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

Student profile: Ursula Brucherseifer on studying at LJS as an overseas student

ursula-brucherseifer-jewellerUrsula Brucherseifer completed the Intensive Diploma in Creative Jewellery in 2015, travelling from Germany to live in London for the duration of the course. We interviewed her about her experiences on the course and advice for overseas students coming to the London Jewellery School.

Where do you live?
I live in Frankfurt, Germany.

When did your interest in jewellery making start?
My interest in jewellery making started when I was a teenager. I was (and still am) very attracted by beads and collected them on every holiday and in every bead shop. I made rings and earrings from silver wire and decorated them with beads.

Why did you decide to take the Intensive Diploma?
After my high school exam I have been au-pair in London. There I applied for jewellery design and was directly accepted at several colleges. However, I wasn’t able to afford to live and study in London for a couple of years. Back in Germany I became a carpenter instead, studied afterwards economics and carried out different jobs. Several years ago I started to make and sell jewellery on a part-time basis. I have attended a lot of different jewellery workshops in Germany as well as at the London Jewellery School. In 2014 I found out about the diploma intensive course. In order to finally realize my dream I enrolled for the course.

 

Work in progress – wire jewellery on the Diploma in Creative Jewellery

What was your favourite class on the diploma and why?
The huge advantage of the diploma is the great variety of techniques and materials you work with. My favourite class was the polymer clay class. With polymer clay you can combine different colours, patterns/designs and shapes. We all had a lot of fun in class. 


Where do you find your inspiration and how do you decide what to do next?
The material itself gives me a lot of inspiration. When I make beaded jewellery I combine different colours, shapes and techniques and play around until it is perfect. I also find inspiration in books or workshops, in working with my students or in talking to customers.
What I do next depends a little bit on my appointments/calendar. If markets or classes are coming up I have to prepare for them. In less busy times I design my collection or do some office work.

What are your goals for the future?
At the moment I take part in the Jewellery Business Bootcamp and work on my business growth plan to get my business going.

 

Earrings-by-Ursula_brucherseifer

Silver and gold earrings by Ursula Brucherseifer

What advice would you give to an overseas student considering taking a course at LJS?
As an overseas student I would do some decent research about the accommodation and check all the university halls of residence. Two months away from home is quite a long time. I would invite a lot of friends and family to London, so that you have someone to talk to and to spend some time with during the weekends.

Take a look at Ursula’s work here
http://www.schoeneliese.de
https://www.facebook.com/schoeneliese/
https://www.instagram.com/schoeneliese/
https://www.pinterest.de/schoeneliese/

 

 

 


Intensive Diplomas
In 2018 we are running two Intensive Diploma courses. They are perfect for overseas students or those that would like to study in a short period of time. The groups are kept small to ensure you get individual attention and your own workspace and tools during the classes.

The Diploma in Creative Jewellery starts on Monday 16th July and runs for seven weeks. This Diploma is for anyone who would like to learn different types of jewellery making including silversmithing, beading, metal clay, mixed media, polymer clay, resin jewellery and more. Installment payments are available. You can find more information here

We have just two places left on the Diploma in Silver Jewellery which runs from Monday 4th June to Friday 20th July. This Diploma course is for anyone who knows they would like to specialise in silver jewellery making. Installment payments are available, find out more here

Both Diploma courses are suitable for beginners or those with some experience.

Visa requirements
We suggest that you arrange any visas you might need to study in the UK before enrolling on the course. We are not able to assist with acquiring a visa and it is best to check with your own consulate to find out whether you will meet the eligibility criteria. If you have any questions please give us a call on 0203 176 0546

You’re invited to our open evening event on 16th May

london-jewellery-school-open-evening-may-2018
You are invited to our open evening. There will be drinks and nibbles and the opportunity to mingle with like-minded people who live and love all things jewellery!
We will also have two expert jewellery making demonstrations and the opportunity to ask questions.
Sophie Arnott will be demoing Wax Carving from 6.45pm to 7.15pm
Michelle Leaver will be demoing Stacked Silver Bangles from 7.30pm to 8.00pm
When? Wednesday 16th May 2018, 6.30-8.30pm 
Where? London Jewellery School, Rear Ground Floor Studios, NEW HOUSE, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY
No need to RSVP, just turn up!

Narrative Jewelry by Mark Fenn-Book Review

narrative-jewelry-tales-from-the-toolbox-mark-fenn

Narrative jewelry by Mark Fenn

Tell me about it. As anyone that has ever asked about my jewellery making knows, every piece tells a tale, even the plainest looking ring. Jewellery goes on adventures with you, reminds you of a person, holiday or the mistake you made that made it look so cool. Pieces often have their own lives that are special to the wearer, but Narrative Jewelry by Mark Fenn is a delightful investigation into the creators who set out to tell a story with their work. And we thought that today, National Handmade Day, would be a great day to share our thoughts on this fantastic book.

This hefty tome features 241 inspiring jewellers. Their comedy, politics, puns and personal lives are spun out in metal and yarn (and soap, resin, plastic, paper, models, cigarettes and gemstones) on the pages. Life-changing moments as well as the horror and beauty of the everyday are given equal importance by the memorial created in their honour. Clear colour images and accompanying descriptions tell their tales and the pieces are a broad spectrum of the most interesting jewellery out there today.

Nick Palmer’s piece was made as a theoretical commission; a task I would highly recommend. Fantasy dinner party surely can’t compare.

Not only does this beautiful book show how jewellery can skillfully be used to tell a story or do more than just be pretty, it shows a way to embrace a wide range of techniques used by skilled international jewellers. It’s the kind of book that you want to sit down and read like a novel, but the images distract you with their own little stories. It’s a great book, all of the tutors want to steal it off me when I am looking at it, I can tell. For a teaser a maker is featured online each week here.

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

 

 

April Birthstone-Diamond-Rough or smooth it’s clearly for you

Lucky babies born in April get a diamond as their birthstone. Characteristics of determination are comparable to the origins the name Diamond, from the Greek ‘adamas’ meaning ‘unbreakable’. They really are the hardest of them all, measuring a mighty 10 on the Mohs scale.

Many wear diamonds every day in engagement rings which is great for showing off that someone wants to marry you, but these beauties were also believed to cure all kinds of illnesses, protect homes from lightning and have wondrous anti-poison powers. So worthwhile trying to tie someone down for the long haul I guess!

The first diamond engagement ring was commissioned by Archduke Maximillian of Austria in 1477 for Mary of Burgundy. De Beers secured the tradition and commercial success of the diamond for engagement rings in 1947 with its slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’. De Beers, or companies under that umbrella organisation, control up to 80% of the world’s production and supply of diamonds at any given time.

The shape of the brilliant cut is synonymous with the diamond, this cut is what gave rise to its popularity, showing off its potential for clarity and sparkle. It only takes a piece of jewellery to be shaped this way to conjure the impression of a dazzling diamond, like this ring with a diamond silhouette by Carrie Weston.

Often considered the most precious of gemstones, a diamond sometimes gains celebrity status, not just because of who the wearer might be. These famous stones are notable because of their beauty, size or their exciting lives. The Star of Africa, the largest cut diamond of fine quality, is a ‘celebrity’ diamond that lives locally to the School at the Tower of London.

Initially only found in India, this stone gained popularity after the faceted cut was developed to reveal its true beauty, after which diamonds were mined in Brazil and later South Africa. A diamond would be a pretty good card to have when playing Gemstone Top Trumps (just checked and this doesn’t exist – gap in the market alert!) as a diamond is the only gemstone that can cut a diamond. Lasers are used to cut diamonds nowadays, but powdered diamonds are used in grinding and polishing.

Diamonds are assessed by a system called the ‘Four Cs’: colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. Diamonds with either a very strong colour or completely colourless are the most valuable, yet these rough grey diamonds in this ring by Ruth Tomlinson (above) have a beauty all of their own.

 

Anvil & Ivy rough diamond and silver wax carved ring

London Jewellery School tutor Sophie Arnott (of Anvil & Ivy) uses wax carving to achieve this organic finish with a grey diamond.

The simple clarity of a diamond can lend itself to a multitude of different design styles. As we can see here in these flashy compressed carbon rings. Erica Weiner specialises in vintage-inspired jewellery, this deco lovely and its friends are handmade in New York.

While DMD Metal does delicate deco below.

If bigger is better go for the Queen Nico ring with stunning grey diamond by Digby & Iona.

London jeweller Disa Allsopp may be inspired by the jewellery of ancient civilisations, yet her tiny rows of diamonds look modern and alternative in these unique rings.

So we’re all set for a great April. Are you? Maybe one of our courses could help you get your diamond ducks in a row.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Student Jeweller of the Month for April – Helen Naylor

Helen Naylor

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I am Helen Naylor. I have a degree in English Literature and Philosophy and a PGCE in English. I have been an English teacher for the last 8 years and began learning how to make jewellery 5 years ago. I live in Manchester and have travelled extensively, taking time out to travel the world. I gather inspiration from things I have studied, seen or learnt and use these experiences to help shape and influence my jewellery.
I recently got engaged and plan on making my own bridal jewellery, using yellow diamonds.


What’s been your general career path

I started making jewellery approximately 5 years ago, going from working with a needle and thread and beads to wire work and then my true passion, working with precious metals and gemstones. After taking my diploma last year, I set up my website with an online shop and have begun to sell my jewellery in Manchester. I’m hoping to take a qualification in gemmology within the next year to continue to further my skills and knowledge, developing my business and jewellery skills further.

 

Macbeth ring, copyright Helen Naylor

When did your interest in jewellery making start?

I have always been fascinated with gemstones and wanted to learn how to make jewellery from a young age. I never thought I would have the opportunity or the time to pursue jewellery making but I decided to write a list of things I wanted to achieve in life, and top of the list was learning this skill


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

I took the Diploma in Silver Jewellery as I felt it offered a broad range of jewellery making techniques and provided a really comprehensive study, with a focus on stone setting which is my favourite part of jewellery making.

 

What are your goals for the future?

In the future, I would like to continue developing my jewellery skills and my business. I’d love to win an award one day at the Goldsmiths’ awards and become so established that I have my own premises.

 

The Tempest ring, copyright Helen Naylor

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

This is a really hard choice! I think my favourite would have to be my ‘The Tempest’  ring and necklace. I adore opals and the contrast of the silver and gold together. I like my thought process around each piece in this collection and finding the perfect quote to go alongside the piece I have created. The quote that goes with ‘The Tempest’ ring is ‘I would not wish any companion in the world but you’ and when I look at this ring, I fall in love every time. The quote with this necklace is ‘The clouds methought would open, and show riches ready to drop upon me’. I used the tiny 1.5mm diamonds on the side to represent how you must be tough and hard to weather any storm in contrast to the stormy, murky depths of the boulder opal.

See more of Helen’s work here
Instagram: @hnajewellery
Would you like to be chosen as a future Student Jeweller of the Month? Click here to find out more and how to apply

 

Pencil Day -Friday 30th March

It’s pencil day! So let’s break out the lead to celebrate these sharp designs by jewellers inspired by this humble and useful staple of the stationery family. After all, they have been decorating the under-adorned top-of-ear spaces since their creation, even if we have been pretending this was just for on body storage purposes.

To ‘pencil in’ may be a term for a noncommittal arrangement. But with this golden pencil bangle, the use of precious metal and coral, gives shimmering weight to anyone’s intentions.

Gold and coral pencil bangle by Noma Copley

Jo McAllister brings us a warm spectrum with this selection of colour pencils in a miniature tin in her piece ‘Colouring’.

I love it when creativity can be facilitated on the move, so it seems, stationery doesn’t have to be stationary after all.  And when it looks this good at the same time, it’s enough to draw the attention of the long-departed beautilitarian William Morris, who famously stated ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ – the same rule of thumb would bode well with what we put on our bodies.

Mini pencil tin ring by Jo McAllister

A colourful array of sliced-through pencils makes for a satisfying interlocking cross-section of brights in this bangle. Highlighting the pencil’s natural ability for tessellation to bring out colour in an unexpected way.

Bangle by Maria Cristina Belucci

More to the point, the pen might be mightier than the sword, but let’s not get in a fight about it on pencil day! All materials are fair game to the jeweller, yet 2B or not 2B is always the question.

March Birthstone-Aquamarine-Sea life through blue tinted stones

The bluey-green Aquamarine gets its name from the Latin for ‘water of the sea’. Lucky March born children have this brittle, sensitive gem as their birthstone and personalities that reportedly range from friendly and boisterous to vibrant and colourful (like this beautiful stone). Its a gemstone symbolic of health and hope -so perfectly matched to springy feelings.

Aquamarine is part of the Beryl family which includes Emerald and gets its colour from its iron content, with the dark blue shade has always been the most desirable. So what would you do if these stones were given to you (apart from saying thank you kindly)? These jewellers are here to show you some wildly different ways of handling Aquamarine’s watery depths.

Massimo Izzo heads to the rock pool for an epic splash of decadence with this Aquamarine, Diamond, Yellow Gold ring, representing sea life-starfish, seahorse and shells.

Here Rosanne Pugliese heads to the other extreme with a lovely minimal setting, using a delicate Gold frame to clasp a sheet of Aquamarine in place.

Art Nouveau master Rene Lalique does delicacy and abundance in one piece with this dragonfly and grasshopper necklace.

On a smaller scale in this very wearable ring, set with Aquamarine, blue topaz and diamonds by Melanie Casey.

Finally Regine Schwarzer shows us how to pick a boldly-coloured stone (like the bottom of the ocean this Aquamarine potentially has its own thoughts and feelings it’s so deep) and make a piece all about beautiful shade and texture by avoiding traditional faceting.

 

Spring hasn’t totally sprung but it’s never too early to jump into one of our lovely classes.

 

 

Wax carved jewellery inspiration

We are LOVING wax carved jewellery at the moment but what can you make when you’ve mastered the technique? Here is some inspiration from our talented tutors and students to get you thinking.

(And here is a blog post from our own Lil Adams on what wax carving is and how casting works in case you’re not sure)

Rough-ruby-silver-ring-Anvil-and-Ivy-Sophie-Arnott

Rough ruby silver ring by Sophie Arnott

gold-pearl-ring-rebecca-steiner

Gold pearl ring by Rebecca Steiner

Silver-pendant-Sophie-Arnott

Silver pendant by Sophie Arnott

Gold-rings-rebecca-steiner

Gold rings by Rebecca Steiner

 

knuckle-duster-ring-by-natasha-lisa-afrodeco

Knuckle duster ring by Natasha Lisa

 

rose-gold-ring-jmhandcraftedjewellery

Rose gold ring by Jayne Murphy

silver-cufflinks-by-natasha-lisa-afrodeco

Silver cufflinks by Natasha Lisa

Silver-ring-sophie-arnott

Silver ring by Sophie Arnott

silver-ring-by-jayne-murphy

Silver ring by Jayne Murphy

george-lion-ring-lil-adams

George the lion ring in progress! By Lil Adams

Note: for inspiration only. The jewellery designs shown here are copyrighted by the designers


Fancy giving wax carving a try? We have some classes at the London Jewellery School and online at Jewellery School Online. We also have a kit of tools available to make it easy to get started.

In London

We have lots of wax carving classes at the London Jewellery School for beginners and advanced learners including an evening taster classa five-week evening class and day classes so do check out our courses and available dates on our website.

Online courses

We have a FREE wax carved ring making online course with tutor Sophie Arnott. You will learn to apply your designs to your wax piece, remove excess wax and create a full 3D design of your choosing. Following that, Sophie will show you how to file your wax piece into shape, remove any file marks and sand and refine the piece ready for casting. You will also learn how to create a ring to size and some recommendations on casters to use.

beginners-wax-carving-rebecca-steiner-jewellery-school-onlineIf you enjoy that course then consider our more comprehensive beginners wax carving online course which covers ring making, pendant making. The course launches on 26th March 2018 and is currently available at a pre-sale price of 50% off. CLICK HERE FOR 50% OFF – VALID UNTIL 26TH MARCH 2018 ONLY. THAT’S TOMORROW!

 

 

 

wax-carving-kit-london-jewellery-schoolKits

At the London Jewellery School we are also selling wax carving toolkits which have everything you need to get started! The cost is £100 and includes UK postage (for postage outside the UK please email us at info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk for a postage quote)

Click here to see what you get in the kit and to purchase

We also have a set of three wax ring blanks for sale for £12.99 plus postage, perfect if you want to get started with rings straight away!

 

All prices are correct at time of blog publication but please note that they are subject to change

Not Just Castings – how lost wax casting works and more

At the beginning of 2016 I undertook a placement with Just Castings in Hatton Garden. This was part of the two week intensive Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery Making (see previous blog entry about how great this was) which I had completed the previous summer.

Their premises have since moved to a spangly new home next door at 19 Cross Street, where their knowledgeable and patient team can answer all of your silly questions (as they still answer mine on a regular basis) about their services. These services go far beyond just casting to CAD design, 3D printing, plating and finishing. However, the moulding and casting process will remain forever the most fascinating to me.

I was privileged to spend two days learning the mould making and casting processes. I gained an overview of the CAD, 3D printing, finishing and plating, which can be done there behind the scenes, whilst two of my own wax pieces took their own journey into silver and brass.

I returned for two afternoons of finishing these pieces. This involved de-sprueing – the sprue is the entry point for the metal into the piece (before my placement I called this a spout) and polishing a silver ring, also finishing and rose-gold plating a brick bead for a necklace with Chris and Adrian at the studios just down the street. There was a  professional setter working away in the same studio, so I got to take a peek at this fiddly precise work too.

My illustration of the casting process, complete with spelling mistake and bunnies which were cast from pasta shapes.

I took a lovely little refresher tour with Theo recently, for a helpful reminder of the time I spent learning the ways of JC.  The process used is called lost wax casting. Lost wax casting is an ancient technique, but this centrifugal, mechanical process is the most accurate way of achieving intricate results. This modern way of casting has its roots in dentistry. To my delight I discovered gold tooth caps on the casting trees whilst on my placement – it’s nice when traditions are upheld. Items can be brought in three different ways to be transformed into a range of metals, but at some stage they need to be a wax. You could bring in a hand-carved wax piece, a model or master to have a mould made to then make waxes or a 3D design, which can be printed or milled from sheet wax.

It’s a positive to negative to positive process. The mould making stage is to create waxes from existing objects or multiples from the same original wax and allows for more types of items to be cast. These moulds are custom made to the size of the piece from a latex mixture.

Bespoke cold moulds setting in their frames

Once these are set and the piece from within is expertly cut out by hand, the moulds are ready to make waxes using the vacuum wax injector. The hot wax cools into shape in the rubber mould and the wax is removed and another can then be made in the same way shortly after.

Wax made using a cold mould

These waxes are then skillfully arranged on specific trees in accordance to their requirements, which metal, how delicate the piece is etc. Cast in place pieces (a technique where stones can be cast within a wax piece) go separately, as they need to be in a different oven set to a different temperature. The trees go into flasks, the holes of the metal flasks are taped up and the investment (a type of plaster, made up in the vacuum mixing machine) is mixed and poured into the canisters with the wax trees inside, then left to set. The next step is for the canisters to go into the de-waxing chamber for the majority of the wax to be steamed away. This leaves just a film of wax on the impression that will eventually be filled with metal, before going into the oven overnight to melt away the remaining wax and strengthen the investment plaster. There are three ovens running on 24 hour cycles, to allow for processes like casting in place and also so that all of the casting eggs are not in one hot basket.

Vasco creating wax trees

Once out of the oven, the canister full of negative impressions left by the wax goes into one of three casting machines. The largest being the vacuum centrifugal machine. This will spin the canister while a crucible will dispense the required molten metal into the voids to reach the hollows of the end of each branch of the tree.

 


Centrifugal casting machine

Back in the day I am told this was done by sling shot, so a traditional caster would be super strong from swinging their castings around their head, pretty cool stuff!

These are then cleaned with a high-pressure washer (this part reminds me of the opening credits of The Simpsons when Homer is at work) to clean off the investment plaster.

The metal tree, free from its canister and most of the plaster then goes into acid to get cleaner and get rid of any oxidisation.

Metal tree fresh from the canister

Pieces are then cut down from the trees and prepared for collection.

Wax giraffe and metal giraffe made from a pasta piece using a cold mould and lost wax casting process

This is where the process usually stops on the casting side of Just Castings, but as you will recall, they don’t do just casting! For me I take whatever silly thing I have decided to turn into metal this time and pop off to try and make it wearable (sometimes returning to get something plated), but there is still a whole separate underground grotto of finishing down the street. If decide you would like your pieces finishing, polishing, plating or stones setting these guys have got you covered there too.

Adrian finishing a ring in the workshop

So give casting a try, it’s magical, but don’t take it lightly that even if your brother ain’t that heavy you may want an estimate before you get him cast in platinum. For a really enlightening look at their processes, Just Casting have this lovely video ,and there is a handy FAQ’s section on the website too. But if in doubt just ask, they are a delight, see:

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 (as you can see!)


Fancy giving wax carving a try? We have some classes at the London Jewellery School and online at Jewellery School Online as well as a starter kit available.

In London

We have lots of wax carving classes at the London Jewellery School for beginners and advanced learners including an evening taster class, a five-week evening class and day classes so do check out our courses and available dates on our website.

 

 

 

Online courses

We have a FREE wax carved ring making online course with tutor Sophie Arnott. You will learn to apply your designs to your wax piece, remove excess wax and create a full 3D design of your choosing. Following that, Sophie will show you how to file your wax piece into shape, remove any file marks and sand and refine the piece ready for casting. You will also learn how to create a ring to size and some recommendations on casters to use.

beginners-wax-carving-rebecca-steiner-jewellery-school-onlineIf you enjoy that course then consider our more comprehensive beginners wax carving online course which covers ring making, pendant making. The course launches on 26th March 2018 and is currently available at a pre-sale price of 50% off. CLICK HERE FOR 50% OFF – VALID UNTIL 26TH MARCH 2018 ONLY

 

 

 

Kits

At the London Jewellery School we are also selling wax carving toolkits which have everything you need to get started! The cost is £100 and includes UK postage (for postage outside the UK please email us at info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk for a postage quote)

Click here to see what you get in the kit and to purchase

We also have a set of three wax ring blanks for sale for £12.99 plus postage, perfect if you want to get started with rings straight away!

 

All prices are correct at time of blog publication but please note that they are subject to change