Category Archives: Uncategorized

Don’t Step On A Bee Day 🐝-Tuesday 10th July

The buzz on the street is that bees are pretty important to this little rock we call home.  The bee population in some countries has halved over the last decade and their pollination discos affect far more than just honey production 🍯.

Our busy worker mates are essential to a healthy environment and the diversity of the food that we eat. Friends of the Earth wax lyrical about their importance and what we can do to help save their depleting populations. So, here I am showing you some be(e)auties we can be(e)jewel ourselves with as a reminder to not step on our fuzzy friends. Hurting them, hurts us in more ways than one.

Alex Monroe with his world renowned Bumblebee necklace is a modern British classic.

This childlike bee drawing on a signet ring from Monroe is still fit for a Queen.

Goldsmiths Fair favourite Max Danger’s new collections are responding to his research into bees and beekeeping.

Beehive handmade brings us this dainty piece. Be(e)cause simplicity is sometimes the way.

Hopefully the bees were finished with this honeycomb when the jeweller snaffled them for this organic tessellation treat.

So let’s attempt to halt the plight of the bumble bee, get inspired by their busyiness and make a beeline for your jewellery bench or one of our courses.

 

 

 

 

Introducing our new Gemmology tutor – Deborah Mazza

Do you wish you had more knowledge about gemstones? To feel more confident when talking to customers or when choosing stones to buy? We have just created a new one-day Gemstones Masterclass and want to introduce our new expert tutor Deborah Mazza.

deborah-mazza-tutor-london-jewellery-schoolTell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I was born in Sicily, I am bilingual as my mother is English and my father Italian. I moved to Germany in 1984 and trained as a gemmologist with the Deutsche Gemmologische Gesellschaft and the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. I taught gemmology to English classes in the German Gemmological Association, and besides buying and selling gems, I also worked as a jewellery valuer. I then attained a bachelor in Business in 2006. When I moved back to the UK I carried on jewellery valuations with my own company. I hold the Certificate of Appraisal Theory with the National Association of Jewellers and also teach with Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain)

What’s been your general career path?

All through my career, I have worked with gems and jewellery, it has been my life passion and it still fascinates me. I worked in the gems and jewellery trade in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, the gemstone centre in Europe; there they buy and sell gemstones to the whole world, it is still the leading gem lapidary and carving centre.

I have also finally started making jewellery, which I was unable to do before due to family commitments.

gemstone-masterclass-london-jewellery-schoolWhat are your goals for the future?

My children have grown up and moved out, allowing me to collaborate in writing Vladyslav Yavorsky’s latest book, Terra Connoisseur – Gemstones, and organising trips to meet Idar-Oberstein’s craftspeople.

I have just finished my bachelor in Art History at Goldsmiths University. In autumn 2018 I am starting my masters, as I think we need a theory of jewellery and gemstones similar to the theory of art.

What is your favourite gemstone why?

I have no favourite gemstone, which sounds strange, because I just love them all for their wide colour variations and effects, this is the main reason why I wear lots of jewellery, now also made by myself.

Find out more about Deborah’s work on her website http://www.laetherstone.com/

You can join Deborah for our new Gemstone masterclass. Learn about gemstone identification, cleaning and handling, colour, hardness, durability and much more. If you enrol for a weekday class you will also visit A E Ward gemstone suppliers in Hatton Garden 

To find out more about the course and to enrol click here

 

Student jeweller of the month for June – Neena Shilvock

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I have a day job that is far removed from anything creative, I am an obstetrician and gynaecologist and have been a consultant at a hospital in the Midlands for twenty years. About seven years ago, after a devastating bereavement, I looked for a form of distraction therapy and found my love for jewellery making. At first, I went to a class at the local college, which actually put me off as it was too crowded and I found using the saw and learning how to solder very difficult in that setting. I later found another school, where the setting was more intimate and there were fewer pupils, but I have yet to go back to the jewellers saw after that initial traumatic experience.

The need to escape the saw took me towards wirework and metal clay, polymer clay and resin, as well as beading and soutache. but I have accepted that I will have to bite the bullet at some stage as my interests have leaned towards fold forming and soldering – it seems silly now to be so anxious about something that is potentially going to change the way I design and make my jewellery.

 

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Dew fairy dreams – copyright Neena Shilvock

What’s been your general career path?

I like to make large statement necklaces and also like to make a few of the elements in each piece myself. I make pendants, beads and clasps of various different materials and incorporate them into my jewellery.

I started with a small client base, and have gradually increased it and would like to see it grow bigger. As I see it, there must be women out there like me, who like to wear big, bold and beautiful jewellery, and I’m the woman to make it for them.

I’ve written tutorials for Bead and Jewellery Magazine for a couple of years and found that process quite interesting, I’m used to teaching in my day job, but capturing a process in its totality using a camera was new to me.

I wrote my own website and update it regularly myself. I take my own photographs, having been to a couple of photography classes to learn how to use my camera and have recently begun to use live models to display some of my pieces.

When did your interest in jewellery making start?

I’ve always loved jewellery and was encouraged in this passion by my mother.  When I saw a jewellery making class advertised at the local college I jumped at the chance, although I had gone to the open day with the intention of learning a language. Since then I’ve become so absorbed by jewellery making that I seem to be engaged in it one way or another every spare moment I have. Every room in my house has certainly been taken over by beads and jewellery making paraphernalia.

Which class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?

I went to the soutache class one year as I am always looking for a way to add colour to my pieces, and to make my own components. The next year saw me developing an interest in metalsmithing and fold forming, and I decided to learn how to solder and took a soldering class which gave me the confidence to go away and try it out for myself.

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Dew fairy dreams – copyright Neena Shilvock

What are your goals for the future?

I’d like to find a client base of ‘sophisticated extroverts’ and be stocked in boutiques and art galleries, worn by celebrities and be a well-known name in the world of statement jewellery, although I would like to make mainly one-off or limited edition pieces. I’d like to work with semi-precious gemstones and have my jewellery worn with pleasure by discerning women who are unafraid to be stand up and be counted.

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

I made a piece called Dew Fairy Dreams (see left) – it had my favourite ginkgo leaves that I made in Faux jade out of polymer clay, wirework and was very pretty. It was entirely my own design and I found the name from a poem, because of the pearls that were sprinkled through the piece like dew drops. The poet, when I asked his permission to use the name loved my necklace and agreed readily, which was very encouraging

 

A selection of Neena’s work is currently on display at the London Jewellery School

See more of Neena’s work

Website www.capriliciousjewellery.com

Shop link  – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CapriliciousJewelry

Facebook business page – https://www.facebook.com/CapriliciousJewellery

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/capriliciousjewellery_by_neena/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nshilv

Ed Sheeran’s engagement ring 💍- starting a new trend for men?

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Ed Sheeran, photo by Eva Rinaldi

Congratulations to Ed Sheeran and his fiance Cherry Seaborn on their engagement.

As we are always pretty excited about a) rings and b) weddings we were really interested to read that Ed is wearing an engagement ring. Engagement rings for men are not traditional in the UK but perhaps it’s time to consider it as in other countries the customs around weddings are different. In Sweden it is traditional for both men and women to wear plain bands as an engagement ring and then only the woman receives an additional ring on the wedding day. In Chile both men and women wear engagement rings on their right hand and they move these to their left hand when they’re married (facts thanks to Jewellery Editor).

We were then doubly pleased to hear Sheeran say in an interview with the Sun “I never saw why men didn’t wear engagement rings, Cherry made it for me herself out of silver clay. I really like it.”

Yay for silver clay! And for making your own rings!

If you’d like to learn how to make your own ring, for any reason, we have some options for you!

We have recently been having an increase in people coming for a private tuition to make their engagement ring and have heard some great engagement stories

We also run wedding ring making tuition just for the two of you

And if this story has made you intrigued about silver clay have a look at our classes

Job opportunity with Jewellery School Online

jewellery-school-online-job-opportunity

Our sister company Jewellery School Online is looking for a passionate online marketer to join the team 2 days a week. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants the flexibility to work from home and applicants from all over the world are invited to apply.

Take a look at the opportunity –

2 days a week (flexible hours)

Salary £22,000-£25,000 p.a pro rata depending on skills and experience (plus access to all courses at Jewellery School Online, worth £2,000+)

At Jewellery School Online we are looking for a part-time online marketer with experience to join us in our mission to support jewellers to develop their making skills and build amazing jewellery businesses. You will be working with the founder, Jessica Rose to help build our online courses business, expand our community of jewellers and support our online students.

The time commitment is 2 days a week which will need to include some time spread out over the week for daily social media although the bulk of the work can be done on 1-2 days if preferred. Very flexible working hours, work from home (in your PJs if you like!) Ideally with the ability to meet in person in London at least every few months (but for the ideal candidate this is not essential). Experience in online marketing is a must.

For more information on the skills they are looking for and details on how to apply check out the website

Closing date – 30th April 2018

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.

November Birthstones-Citrine and Topaz-a tragic love for a play on words

Topaz and Citrine are hot stones to keep you November babies warm if you choose to stand on balconies to watch any fireworks or family feuds unfold.

Sometimes misidentified as each other in their yellow form, Citrine is a yellow variety of quartz and Topaz is a silicate mineral and a more valuable gemstone. Topaz can display similar strength to corundum (the gem family that includes Ruby and Sapphire) but can fracture under excessive pressure. To add to the confusion Amethyst, after heat treatment, can be turned yellow masquerading as Citrine in disguise. These ‘burnt amethysts’ or artificial Citrines can be identified by a tinge of red. Citrine can be found in a range of yellow to dark reddy/brown shades. While Topaz has a wider colour palate of yellow, green, pink, orange and the rare blue with its purest form occurring as a colourless stone.

Two gemstones, both alike in clarity, in fair November where we lay our scene.

Many a jeweller tells their own story of love for these gems, though with the potential mistaken identity, the makers’ tale doesn’t have to have to have a Shakespearean tragic ending.

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Earrings and ring in Citrine by Chris Boland. With his bold yet transparent technique of setting, what you see is what you get and what you get is a neat treat.

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The honey coloured hexagonal topaz formations for this Alexander McQueen beehive cuff would make any worker feel like a queen.

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Ryan Nelson has pincered an icy blue Topaz in place at opposite corners to look create this industrially striking ring. Whereas this roughly set pink topaz ring with rose gold from by Angeline has a softer appearance.pink topaz ring

Please excuse one last attempt at wordy theatricals for these two heroes of our romantic tale, if I conclude with…

Never was a story of more glow than this of Citrine and Topaz(eo).

If you feel like these gems in any other frame should surely be as sweet, try one of our stone setting courses.

 

 

 

Armour/Amore

Like many people I know I feel a bit unprotected, or just a bit wrong, if I forget to put on my metal of a morning. I prefer to assume people are staring at my earrings on the tube rather than the bit of avocado on my face from breakfast. If I could go full man in the iron mask for my commute I would(I wouldn’t, it would be very warm, but if I don’t mention Leonardo Di Caprio in some way I lose his sponsorship).

When speaking about the themes behind her work Jeweller Katerina Glyka has said ‘I decided to build a fortress to defend myself’ and some of her pieces definitely border upon weaponry.

Armour is defined as is a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object or individual. Within contemporary jewellery making this often more visual than practical.

Yet jewellers whose work strays into the realm of self-defence reference the traditional notion of armoury quite intentionally. These articulated rings by Rokus London and Shahrzad Aliyari elegantly draw the eye and defend the finger.

Rokus-ring

Rokus London

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Shahrzad Aliyari

Chain mail making is a great lesson in perfecting soldering skills and a wonderful way to test your patience. I had a go at connecting a ring to a bracelet with chain mail and was grateful to be making a small panel rather than a full battle shirt.

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Lisa Walker

However it was still markedly less successful than this powerful yet understated use of chain mail by my New Zealand favourite Lisa Walker.

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Jane Bowler

London-based Jane Bowler makes super-fun geometric articulated and plated holographic pieces and takes them to another level with her bridal wear. Perfect for those who want to feel like a goddess going into battle on your special day.

jane bowler bridal

There are amazing collections of armour living at The Wallace Collection in London and The Royal Armouries in Leeds. The V&A also has some impressive pieces (don’t forget to pop into the jewellery gallery for a treat too) and there may be some lurking in a corner if you find yourself in any country houses.

When attacking any project its victory hinges on having the skills as well as a winning plan of attack. Shield yourself from disappointment and conquer a new technique 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.

 

 

 

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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

Sac magique! – Bumbags to brighten your summer trading

So the summer is here and if you are thinking about taking the product of your jewellery making out and about to spread their joys to the punters at markets you had better get organised about it. Assuming that you have the nitty gritty sorted I have a top tip for a hands-free fun time as you vend.

Get yourself a great bumbag!

Earlier in the year I invested in a fabulous yellow number from Mika Bon Bon, with the excuse of travelling. Mr.Bum has the odd night out as well, and generally delights all that he meets. Others have found that these endearing characters deserve a name too, like jet setting jeweller Akiko Ban aka Mystic Forms. Her metallic companion Jeff Goldbum is often by her side as she models her own bold and bright jewels in various exotic locations.

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Mika Bon Bon

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Mysticforms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Brighton based Beksie’s boutique is rustling up spangly, tassled, themed bum bags that equip you for wild festival times or brighten any hall or field you are setting up your stand in.

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Beksies Boutique

And not to put the trusty market traders’ pouch in the shadows, these practical belts can be customised for your brand or adorned with your own patch plethora or simple brooch. Needless to say, once you go fanny pack you’ll never go back.

Do tell us your tips for trading at fairs and markets.

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.