Tag Archives: Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Diploma in Creative Jewellery – An Alternative to a Degree in Jewellery Making (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our series about how some of our Diploma graduates are getting on!   In Part 2 we talk to George Galula of GV Jewellery who is one of our 2014 Diploma in Creative Jewellery Students and who has also completed our Advanced Jewellery Diploma!

George is heavily inspired by nature, flowers and animals and amazing culture from Art and people and creates stunning mixed media designs using copper, silver, leather, pearls resin and clay to name a few.



Resin Rose Ring with Silver Glass Beads

So George, tell us a bit about how you started your jewellery making journey and what ultimately made you decide to do a diploma with LJS?

I started taking short courses in different school in 2011 which really helped my confidence in designing and making jewellery.  I decided to do diploma course with LJS, because I want to gain more experience and knowledge and develope my skills in making creative jewellery using different techniques.

What was your favourite part of the diploma?
My most favourite part of the diploma was the Intermediate silver class.   I learned all of the necessary techniques required to create more complex silver jewellery pieces.  But, I really enjoyed all the subjects that were part of the diploma course.



Silver Fold Formed Flower Ring with Black Pearl

What was the most challenging part of the diploma?
The biggest challenge for me during the course was to be more creative design-wise, and to use more advanced techniques to create more complex and creative designs.


Mixed Media Bangle made from Resin and Clay Pipes

What difference has doing the diploma made to your jewellery skills, designs and/ or business?

Since completing the Diploma, I’m much more confident and have increased my knowledge and skills significantly, and developed my creativity and uniqueness. I really work with all my heart.



Sarangola Necklace – crafted from 16th Century Clay Pipes with Ceramic and Resin

What would you say to students thinking about doing a diploma with the London Jewellery School?

Go for it, have fun with what you are doing. Have a dream and believe everything is possible. And also take your time to create the right collection – you won’t regret it!

Where next for you and your jewellery making?

I want to design and make more jewellery, take part in some exhibitions, have a pop-up shop, share my knowledge and skills and run a successful business.  Am hoping to cross lots of these off of my list in 2016/2017 :-).

How can we see more of your work?  

My website gallery has images of my work – http://www.georgegalula.co.uk, and I post regular images of my latest work on Instagram.

Thank you George for taking the time to talk to us – we love your beautifully creative work and are thrilled that we played a part in your jewellery making journey.  We just can’t wait to see what comes next for you!




Diploma in Creative Jewellery – An Alternative to a Degree in Jewellery Making


It’s Summer time here in the UK and whilst the holidays are in full swing, we are busy getting ready to welcome our new Diploma Students in September for a year of fun, hard work and creativity!  We offer a number of different Diplomas and options here at the London Jewellery School, but our signature Diploma is our 1-Year Diploma in Creative Jewellery which is a great alternative to doing a degree in jewellery, as you can work flexibly around other commitments and work as you spend 1 day a week with us!

This comprehensive Diploma Course is fantastic, as it introduces you to a wide range of jewellery making techniques, both traditional and contemporary, and really helps you to find your jewellery making ‘voice’ and unique style.  The Course will take you from a beginner in jewellery making to a professional standard and focuses on combining a mixture of traditional jewellery skills such as silversmithing, stone setting, wax carving and enamel but is unique also in its focus on more contemporary methods and materials such as resin, perspex, metal clay, fashion jewellery and polymer clay.  Although, the focus is on mastering the technical skills and techniques, over the Course of the diploma you will also learn essential skills for starting and running your own jewellery brand including technical drawing, photographing your jewellery  and a jewellery business day focusing on branding, USP and all the legalities of running your own business.


Diploma exhibition pieces by Maria Lampitelli, Julia D McKenzie, Maysooun Homsi Touban and Kemi Awokiyesi (in April 2016)

The Course runs over 3 terms of 12 weeks and Classes run 1 day per week with a maximum of 7 students per Class.  Each term, your work will be marked by an expert Tutor and constructive feedback will be given to ensure you are progressing and pushing yourself and your jewellery designs forwards.

We understand that the Diploma is an investment both in time and money, so, we offer 3 flexible payment plans to help you along the way.

We are proud of the fact that our Diploma Course changes the lives of our Students and opens them up to a world of techniques, friendships and experiences.

We have spoken to some our former Diploma Students about their Diploma experience and how they have gotten on since they graduated.  This week we talk to Zoe Porter of Zoe Porter Jewellery and next week we will be hearing from George Galula of GV Jewellery and Linski Kilcourse of Linskiloolar Jewellery!

So Zoe, tell us a bit about how you started your jewellery making journey and what ultimately made you decide to do a diploma with LJS?

I started taking night classes with an incredible Danish jeweller in Wellington to try something new and quickly fell in love with silversmithing. It was a hobby that only developed when I went travelling around Europe for a year and realised how much I missed it. That’s when I started looking into diplomas in Europe and the U.K. and The London Jewellery School offered exactly what I was looking for.


Zoe Porter Jewellery – Walnut Pendant

What was your favourite part of the diploma?

Learning so many new techniques and processes was great but the work experience I did with Just Castings, Hatton Garden really opened my eyes to a heap of possibilities I hadn’t realised when working with both silver and gold.


Zoe Porter Jewellery – Pineapple Cufflinks

What was the biggest challenge for you during the diploma?

I had only worked with silver, gold and stones before the diploma, so the mixed media pieces were something I had difficulty with at first. It was however during the design of my final piece that I tried my hand at woodcarving for the first time and really enjoyed it!

What difference has doing the diploma made to your jewellery skills, designs and/ or business?

There were processes I knew nothing about, such as wax carving, that now play an integral part in my design process but one of the most helpful (and simplest) things I learnt was how to recycle silver and gold and make my own wire and sheet metal.


Zoe Porter Jewellery – Molten Ring

What would you say to students thinking about doing a diploma with the London Jewellery School?

Just do it! The amount you’ll learn and take home from the course is great. Take notes – more than you think – and sit down and practice.

Don’t be scared to make mistakes, you can always melt it down and start over.

Where next for Zoe Porter Jewellery?

I’ve just launched my website and the response has been great. As a certified Fair Trade Gold user I think it’s really important to educate people on where their gold and silver is coming from and I’m hoping to visit Fair Trade mines in Sotrami, Peru, and help raise awareness.

For now, I’m just enjoying myself, working mostly on commissions and loving designing and making a number of engagement rings. They’re really special and personal pieces to be trusted with.

How can we find out more about you (website, Facebook, instagram?)

I sell online via my newly launched website – www.zoeporter.co.nz and I post regularly on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks Zoe – good luck with your business and we are so thrilled to have played a small part in your jewellery making journey!

Our Diploma Classes are quick to fill up, so book now to avoid disappointment. There is currently availability for September intake 2016. For more details on Course dates and how to enroll, please visit the London Jewellery School website www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk or call 0203 176 0546.

And due to popular demand we have loaded up the 2017 January and September dates onto our website for those of you who like to plan ahead!

Until next time,

Happy Making! x

Diploma students show their style

We had a very busy day in the studio on Friday when our latest batch of Diploma in Creative Jewellery students put on their final exhibition, each showing a collection of pieces designed to reveal their particular jewellery style and the skills they have learned.

As always it was fascinating to see the different work on show and how each student develops their unique approach even though they all learn the same skill set.

Because it was such a busy day and evening, we didn’t get a chance to take pictures of every piece but we did get a few shots to show you the range of styles on show, as well as the talents of these students who all did very well.

diploma in creative jewellery

Ring by Pip Pearce


diploma in creative jewellery

Necklace and pendant by Lisa Homer


diploma in creative jewellery

Metal clay charm bracelet by Ursula Brucherseifer


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Metal clay and gemstone necklace from Denise Littlechild


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Bracelet by Christine Holmes


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Resin and silver ring from Claire Broome


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Necklace from Keiko Akaguma


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Eugenia Paiva’s silver and gemstone pieces


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Mari-Rammanets came up with an unusual display for her metal clay flower jewellery


diploma in creative jewellery

… as did Angela Parke for her earrings

If you would like to find out more about the diploma programmes and the different options for taking an intensive jewellery course one day per week, please click here



Diary of a diploma student: How did I get here?

At London Jewelery School we are often asked what it is like to do the Diploma in Creative Jewellery course. So this year we have invited diploma student Julie McKenzie to record her experiences in posts to the blog. First off, why she has embarked on the course.

julie profile cropWhen my son was born in 2007, after a 20 year career in the IT industry being responsible for $75m budgets, large scale IT projects, sales and services teams, I decided to take an extended career break. The plan was always to go back to my successful IT career once my son started school. However, after just 12 months back in the corporate world, it became very clear that my priorities and values in life had changed dramatically and I needed a complete rethink.

What could I do that would give me the opportunity to feel as if I was contributing financially but would also give me the flexibility to be around when my son finished school at the end of the day and be there in the school holidays?

Then one day someone asked: “If you could choose to do anything in the world, what is your passion and what would you do?”

Now that was a very good question.  I really had to think – yes I was very good at running a business for someone else, very efficient and organised but what would I really like to do?  I actually realised that if I had a choice I would love to do something creative and have something tangible for my efforts…. and wouldn’t it be great to be able to turn my efforts into a business which I could fit around family life.

With that thought in mind I decided to explore learning a completely new skill and that’s how I ended up at the London Jewellery School.

I have always loved silver jewellery so I looked for a course to gain some skills.  I wasn’t initially looking for a Diploma course but then I found the Creative Jewellery Diploma at the London Jewellery School. Not only did it cover the silversmithing modules I was looking for but it would also provide an opportunity to cover other jewellery methods such as beading, wire wrapping, metal clay,  fused glass, resin, stone setting, perspex etc. The course sounded perfect – so I enrolled to start January 2015.

jewellery diploma

The diploma course offers all the silversmithing technique I was looking for plus a range of other jewellery skills.

I should emphasise that I am a complete novice to jewellery making – I’ve made a pair of curtains in the past but that’s not quite the same. So the tutors may have a task on their hands – ‘old dogs new tricks’  is the phrase that comes to mind. But I’ll be sharing how it goes in future weeks.

Diploma in Creative Jewellery graduates show off their final collections

Often the students who sign up for the Diploma in Creative Jewellery have only a small amount of jewellery making experience or have previously only specialised in one area such as beading or precious metal clay.

Yet after one day a week over a year (or seven weeks of daily classes  in the intensive course) they are producing work to rival established designers.

Over 20 students took part in the most recent diploma exhibition and we can only share a small selection of the work here. But we are creating a new gallery of diploma student’s work where you will soon be able to see more. Congratulations to all our diploma graduates – we wish them well in the future.

Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Necklace and bracelet by Clio Saskia Thomas


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Cuff by Gaby Connell


diploma in creative jewellery

Moon inspired jewellery by Wendy Hellam


diploma in creative jewellery

Hannah Colvin’s bud cuff and seed ring


diploma in creative jewellery

Mixed media necklace inspired by Thailand by Emma Cartwright


Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Cuff by Lindsay Thackrah


diploma in creative jewellery

Earrings by Haidy Moussa


dploma in creative jewellery

Earrings by Clio Saskia Thomas


If these images have inspired you to develop your jewellery skills, you can find out more about the Diploma in Creative Jewellery here – the course takes one day a week and we regularly run the course at weekends, so it is possible to develop your jewellery career alongside your current job or commitments.

You can also meet former student Hannah Colvin, whose work is featured above, at the London Jewellery School studio warming on 16 October and hear her experiences of the course – click here for details.


Sunday is the perfect day for jewellery making

Is Sunday your jewellery and crafting day?

sunday crafting

Here at London Jewellery School HQ we’ve noticed that a lot of people post pictures of what they’ve made to our Twitter and Facebook streams on Sundays, which makes us think a lot of you are busy turning your day of rest into a day of making. And what better way to destress from a busy week than having some “me time” with a pile of beads, some silver or an interesting collection of resin, leather or even Perspex elements?

We’ve also noticed that there are lots of blogs and Pinterest boards about jewellery and making which either mention Sundays or include it in their title.

So we’ve decided to get in on the act by adding a new day to our Diploma in Creative Jewellery courses. You can now take your Sunday jewellery making up a notch by taking this year-long course to develop your range of jewellery skills across beading, wire, silver, and mixed media as well as honing your design skills.

jewellery diploma

Work by previous Diploma in Creative Jewellery students


You can find out more about what the Diploma in Creative Jewellery involves here. The next Sunday course starts on Sunday 21 September 2014.

jewellery making, jewellery diploma

And whenever your “making me time” is please share links to pictures of your work in the comments.

Happy making.


Welcome to our new studios

The big move has happened.

We are now in our fabulous new studios at 7 Hatton Square Business Centre, 16-16a Baldwins Gardens, London EC1N 7RJ.

That’s the same building as before but now we are downstairs.

The first class in the beading studio this morning was technical drawing for some of our Diploma students.



The silver studio is ready for a wedding ring workshop.


And the new refreshment area is gleaming – and don’t worry there are plenty of biscuits.


But we still have unpacking to do in the third studio…


…. and the office isn’t quite sorted yet. But the tranformation is amazing – come and see for yourself with a class soon.


My changing perspective on jewellery design

Diploma in Creative Jewellery student Tracy Stressing explains how learning about design and mood boards has changed her perspective on the jewellery she creates.

I have always had a passion for making jewellery and from the first week, I knew I was going to enjoy the diploma. But it is also challenging.

In the first term, the most challenging day was the jewellery design day.  I am used to making jewellery by feeling materials and this was about taking influence by things around us.  We went out around the school and looked at different  textures, buildings, design and drew things in a sketch book.

This felt very alien at first but when we got back to class we used these sketches as the basis for drawing drew pieces of jewellery. Soon we had rough sketches and although no finished pieces my thinking was beginning to change.


We then did some mood boards, choosing colours that we liked and imagining the person who we would make something for. The idea was to tell a story about the customer and the jewellery.

My head at the end of the day was a sea of ideas and on a recent visit at the to the Victoria and Albert museum which the school arranged I put these techniques into practise and sketched and sketched.

I look at things very differently now and see beyond things. I see lines, texture and on a recent visit home on the beach I was influenced by shells, seaweed, glass, stones, driftwood and put this into a design for a ring in the lost wax carving class.

I never knew from that one class how it would change my ideas and way of designing jewellery.

I am in the process of planning a piece of jewellery for my final collection that has been influenced by the jewellery design and the techniques and inspiration.

Now I’m in my second term and have also had a fashion jewellery class.  This was another chance to step right out of my comfort zone .

IMG_0677I made a mood board that had lots of reds and lips.

Lips were my inspiration and I made three pieces which I can honestly say were so new to me but I loved making them.

I would never have thought of using leather or suede or eyelets but this is exactly what I did to make my luscious lip jewellery. My collection is called KISS.

I have definitely grown as jewellery maker since starting the diploma and can’t wait to see what  I can make.

Beading: a male perspective…

Diploma in Creative Jewellery student Gary Schofield tells how his first day on the course was an inspiring step into the unknown

Week one, first day; I find myself in an all-female environment, threading beads on strings, totally out of my comfort zone and terrified.

Beading I believed, was not my penchant and most certainly not my forte….

It wasn’t long before I became totally enchanted by the beautiful work being created around me by my fellow students, and I began to understand a deeper pleasure in the subject than I had previously allowed myself.

I became aware of the vast emotive and expressive panorama of possibilities that beading can incorporate, and realised that from my male point of view there were opportunities here for me to utilise this medium according to my own voice…

SMy work in the class was not terribly ambitious but I began to see the possibilities with new and excitingloop inspiration.

Just the simple techniques of creating loops and clasps began to hold a certain captivation and prompt me toward new design ideas.

I think I had previously shied away from necklaces preferring bracelet and bangle design where I found that my prefered bold and solid statements were be more fitting.

During the following week I sourced lots of  bead work and began to look closely at original ethnic necklaces, especially those that incorporated metal in the design. From this I realised that the notions of bead and pendant were more ambiguous than I had thought, allowing a much more open and creative approach than I’d thought.

After some sketching out of ideas I finally came up with the following three pieces:


In this one I was looking to combine some repousse technique with sweat soldering and some wire binding, all of which I need much practice in, and to incorporate these with all I’d learnt in the beading class.

I had my first experience of shopping for beads and chose the shop in Great Tower Street, where I found a good variety of beads and found the occasion to be very enjoyable. I think this project was a success as it shows a new versatility in my design and also shows many weak points that need more attention.


This one was more of a disaster in as much as the bezels were not well made and spoilt what could have been quite a nice piece but all in all I guess there were some very successful aspects; the sunburst nature of the design held together well, keeping its shape when worn and I really quite like the overall look of the thing, really want to make it again but this time with a little more care!


This was my latest piece and although it is not beaded it does have a direct link to what I’ve learnt from beading. It has nice loose facets that jangle around like beads and the same kind of feeling when on the wrist. Again my bezels are messy and the connecting wires need a re-think but I feel that it holds a lot of promise for future ideas.

I really hadn’t anticipated that beading would be so rewarding and I am delighted with this influence it has had on my work; all in all it’s been a great and fruitful experience.

About the Diploma in Creative Jewellery

The Diploma is a unique course for people wanting to develop career in jewellery. It combines learning traditional skills such as silversmithing with working more modern materials such as Perspex and precious metal clay so that students develop a range of jewellery skills which they can use to create own signature styles.

Students attend classes one-day per week for three terms over a year culminating in an exhibition where they show their final collections – this year the event will be at London’s Craft Central.

There are currently places available on course starting in May and September and we also offer a full-time seven week intensive version  of the Diploma starting in July. Find out more here.

Take a look at our diploma students’ work

cuff 3One of the great things about the Diploma in Creative Jewellery for the LJS team is seeing how different students use the materials and techniques they lean on the course.

Although everyone follows the same curriculum and learns the same techniques, emma glass ring copyhow they use them to interpret their own ideas can be very different.

You can see some of the results on the student gallery on the diploma website and on our Flickr page – and we’ll be adding to these pictures regularly (especially at the end of each term when students bring in several pieces for marking and we can photograph them at the same time).

Here you can see pieces by Emma Crump, Marcia Lucien and Tracy Stressing – but keep an eye out for more on the website.

marcia necklaceIf these pieces are inspiring you to take your jewellery to the next level, tracy resin 2you can read all about the Diploma here.

When you sign up to a Diploma course, you attend LJS one day per week for three terms to get a professional grounding in a range of jewellery techniques and materials – as well as designing your own collection.

If you are ready to make a big step towards a career in jewellery there are places available on the May and September Diploma courses but be quick because each diploma group is no bigger then seven students.