contamination of tools. If you are interested in working with other metal clays in the future please do let us know and we will consider scheduling a session if there is enough interest.

 

What if I can’t do 30th June but am still interested in attending?

As we are trialling this style of workshop it would be great if you could let us know if you would like to attend a guided workshop in the future. This would give us an indication if it’s worth adding more dates to the calendar. Please email us on info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk to let us know!
If you have any further questions about the guided workshop do get in touch by email or phone. I hope to see you there!

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Free tickets for Made in Clerkenwell open studios in May

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Three of our tutors work from their jewellery studios at Craft Central, near Farringdon/St Pauls stations. They will be participating in the open studio event coming up, Made in Clerkenwell and invite you to come and nose around the studios!

 

What is Made in Clerkenwell?

Made in Clerkenwell ‘is a bi-annual celebration of Craft Central resident designer-makers and Network members. Held across two Victorian buildings, this is an opportunity for the public to look ‘behind the scenes’ and explore the studios of our renowned design community.

 

You’ll find jewellery, fashion, interior products, ceramics, accessories and traditional crafts by over 100 UK designer makers. Choose a gift, commission a unique piece, find a bespoke design service or just browse … this shopping treat is topped off by meeting the maker.’

 

LJS tutors

The LJS tutors that will be participating in the open studios are

 

Sima Vaziry studio 52, 21 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC14 0DX

Penny Akester studio 36, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

Anna Campbell studio 36, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

 

When?

Wednesday 18 May, 5 – 8pm

Thursday 19 – Friday 20 May, 12 – 8pm

Saturday 21 May 12 – 5pm

 

Where?

Craft Central have two buildings near Farringdon station where they rent out studios to artists and crafters. Your ticket covers entry to both buildings

 

21 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC14 0DX

33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

 

Free tickets

To get a free ticket you need to pre-register. Use this link here. Tickets will be £5 on the door.

Author:  Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Pass It Along – a new way to inspire jewellers

LJS tutor Penny Akester started the Pass It Along jewellery challenge this year. But what is it?

 

The Pass It Along project is a group jewellery making challenge – it was open to any jeweller who was interested in challenging themselves. It is designed to enable unexpected and unplanned collaboration between makers – to generate new ideas and inspiration, as well as connections with other jewellers.

The idea is based on the idea of a chain letter, game of pass the parcel, or a game of consequences – everyone taking part is allocated one of three themes, and starts to make a piece of jewellery, they don’t complete the piece however, they pass it along to someone else in the group that will then continue work on the jewel. It will be passed along to a third person who will pull the piece together and complete it / make it wearable, then on to a fourth who will get to keep the piece, and who will share images of the piece. It means that everyone who signs up will get to take part at each stage of the project, and everyone gets to keep a jewel too.

The groupings are completely random between all of those that signed up, and the idea is that we will all have different skills, styles of work and use different materials, so at the pieces are passed along between us, they should give challenging design opportunities of how to work with something unexpected, that we are not used to dealing with, and in technical terms as the piece we receive may not be in materials we are familiar with working with.

How did the project come about?

It came about as I was looking for a personal challenge or collaborative project to take part in to keep me inspired and trying new things with my jewellery making, but I didn’t see one that was open for applications at the time so I thought I’d organise my own.

Who is involved in the project?

So far it’s been going really well – there are 56 people signed up and taking part from all around the UK (including several other LJS tutors), Europe and the USA and we are currently about halfway through stage 2. If you check out our facebook page (see below) you will be able to get an idea of all the different jewellers that are taking part – I’m sharing links to the work of all the participating jewellers, one by one on this page.

More information is available on the dedicated web page and on our facebook page.

We are keeping the images of work in progress private until all of the pieces are completed, so as not to influence each other and so that we all get an exciting surprise at the end but images should start appearing online on these pages towards the end of April. You can also check out the hashtag #passitalongproject on Instagram and twitter around that time.

We will be featuring some images of some of the completed pieces along with reflections from other LJS tutors involved in the project in future blog posts

Making Jewellery magazine offer to LJS students

The London Jewellery School team regulary contribute projects or articles to Making Jewellery magazine and it’s editor Sian Hamilton has spoken at the school and written guest blogs for us.

And now because we work closely together, the magazine has come up with an exclusive offer just for the friends and students of LJS.

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The magazine if offering you a  25% discount on subscribing to the magazine and a free beads kit from Beads Unlimited worth £40 when you subscribe for a year. This the discount makes the 12-issue subscription £45 instead of £59.88. To find out more and to subscribe please click here

About Making Jewellery

Making Jewellery is the UK’s first and best-selling jewellery magazine. Each month we feature more than 45 projects to make stylish, fashionable and professional-looking jewellery. There are step-by step projects for every skill level using a variety of techniques from simple stringing to metal clays, polymer, shrink plastic, wirework, silversmithing, resin, lampworking and more. Making Jewellery offers an innovative approach to jewellery making with instruction on basic techniques and insight into the creative minds of leading makers.